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Below you will find fascinating reads about the ancient world to get wrapped up in this summer! The books are available through the DeKalb County Library and the Carlos Museum Bookshop, where you can order them online!
Egypt & the Ancient Near East (Ages: 4-8, 9-12, 12 and up)
Ancient Americas (Ages: 4-8, 9-12, 12 and up)
Ancient Greece and Rome (Ages: 4-8, 9-12, 12 and up)
Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 4-8:
Ten Little Mummies
by Philip Yates
Deep underground in a dreary old tomb 10 little mummies were stuffed in one room. Nothing to play with, no books on the shelves, Just 10 little mummies wrapped up in themselves. "This is the pits!" said a mummy one day. "I am bored stiff. Let's go outside and play!
For the first time in prehistory ten adorable mummies are painting the town red. But what is there to paint in ancient Egypt? Find out in this refreshingly funny counting book, where the counting goes backwards from ten down to one little mummy. (Hint: some of the fun involves pyramids and a sphinx!) With a minimalist approach and a deep, distinctive palate, G. Brian Karas tickles the funny bone in this debut counting book by Philip Yates.
by Judy Donnelly
Illustrated 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." - Booklist.
Mummies (All Aboard Reading)
by Joyce Milton
Along with offering new readers a lot of information, this is one of the most attractive easy-to-reads around. Milton explains in clear, crisp language the theory and process of mummification. Swan's intricate cut-paper collages portray modern-day and ancient Egypt; intricately cut pieces of paper are turned into masks and mummies and ornate decorations. The occasional photograph adds interest but jars a little. Considering at how early an age children are fascinated by ancient Egypt, this will make a welcome introduction that they can read themselves. Ilene Cooper - Booklist
Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning
by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie don't need another mummy.
But that's what they get when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient Egypt, where they come face to face with a dead queen--and her 1,000-year-old mummy! Will Jack and Annie be able to solve the puzzle, or will they end up as mummies themselves?
by Robert Sabuda
Small and frail, Tutankhamen was an all but ignored member of the royal family of the great Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III. At the school of the menoi, or tutors, he did not excel at physical activities with the other royal princes. Keeping to himself, he observed and admired the work of his father's craftsmen, who built glorious temples to Egypt's many gods. Someday he too would find a gift for those gods. Then Amenhotep III died and the unpopular reign of Tutankhamen's brother ended in mystery. Who now would be pharaoh? Could it be a boy of only ten? As he did with the life of Saint Valentine (Atheneum, 1992), Robert Sabuda combines simple text with artwork true to the historical period in which Tutankhamen lived.
Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs
by James Rumford
In 1802, Jean-Francois Champollion was eleven years old. That year, he vowed to be the first person to read Egypt's ancient hieroglyphs. Champollion's dream was to sail up the Nile in Egypt and uncover the secrets of the past, and he dedicated the next twenty years to the challenge. James Rumford introduces the remarkable man who deciphered the ancient Egyptian script and fulfilled a lifelong dream in the process. Stunning watercolors bring Champollion's adventure to life in a story that challenges the mind and touches the heart.
Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 9-12:
The Egypt Game (Yearling Newberry)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she's not sure they'll have anything in common. But she soon discovers that they both love anything to do with ancient Egypt. When they stumble upon a deserted storage yard behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop, Melanie and April decide it's the perfect spot for Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians instead of two. After school and on weekends they all meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code. Everyone thinks it's just a game, until strange things begin happening to the players. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?
Mummies: The Newest, Coolest and Creepiest from Around the World
by Shelley Tanaka
It's here! Mummies: The Newest, Coolest, and Creepiest, unlike any before it, a Mummies book with never-before-seen photographs and illustrations of mummies around the world. With amazing new discoveries made every year, archeologists have only scratched the surface of the secrets of these mummies hold. The ghoulish allure that has attracted young readers to mummies can also lead children to explore and learn about the mysterious ancient cultures, like Egypt, from which these mummies came. This fascinating account of the latest mummy finds from around the world will captivate young readers as it explores the technological methods and forensic clues scientist use to investigate the mysteries of ancient civilizations. With color photos and detailed accounts of some of the most exciting recent mummy finds, this book promises to educate while it entertains.
Outside and Inside Mummies
by Sanda Markle
Have you ever wished that you could unwrap a mummy? Imagine examining the skin, bones, even muscles and organs of a person who lived thousands of years ago! Cutting-edge technology is revealing more than ever before about these amazing relics from human history. Modern crime lab technology can reveal whether a mummy was killed or died of natural causes. X-rays can help us discover a mummy's age and identity, and DNA samples are even helping scientists find today's living relatives of Incan mummies. In the most fascinating topic she's unraveled in her Outside and Inside series, Sandra Markle reunites us with our ancient ancestors through fascinating text and jaw-dropping photographs.
Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht
by Richard Platt
What was it like to be an aspiring young scribe in Egypt, circa 1500 BC? Picture it through the eyes of nine-year-old Nakht, who has just moved with his family to bustling Memphis, where his father has a prestigious new job. As Nakht takes up his own (often boring) lessons, little does he know that he and his sister, Tamyt, will soon stumble upon a sinister plot involving the robbing of nearby tombs - and will actually catch the high-ranking mastermind at a banquet inside their own house! As a reward, the siblings are invited to the royal palace in Thebes to meet none other than King Hatshepsut, whom they are shocked to discover is a woman - one of few female kings in ancient Egyptian history. Brimming with lively, detailed illustrations and bolstered with endnotes, a timeline, and a glossary, this newest tale from the author of Castle Diary and Pirate Diary is sure to stir readers' interest in one of the most fascinating eras in history.
Egypt in Spectacular Cross-Section
by Stephen Biesty
The year is 1230 B.C., during the reign of Ramses the Great in ancient Egypt. Follow the thirty-day voyage of the eleven-year-old Dedia and his father as they sail down the Nile River.Travel along with father and son as they visit the bustling harbor at Elephantine; the massive stone quarry at Gebel el-Silsila; the temples at Karnak; underground tombs in The Valley of the Kings; a funeral and mummification; the step pyramid at Saqqara; and Ramses' lavish palace at Piramesse. Quite a journey!
Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Boy King
by Zahi Hawass
Just the name King Tut conjures up mystery and the excitement of discovery. Hawass, director of excavations at the Giza Pyramids and the Valley of the Golden Mummies, lends personal insight into the life, death, and burial of Tut and the unearthing of his tomb. Quite a bit is known about Tutankhamun (who was crowned when he was around age 9 and died under questionable circumstances some 10 years later): relatives, pastimes, religion, and children. The biggest question has been what killed him, and Hawass presents new information. A recent CAT scan on the boy-king's mummy revealed that Tut was not killed by a blow to the head, as many surmised. Hawass' personal commentary adds much and also detracts a little from the text (some of the writing is repetitious and awkwardly phrased), but his presence during many of the recent discoveries and excavations gives a you-are-there feel to the book. The photos are spectacular, so rich and vibrant that readers will want to reach out and touch. Ilene Cooper - Booklist. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.
Gilgamesh the King
by Ludmila Zeman
Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help. In answer, another kind of man, Enkidu, is sent to earth to live among the animals and learn kindness from them. He falls in love with Shamhat, a singer from the temple, and he follows her back to Uruk. There, Enkidu, the "uncivilized" beast from the forest, shows the evil Gilgamesh through friendship what it means to be human.
The Last Quest of Gilgamesh
by Ludmila Zeman
In his final quest, Gilgamesh, still mourning the death of his dear friend Enkidu, sets out to find the key to immortality. His journey is perilous. He must fight ferocious serpents and wild lions. He travels through bitterly cold caves, across scorching deserts, and over the fatal waters of the Sea of Death. Finally he arrives at the palace of Utnapishtim, the only human who knows the secret of immortality. Utnapishtim sets Gilgamesh a test to stay away for six days and seven nights, but Gilgamesh fails. His last hope, a flower of eternal youth, is eaten by the goddess Ishtar, who exacts her revenge. Finally, Enkidu comes from the underworld to show Gilgamesh true immortality: the king will be remembered for his good deeds, courage, and love for his people
The Revenge of Ishtar
by Ludmila Zeman
In this second volume in the Gilgamesh trilogy, Enkidu joins Gilgamesh in the quest to slay Humbaba, the monster who has attacked the city and caused great destruction, including the death of the beautiful singer, Shamat. Gilgamesh and Enkidu successfully slay the monster and in so doing, Gilgamesh attracts the attention of the goddess Ishtar. In rejecting her advances, he incurs her revenge and an attack by the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu manages to kill the bull, but is slain by Ishtar, striking at the bond between the two friends. Shattered, Gilgamesh vows he will destroy the last monster: death.
Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 12 and up:
Pharaoh's Daughter (Newberry Honor Recipient)
by Julius Lester
A fictionalized account of the Biblical tale in which a Hebrew infant, rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, passes through a turbulent adolescence to eventually become a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods.
Born into slavery, adopted as an infant by a princess, and raised in the palace of mighty Pharaoh, Moses struggles to define himself. And so do the three women who love him: his own embittered mother, forced to give him up by Pharaoh's decree; the Egyptian princess who defies her father and raises Moses as her own child; and his headstrong sister Almah, who discovers a greater kinship with the Egyptian deities than with her own God of the Hebrews.
Told by Moses and his sister Almah from alternating points of view, this stunning novel by Newbery Honor-author Julius Lester probes questions of identity, faith, and destiny.
