As we conclude our Ancient Egyptian unit I share here the books we used and enjoyed.
For the older children approximately 10-up
The Golden Goblet is an exciting adventure, the story of Ranofer who wanted to be a goldsmith and was prevented by his brother Gebu. Ranofer finds a golden goblet in his brother’s room and knows that it has been stolen from one of the tombs in the City of the Dead. With his two friends Ranofer sets out to prove his brother’s guilt. My three older children LOVED this book and were clamouring for more of McGraw’s books.
We did have another McGraw book, Mara Daughter of the Nile. Koala enjoyed this book however it was not really the boy’s style. Mara, a slave girl is a double spy for two arch enemies who each support a contender for the Egyptian throne. Mara then falls in love with one of these men, when her duplicity is discovered her life is in danger and the fate of Egypt is at stake.
Koala read this one, she enjoyed it immensely. Shadow Hawk covers the beginning of Egypt’s fight for freedom against the hated Hyksos invaders around 1590BC. Another beautiful book republished by Bethlehem Books.
Like all of GA Henty’s novels the Cat of Bubastes does a wonderful job of bringing the time period, Egypt of 1250BC alive, the religion, geography, the methods of irrigation, warfare and burial rites are skillfully interwoven into this thrilling adventure story. The story follows prince Amuba and a priests’s son Chebron. When Chebron accidentally kills a cat destined to be the sacred cat of the temple, a riot ensues and the boys flee to Amuba’s homeland of Rebu. GA Henty continues to be a favourite with my Koala, although I have heard that he is more often popular with boys.
Secrets of the Mummies, DK reader for the 8-10 yr old, contains chapters on mummification and another on Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. Not all of the chapters are related to Egyptian mummies. The children found these chapters fascinating.
For the younger children
Tutankhamen’s Gift contains stunning artwork and a rather ‘meaty’ text. I feel a picture book to definitely have on your shelf. Tutankhamen admires the magnificent monuments built to honour the gods during his father Amenhotep III’s reign. When his brother Amenhotep IV assumes the throne he destroys all the temples built to honour any gods other than the god of the sun. When he dies mysteriously Tutankhamen becomes pharaoh at the age of 10 and restores the temples and rules with kindness.
We LOVED this one, I was so thrilled to discover that Richard Platt has written other books beside Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess. He has written many books in this journal/picture style set in different time periods:):)
Egyptian Diary was ‘written’ by an Egyptian boy, Nakht who was learning to be a scribe, set in the reign of Hatshepsut we learn much about everyday life in a scribe’s family. In the Egyptian hierachy the scribes came below the nobles, who were below the King.
Another ‘meaty’ picture books that will even interest the older children. Seeker of Knowledge has stunning watercolurs that enhance the story of Jean-Francois Champollion, this picture book follows his life from boyhood to manhood when he ‘cracks the code’ of the Rosetta Stone. Another winner.
The Scarab’s Secret, A lovely picture book of the story of the god ‘Khepri’ and how he saved the life of a king whose subjects had plotted to kill him. ‘Khepri’ the scarab beetle is hereafter honoured as a god. The text is simple enough to keep the interest of my three year old (the older dc enjoyed it too).
We’re sailing down the Nile. I originally purchased this more as a modern Egyptian geography book than history, however the two really overlap. Very simple rhyming text with vivid pictures. “Climb aboard the river boat! We’re sailing down the Nile. We’ll be at the Oasis in just a little while.” Traveling down the Nile on a modern boat a group of children see statues, temples, tombs and pyramids. The author has written many other picture books set around the world.
For the non-fiction reader.
Riddle of the Rosetta Stone was a little something different for the children, it was not a novel but a biography of Champollion the decipherer of the Rosetta Stone. Giblin’s book outlines the unraveling of the ‘mystery of hieroglyphics’.
Surprisingly we actually hadn’t read any of David Macaulay’s books before. We couldn’t believe how informative and yet interesting Pyramid was. The pictures really enhanced the text. We are now Macaulay fans.
The Great Pyramid – Elizabeth Mann. Her text was informative and yet written simply enough for the younger children to understand as well as interest the older. Her illustrations were eye-catching.
Life in Ancient Egypt, A Dover colouring book, they really are excellent resources, great detail and informative. Not a basic colouring book at all.
I purchased all three of these on recommendation of RC History’s program. I think now having them that three are overkill. If money was tight;) my favourite would be Ancient Egyptians and their Neighbors by Marian Broida, after that I would choose Pyramids 50 Hands on Activities.
As you can see we seemed to gather lots of resources together this time but enjoyed reading them all.
*Be sure to visit Aussie Book Threads for more book reviews.