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Children's Books For The Study Of
Ancient Egypt

                         Welcome!  This site has been created to provide elementary students and educators with resources for the study of Ancient Egypt.  Ancient Egypt is a fascinating period of our world's history and has captured the interest of many talented children's book authors.  From informational texts, to picture books, to chapter books and even poetry, there exists a wide array of choices that will enhance any classroom's basic curriculum experience.

~Informational Books~
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      Eyewitness:  Ancient Egypt      Eyewitness:  Ancient Egypt  
                                                  Hart, George.  Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt.  Alexandria,VA:  DK Publishing, 2000. 

                                    Eyewitness Books' Ancient Egypt continues the tradition of excellent, accurate, and beautiful reference works for kids 9 to 12 years old.  Ancient Egyptian civilization holds a special fascination for many, with its mummies, pyramids, and highly stylized artworks.  Kid's can explore a Pharaohs tomb,  see a mummy up close, and find out about Egyptian Gods.  Lots of archaeological relics show what life was like for the Ancient Egyptians, from how they dressed to the games they played.  (Book Description:

       I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built     I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built & Other Questions         About Ancient Egypt
                   Steele, Philip.  I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built and Other Questions About Ancient Egypt.  New York:  Kingfisher Books, 1995.

                            Browsers and young students alike will enjoy these lively question and answer books with their unique mix of realistic  illustration and engaging cartoons.  The enticing questions will amaze, amuse, and inspire, while the highly visual format encourages kids to keep reading.  (Book Description:

~Picture Books~
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        Adventures in Ancient Egypt      Adventures in Ancient Egypt
                                         Bailey, Linda.  Adventures in Ancient Egypt.  Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2000.   Illustrated by Bill Slavin.

                                  Josh and Emma, and little sister Libby stumble into a peculiar travel agency.  The strange owner encourages the children to peruse his dusty, old travel guides, and no sooner does Josh open a book about ancient Egypt than the three children are transported back in time.  It's 2500 B.C., and they've read every word of the book.  A variety of adventures ensues, including encounters with crocodiles, tomb robbers, and angry soldiers.  Bailey delivers not only a fast-pased story but also a fun way to convey information about Egyptian lifestyles, religion, and schools, and, of course, the pyramids and mummies.  (Book Description:

        Heb-Nefert      I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert
                                         Bunting, Eve.  I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert.  San Diego, CA:  Harcourt, 1997.  Illustrated by Christina David.

                         A picture book that is both lyrical and melancholy, a female mummy remembers the days when she danced for the pharaoh's brother and became his wife.  (From Booklist:

        Ms. Frizzle's Adventures     Ancient Egypt: Ms. Frizzle's Adventures
                                        Cole, Joanna.  Ancient Egypt: Ms. Frizzle's Adventures.  New York: Scholastic Trade, 2001.  Illustrated by Bruce Degen.

                                    On the first day of school vacation, the inimitable, redheaded Ms. Frizzle joins a tour group bound for Egypt.  When the plane trip gets too monotonous, Ms. Frizzle invites the group to jump ship with her.  Somehow, tour guide Herb ends up in contemporary Cairo, while everyone else lands in ancient Egypt!  Here's where Ms. Frizzle's teaching skills come in handy.  By the end of the vacation, members of the tour group--the readers--have learned more about mummies, pyramids, Re the sun god, and ancient Egyptian's teeth then they ever imagined.  (Book Description:

      5000 Year Old Puzzle     The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle
                                          Logan, Claudia.  The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle.  New York:  Farrar Straus &  Giroux, 2002.  Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

                                      When King Tut's tomb was discovered in Egypt in 1922, the world was abuzz.  What would be the next big, newsworthy archaeological find?  Might it be Giza 7000X, a secret Egyptian tomb buried deep within the earth? Claudia Logan and Melissa Sweet (with the cooperation of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) answer that question and ask a few more in The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle, their truly splendid picture book for older readers. Readers follow a fictional family to Egypt in 1924 to an actual expedition led by Dr. George Reisner. Written in diary form from the perspective of young Will Hunt, who joins the expedition, the book is immediate and engaging, communicating the mystery and excitement of an archaeological dig like nothing we've seen.

                                          Macaulay, David.  Pyramid.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1982.  Illustrated by David Macaulay.
When children catch their first glimpse of a pyramid, a sea of questions inevitably tumbles forth. "Why are they shaped like that?" "How were they made?" "Who made them?" "What were they used for?" Perplexed adults can sigh with relief now that David Macaulay has found a way to thoroughly answer all those deserving questions. His exquisitely crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations frame the engaging fictional story of an ancient pharaoh who commissions a pyramid to be built for him.  (Book Description:

      Tutankhamen's Gift      Tutankhamen's Gift
                                           Sabuda, Robert.  Tutankhamen's Gift.  New York:  Scott Foresman, 1994.  Illustrated by Robert Sabuda.

