The Malta Independent 19 October 2018, Friday

The Mystery of the Golden Calf

Tuesday, 5 December 2017, 09:44 Last update: about 12 months ago

Il-Misteru tal-Għoġol tad-Deheb, penned by Ruth Frendo, was launched during the Malta Book Festival. This book features augmented reality, which is a first for the island. The publication will be complementing the feature film that will be shown at the cinemas from 15 December. This will also be the first professional movie in Maltese aimed at families.

After downloading a free app, readers can point their mobile and/or tablet towards especially created illustrations and enjoy snippets from the movie, as well as original animation. The illustrations have been created by an Italian artist especially for the book.


The story starts in Malta in the 1940s. During a school visit, a group of children and their teacher mysteriously disappear in an underground labyrinth. Then in the present day, we are introduced to Pia, a lonely orphan who feels unwanted and unloved. After hearing that the Golden Calf mentioned in the Bible is hidden in Malta, and after finding an ancient treasure map, together with her cousin Sandro, who is an unsecure geek, the children embark on a fantastical adventure. After uncovering a number of clues, they end up lost in a mysterious underground labyrinth as they face a number of dangers (and maybe even ghosts!) The cousins' adventure also leads to unearthing important family secrets.

The publication is inspired by the article featured in The National Geographic about the mysterious disappearance of the school children in the undeground tunnels in the 1940s. Moreover, the legend of the Golden Calf is one of the most popular myths in Malta.

Il-Misteru tal-Għoġol tad-Deheb is supported by the National Literacy Agency and the Ministry of Education and Employment.

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