Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 387 pages, $7.99 (such a deal!) (c2008)
Theodosia is an 11-year-old girl in turn-of-the-last-century London. She is unusually independent for her age and the receptacle of arcane knowledge of ancient Egypt, both of which are the result of haphazard parental involvement, Mr. and Mrs. Throckmorton being preoccupied archaeologists and museum keepers, and access to a museum. Theodosia has more-or-less grown up in her parents' Museum of Legends and Antiquities, which has a large selection of artifacts, including mummies, of ancient Egypt.
Theodosia also has a talent for magic.
She can feel when something, magic-wise, isn't right. She can dispel and repel curses. With the help of her cat, Isis, she secretly keeps the museum, her parents, and the staff safe from harm.
While cleaning up a storeroom (full of mummies and cobwebby stuff), she chances upon a crooked staff. She straightens it and places an orb in it. Things -- strange things -- begin to happen. For instance, when the museum is opened the next morning, every mummy within walking distance is found in the main room of the Museum of Legends and Antiquities. Needless to say, the mummies' owners are peeved. Mr. Throckmorton is under suspicion of theft. The evil Serpents of Chaos are sniffing around. Young Theodosia is the best bet for restoring balance to the world.
Aided by the secret organization, The Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, and Will, a street urchin, Theodosia fights for good against evil, while keeping ferocious Grandmother Throckmorton and her legion of unsuitable governesses at bay.
Love, love, love, love, love this series.