Visually stunning, this fictionalized account of the boyhood of Tutankhamen makes an interesting subject for a picture book. Sabuda portrays Tutankhamen as a small, frail boy whose greatest delight is watching the Egyptian artisans and craftspeople build temples to the gods. When the pharaoh dies, Tut's brother, Amenhotep IV, becomes the unadmired ruler who banishes the old gods in favor of one single god. When Amenhotep dies under mysterious circumstances, Tutankhamen becomes pharaoh.  (From Booklist:

~Chapter Books~
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       Tut's Mummy      Tut's Mummy:  Lost...and Found
                                          Donnelly, Judy.  Tut's Mummy:  Lost...and Found.  New York: Random House, 1988.  Illustrated by James Watling.
                              Illus. in full color with black-and-white & full-color photos. "Beginning with the death of Tutankhamen, the book moves forward to archaeologist Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb. Information about ancient Egyptian life is interspersed in a clear, smooth fashion throughout. A good way to get readers into non-fiction." (From Booklist:

    Cleopatra: Royal Diaries      Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C.
                              Gregory, Kristiana.  Cleopatra VII:  Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries).  New York:Scholastic Trade, 1999.

                       The year is 57 B.C., and 12-year-old Cleopatra, Princess of the Nile, has a lot on her mind. Her father, the Pharaoh of Egypt, nearly died when a venomous adder meant for him attacked and killed his favorite servant. Now the Pharaoh has gone into hiding, hunted by his enemies, and the young princess has to keep her head--literally--as her power-hungry older sister Tryphaena threatens to grab her father's throne.  (Editorial Review:

    Pharaoh's Daughter      Pharaoh's Daughter
                                         Lester, Julius.  Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt.  San Diego,CA:  Harper Trophy, 2002.

                           Raised as the pampered grandson of Pharaoh, Moses enjoys the attentions of three mother figures: Yocheved, his birth mother, who constantly implores him to return to his own people; Almah, his older sister, who has left her traditions to dance naked as a priestess of the goddess Hathor; and Batya, Pharoah's daughter, who saved him from death when he was a baby. But now his anger at his unresolved split identity has goaded him into a terrible act of violence--an act that will have a vast impact on history.  (Editorial Review:

    The Golden Goblet      The Golden Goblet
                                         McGraw, Eloise Jarvis.  The Golden Goblet.  New York: Puffin, 1990.

                             Ranofer struggles to thwart the plottings of his evil uncle, Gebu, so he can become master goldsmith like their father in this exciting tale of ancient Egyptian mystery and intrigue. Newbery Honor Book.  (Ingram:

    Mara, Daughter of the Nile       Mara, Daughter of the Nile
                                          McGraw, Eloise Jarvis.  Mara, Daughter of the Nile.   New York: Viking Press, 1990.

                        This books will bring Egypt and its culture to life as the reader follow's the compelling journey of Mara, a slave girl turned spy, on her journey to self-discovery.  (Editorial Review:

    A Place in the Sun       A Place in the Sun
                                         Rubalcaba, Jill.  A Place in the Sun.   New York: Puffin, 1998.

                              When his sculptor father is bitten by a cobra, Senmut carves a statue of Sekhmet, hoping to appease this goddess of illness and healing. Ironically, in his haste he accidentally kills a dove, a capital offense in thirteenth-century-B.C. Egypt, the setting of this fast-paced historical novel. Although the boy's life is spared, he is exiled to toil in the gold mines of Nubia, a life that is literally worse than death. His inherited artistic talent and--perhaps--divine intervention provide a surprising but plausible ending.  (Editorial Review:

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    Hatshepsut        Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself
                                 Andronik, Catherine M.  Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself.  New York: Atheneum, 2001.  Illustrated by Joseph Daniel Fiedler.

                       Andronik pieces together a thoughtful biography of "ancient Egypt's only successful female king," who ruled in the 1400s B.C. The heavy amount of text and sophisticated discussion of lineage and royal customs make this picture book best suited to older readers. After the death of her father, Tuthmosis I, a powerful pharaoh, 12-year-old Hatshepsut married her only surviving sibling, half-brother Tuthmosis II, who died within several years. Hatshepsut then became the acting ruler of Egypt, allegedly until Tuthmosis's son reached an age to assume this role. Yet she soon thereafter crowns herself pharaoh.  (Publishers Weekly:

     Cleopatra           Cleopatra
                                             Stanley, Diane.  Cleopatra.  New York: William Morrow & Company, 1994.  Illustrated by Diane Stanley.

