Friday, August 30, 2013

Cleopatra Commits Suicide: Books About Ancient Egypt

On this day in 30 BCE, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, committed suicide. To mark the day, let's look at some books about her and Ancient Egypt in general.


The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. After a disasterous trip to the British Museum, the Rosetta stone is destroyed, their father is missing, and some seriously bad dudes have been released. Carter and Sadie Kane are part of a long line of Egyptian magicians and with the help of some friendly Gods based out of Brooklyn, they have to help set things right. The first in the Kane Chronicles, follow it with The Throne of Fire.

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner. In this imagined biography, young Nefertiti cajoles a scribe to teach her how to read and write and comes to understand the horrors of slavery. But, when she is brought to the royal palace by her aunt, the queen, Nefertiti realizes that her strength is all she has to survive many court intrigues. Follow it with Sphinx's Queen.

Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen by Vicky Alvear Schecter. This irreverent and slang-filled biography of Cleopatra is based on solid historical research, but is just really fun to read.


Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer. Starting at the age of 10, this is Meyer's version of Cleopatra's life as told be Cleopatra herself. She hopes to rule, but so do her older sisters. Playing politics with them may come with a body count.

Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter. When her parents, Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, kill themselves, Selene and her brothers are forced to Rome to live as prisoners. There, Selene must fight to save her brothers and reclaim her throne as the rightful queen of Egypt.

For All Time by Caroline B. Cooney. Annie and Strat are time travelers. Strat is currently in Egypt, in 1899. Annie tries to meet him there, but ends up a few thousand years earlier, in way over her head as she tries to survive. The fourth in a series, start with The Time Travelers: Volume One.


The Curse of the Pharaohs : My Adventures with Mummies by Zahi Hawass. Here, archaeologist Hawass tells all about archeological discovery of Ancient Egypt's troubles, as well as the history behind them, and life during that time period.

The Book of Time by Guillaume Prevost, translated from the French by William Rodarmor. Sam's father is missing and when he searches for clues, he instead finds something that whisks him through time. Sam has to visit many places (including Ancient Egypt) before discovering where his father is. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Gate Of Days.

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury. Agnes is about to debut in society, but feels confined by class and gender. Deeply interested in Egypt, she navigates her social realities while having feelings for a Egyptologist and dealing with a mummy unwrapping party.

What are your Egypt must reads?

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