Tee (short for Leticia) Woodie and her family have moved into a big, old house that is a part of her father's inheritance from Great-uncle Sebastian. While exploring the contents of Great-uncle's antiques-and-junk store, they find a parcel marked FOR DEAR LETICIA, MY SHABTI BOX. The decorated Egyptian box inside holds the shabti, a colorful wooden figure of a girl in painted mummy wrappings from the waist down. The writings on those wrappings are ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Charles, Tee's younger -- and very curious -- brother, borrows the figure and uses the Internet to discover what sounds the old hieroglyphics stand for. When he reads the Egyptian words aloud to Tee, strange things begin to happen.
That evening, slow in answering her father's call to come and dry the dishes, Tee reaches the kitchen door only to hear the clink and rattle of plates and cutlery being put away. Peering in, she sees a costumed figure busy at work. Egyptian costume? The shabti? Surely not! But it is. Soon Tee is thinking of ways a secret, magical shabti-servant can help her with homework...with school...with...All goes well until the shabti begins to enjoy taking Tee's place. A frightened Tee must get her back into her box, but -- can she?
Inspired by the shabti figures in the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and London's Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Jane Curry has written an amusing, then scary story that catches and holds the reader in its magic to the very last word.