Ancient Americas: Ages 4-8:
by Omar Castaneda
A Guatemalan story about intergenerational trust, love, and independence, this book introduces children to the culture of Guatemala through the story of a little girl selling her grandmother's beautiful weaving at the public market. Illustrated throughout with paintings of authentic Guatemalan scenery, giving life to the country's radiant landscape and bustling city streets.
How to Be an Aztec Warrior
by Fiona Macdonald
Imagine living in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and studying to become a successful warrior. This "primer" for young readers describes the lives of these ancient fighters, from the training they received to the weapons they used, and their combat strategies. The book also discusses warfare as a religious duty, with prisoners sacrificed to the gods. An appealing combination of user-friendly text and attractive illustrations makes it easy for readers to prepare for the job interview at the end of the book.
The Corn Grows Ripe
by Dorothy Rhoads
A coming-of-age tale set in modern-day Yucatan that draws on Mayan lore and tradition. Tigre, a 12-year-old boy, must sow and harvest the crops to support his family and appease the gods after his father is injured. It's a chapter book with a glossary and beautiful black-and-white drawings by Jean Charlot. A Newbery Honor Book.
The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
by Lynne Cherry, Mark J. Plotkin
For thousands of years, in the jungles of the Amazon, shamans have passed their wisdom of the medicinal values of rain forest plants from one generation to the next. The Shaman's Apprentice tells the story of a Tirio Indian boy who dreams of one day being the tribal shaman, and how he and his people learn the importance of their own knowledge about the healing properties of the rain forest.
Ancient Americas: Ages 9-12:
Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of The Maya
by Victor Montejo
One of the few Maya documents to survive the Spanish conquest, the Popol Vuh describes the creation of the Maya universe and of humans. It tells the tale of the Hero Twins, who defeated the gods of the underworld in a ball game, and details the legendary history of the Quiche Maya rulers until their imprisonment and torture by the Spanish. Equivalent to the Bible and the Greek and Roman mythologies, the Popol Vuh is the essential text of Mayan culture. Here, vivid images and captivating text will fascinate children.
Tikal: The Center of the Mayan World
by Elizabeth Mann
During the first millennium AD, one of the world's great civilizations appeared in the dense jungles of Mesoamerica. All over the Yucatan Peninsula, the Maya mastered sophisticated principles of mathematics, architecture, agriculture and astronomy and created scores of powerful city-states. At the center of this world was the largest city of them all -- Tikal.
Sprawling over twenty-five square miles, Tikal was situated in the heart of the Yucatan, near rivers that flowed to every corner of the Maya world. Tikal prospered from trade and military triumphs. Its rulers used its wealth to build a magnificent city of palaces, grand plazas and some of the largest stone pyramids seen in the Americas.
As with all great achievements of a civilization, Tikal is a window into the culture that created it. By telling the story of the city -- from its humble beginnings, through its bloody wars, to its "golden age" -- Tikal illuminates the Maya world in all its grandeur, glory and genius.
Secrets in Stone: All About Maya Hieroglyphics
by Laurie Coulter
Until about forty years ago, the ancient Maya hieroglyphics and the world they described remained virtually indecipherable. Now Secrets in Stone takes readers into the world of the ancient Maya code and explains how it was deciphered and what it all means. Not only is this the first book on the subject for children, this book also comes with its very own UV-raised "Glyphmaster," which allows budding archaeologists to create glyph rubbings, just like real archaeologists, Ancient Egyptians hieroglyphs have long captivated the interest of children. Now, inquisitive minds will relish developing their own secret codes and messages with over fifty Maya hieroglyphs.
Ancient Americas: Ages 12 and up:
Voyages Through Time: Cities of Blood
by Peter Ackroyd
History buffs, budding anthropologists, and anyone who loves a good story will enjoy the third installment of Peter Ackroyd's award-winning Voyages Through Time series. Cities of Blood takes readers inside the amazing traditions and gory rituals of the Olmecs, Mayas, and Aztecs of pre-Columbian civilization.
Peter Ackroyd's Voyages Through Time is a series of highly illustrated nonfiction books that illuminate the world's defining eras of history - from our humble beginnings to the exploration of space. Written in a fresh, bold narrative, this series is sure to become a publishing classic.
Author Biography: Peter Ackroyd is a highly acclaimed historian, biographer, poet, and novelist. He was born in London and studied at both Cambridge and Yale universities. His books include The Great Fire of London, The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot: A Life, and London: The Biography.
Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 4-8:
Strong Stuff: Herakles And His Labors
by John Harris, Gary Baseman (Illustrator)
Herakles was one of the greatest of all Greek heroes, and his exploits have been celebrated in paintings, songs, poetry, and sculpture for thousands of years. Now it's time for him to have his own children's book, one devoted exclusively to his labors and adventures. Written by John Harris and illustrated by artist Gary Baseman, Strong Stuff tells the amazing stories of the Stymphalian Birds (defeated by crashing cymbals), creepy King Geryon (with three heads AND three bodies), the Augean Stables (don't ask), and nine other labors that Herakles performed. This is a one-of-a-kind account of the great mythological hero in action. Stong stuff! With a super-helpful map and a pronunciation guide for those sometimes-hard-to-pronounce classical names.
