First of all, let me direct readers to this blog on Rick Riordan and his previous series based on the escapades of Percy Jackson. Much of the same criticism that applies to these books also applies to The Kane Chronicles.
Keeping in mind that children's minds are not developed enough to distinguish between fiction and reality, what they read becomes very real to them, hence the moral confusion that is caused by a series that is couched in the use of dark powers (magic) to bring about good ends.
I was also particularly disturbed by the main characters in the Kane saga, Sadie and Carter, who "host" ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses such as Osiris and Isis in order to save the world from destruction. "Hosts" (also known as godlings) are mortals who allow themselves to be possessed by the "gods". Introducing children to the concept that possession by spirits is okay so long as you're doing it for the right reason is just plain irresponsible.
The two books in the series, The Red Pyramid, and The Throne of Fire, are riddled with problematic themes such as the use of divination, amulets, and Egyptian shabtis, which are small statues of male or female adults that are inscribed with a special formula or spell that must be recited in order to bring about a certain end.
What a shame that some of today's biggest authors think the only way to stimulate a child's imagination is with occult-themed literature! This simply isn't true.
If you're looking for good books for your kids, try the Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. It's a great read with none of the risky occult elements that can only serve to desensitize children to some very dangerous practices.
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