Rave Reviews by Jean E. Eustance

                November 2022.

This November marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.  On November 26, 1922, Howard Carter opened the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.  

Pine Bush Area Public Library has a lot of non-fiction books about Ancient Egypt in the Children’s Department. The one I like the best is Ghosts of the Nile by Cheryl Harness. The fictional part of the story is simple enough. Zachary, and his Mom and Dad, are taking Great Aunt Allie to see the Egyptian Exhibit, (complete with mummies) at the museum.  When Great Aunt Allie was much younger, she had visited Egypt often.  She has a scarab jewel which she always wears.  She says, “If only I could see Egypt as it once was! That would be my fondest wish come true!”

With a set-up like that, you know what will happen.  Aunt Allie sneaks into the Staff Only office and finds the mummy of a cat, which is magically tied to the scarab jewel, an amulet, which Aunt Allie has worn for years.  Zachary thinks he must follow her, and they are both transported to Ancient Egypt.  A talking cat named Khi leads him from place to place, and then they meet up with Aunt Allie, who is sailing on the River Nile in a boat. Zachary had seen the priests working on a mummy.  Aunt Allie says, “Come aboard, dear boy. Enough of dried-up death! Come see the river of life.” They see village life, they see a school for scribes, and then it is nearly nighttime. Will our two fearless travelers get home?  Or will Great Aunt Allie stay in Ancient Egypt forever, because she loves it so?

What makes this book better than all the others, in my view, is all the information with pictures that are alongside the main action. This is why it is in the non-fiction area. How to build a pyramid in twelve easy steps.  Stone columns covered with pictures of the Egyptian gods. Pictures of mummies, including animal mummies, dedicated to certain gods.  There is a time line along the bottom of pages and pages of the book. The different dynasties and kingdoms are all listed, with a few pictures of the pharaohs and their queens.  At the end, Zachary and his great aunt see Cleopatra the Seventh, who is the Queen of the Nile that we all know.  

 The last pages cover Egyptian medicine, the calendar that they invented, and how modern people discovered Ancient Egypt’s temples and tombs. Howard Carter finding King Tut’s tomb is there at the end of this terrific book, Ghosts of the Nile. Read it, and be transported back to Ancient Egypt.  You’ll feel as if you’ve really been there.

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