Kotzwinkle is a very good writer. This book is small, but the story is large. There are some wonderful illustrations that help move the story along. The story is copyrighted in 1976. If you like stories along the lines of "Indiana Jones" (without all the special effects) - you will enjoy this little tale. It takes place in Africa, where young Charles Pickett's dream has come true, of going on an archeological dig - and of course, scary things happen there. I enjoyed it very much!