                       Using their distinctive picture book biography format made popular in their volumes on Shaka, Shakespeare, and Dickens, Stanley and Vennema present the life of a legend, Cleopatra. The artwork includes full-page paintings of dramatic scenes as well as impressive painted mosaics that make up the jacket art, title page, and the background for the text. The story concerns Cleopatra's life from the age of 18, when she became the queen of Egypt (51 B.C.), through her liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her struggle to bring back Egypt's former glory, to her death at the age of 39.  (Booklist:

~Folklore, Legends, & Myths~
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      The Shipwrecked Sailor       The Shipwrecked Sailor: An Egyptian Tale of Hieroglyphs
                  Bower, Tamara.  The Shipwrecked Sailor:  An Egyptian Tale of Hieroglyphs.   New York: Atheneum, 2000.  Illustrated by Tamara Bower.                    
                                      This captivating picture book for older children, based on a four-thousand-year-old papyrus scroll now in Moscow's Hermitage Museum, tells of a sailor, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, who finds himself on an island paradise, the Island of the Soul. A huge serpent, with scales of gold and lapis, finds the man and assures him he will soon be rescued. When the prediction comes to pass, the serpent gives the man "precious things" to take back with him, asking only that the sailor speak well of him.  (Booklist:

     The Winged Cat           The Winged Cat: A Tale of Ancient Egypt
        Lattimore, Deborah Nourse.  The Winged Cat:  A Tale of Ancient Egypt.  New York: Harper Trophy, 1995.  Illustrated by Deborah  Lattimore.

                        Merit, temple servant, has seen Waha, Pharaoh's High Priest, drown a sacred cat. When Waha denies his crime, Pharaoh sends him and Merit to the Netherworld, where their hearts will be weighed against the feather of Truth. The dead cat's spirit guides Merit, assuring her safety if she can read the signs that open the Netherworld's 12 gates.  (Kirkus Reviews:

    Gift of the Nile        Gift of the Nile: An Ancient Egyptian Legend
                      Mike, Jan M.  Gift of the Nile:  An Ancient Egyptian Legend.  Mahwah,NJ: Troll Association, 1992.  Illustrated by Charles Reasoner.

                          In ancient Egypt, Mutemwia the slave girl befriends Pharaoh and becomes his trusted counsel. But she is unhappy because she is not free. Will Pharaoh grant this gift to his friend? The Legends of the World opens readers' minds to the diverse cultures of Native America, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Americas through enchanting tales passed down through countless generations. Each book in the series features geographical, historical, and cultural information. Illustrated in full color. (Editorial Review:

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        Egyptian Poetry and Prose           Egyptian Poetry and Prose
                                            Erman, Adolf.  Egyptian Poetry and Prose.  Toronto: Dover Publications, 1995.

                          This book contains hymns, narratives, instructions, poems, love songs, etc from different periods of ancient Egypt. This book also contains many stories that can be found in Miriam Lichtheim three volume series on Egyptian literature.  Each story is proceeded by a brief commentary, and is followed by the text.  (Editorial Review:

      Egyptian Night Poems      Egyptian Night
                                            Waterman, Margareta.  Egyptian Night.   Boston: Nine Muses Books, 1991.  Illustrated by Adele Armstrong.
                          We sat in magic Seattle, drinking wine, watching the seasons change,painting, writing poems. It was a happy time. These poems were originally performed at red sky poetry theatre in seattle, and later in many venues throughout the united states and in parts of canada. (Editorial Review:

~Additional Resources~
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                                              Ancient Egypt for Kids

                               A great children's site with brief information on Ancient Egyptian history, ways of life, mummies, pyramids, pharaohs, Gods, hieroglyphics and much more.

                                             Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Web Resources for               Young People and Teachers

                            The Oriental Institute of Chicago provides this page with hundreds of links to quality sites regarding Ancient Egypt and its neighbors in the Ancient Near East for both students and teachers alike.

                      Guardian's Ancient Egypt Kid Connection

                                 Come discover the many fascinating Egypt kids features throughout the Internet. This section of Guardian's Egypt is dedicated to Kids! Most kids love Egypt and enjoy learning about ancient Egyptian life and culture. From pyramids to mummies, hieroglyphs to pharaohs, Egypt has always fascinated kids. Here are fun and interesting Egypt links especially for kids!

This Site Has Been Created By Amber N. Schweigert
December 2002