Greece! Rome! Monsters!
By John Harris
Everybody's heard of a centaur, but not everyone has seen a blue centaur dressed to head out to a disco! He's one of the updated mythological creatures who populate Greece! Rome! Monsters!. This book presents twenty creepy creatures-from harpies to Medusa herself to the fire-breathing Chimera-in jazzy retellings by John Harris, with eye-popping illustrations by Southern California illustrator Calef Brown. Together, the words and pictures provide children (and grownups!) with close encounters of the mythological kind. Includes a bonus pronunciation guide and a pop quiz that will test to see if young readers have really been paying attention.
Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 9-12:
by Kate Hovey
May the voices of the gods be heard! In this innovative and spellbinding collection of poems, the gods of Mount Olympus, the sea, the underworld, and the forest come alive with their unique and powerful voices. From Zeus, the supreme ruler of the gods, and Ganymede, the gods' cupbearer, to the forest nymph Echo and Hestia, goddess of the hearth, the characters of ancient Greek and Roman mythology form a rich and vibrant tapestry. Beautifully realized in Kate Hovey's mesmerizing poetry and Murray Kimber's stunning illustrations, these twenty-three poems illuminate the personalities of the gods and the humor and tragedy of their stories.
Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii
by James M. Deem
In ancient times, Pompeii was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. Its 20,000 inhabitants lived in the shadow of Vesuvius, which they believed was nothing more than a mountain. But Vesuvius was a volcano. And on the morning of August 24, A.D. 79, Vesuvius began to erupt. Within twenty-four hours, the entire city of Pompeii and many of its citizens had been utterly annihilated. It was not until hundreds of years later that Pompeii saw daylight again, as archaeological excavations began to unearth what had been buried under layers of volcanic rubble. Digging crews expected to find buildings and jewelry and other treasures, but they found something unexpected, too: the imprints of lost Pompeiians, their deaths captured as if by photographic images in volcanic ash.
Tales from the Odyssey: The One-Eyed Giant - Book 1
by Mary Pope Osborne
When Odysseus must leave his home to fight the Trojan War, he never imagines that he'll be away from his family for so many years. Now, at long last, he is leading his men home across the seas. But many dangers await them and none is more terrifying than Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant.
Tales from the Odyssey: The Land of the Dead - Book 2
by Mary Pope Osborne
Odysseus and his men have defeated the one-eyed giant, but its curse follows them at every turn. Cast out to the open seas by the wind god, Odysseus and his fleet continue the difficult journey home. But they cannot return to Ithaca yet. First they must take on giant cannibals and outwit a beautiful witch, who reveals Odysseus' next challenge - a journey to the mysterious and feared land of the dead.
Tales from the Odyssey: Sirens and Sea Monsters - Book 3
by Mary Pope Osborne
Odysseus and his men have done what no other mortals have done: returned alive from the terrifying Land of the Dead. Armed with warnings and advice from the ghosts of the prophet Tiresias, Odysseus is determined to finally sail home to Ithaca. But the enchantress Circe tells him that the Greeks will face even more horrors on their journey, including an encounter with Scylla, the six-headed monster, and Charybdis, the deadly whirlpool. Who will survive these terrors-and how?
Tales from the Odyssey: the Gray-Eyed Goddess - Book 4
by Mary Pope Osborne
For nearly twenty years, Odysseus has fought terrifying giants and monsters, weathered the loss of his men, and angered gods and goddesses. Now he is trapped on the island of the alluring sea goddess, Calypso. Back in Ithaca, his wife, Penelope, and their son, Telemachus, are desperately warding off the suitors who want to marry Penelope in order to take control of Odysseus's island. Then a visit from a mysterious stranger gives Telemachus the courage to confront the suitors, and to head off in search of his long-lost father. Could the stranger be the gray-eyed warrior goddess, Athena?
Tales from the Odyssey: Return to Ithaca - Book 5
by Mary Pope Osborne
After struggling against the gods and his fate for more than twenty years, Odysseus has returned to Ithaca at last. But things have changed: what used to be his island has been overrun by suitors who clamor for his wife's hand in marriage and plague his son, Telemachus. With the help of the gray-eyed goddess, Athena, Odysseus and Telemachus must set out to regain control of Ithaca. In these books based on episodes from Homer's Odyssey, Mary Pope Osborne brings to life the exciting adventures of one of the greatest heroes of all time.
Tales from the Odyssey: the Final Battle - Book 6
by Mary Pope Osborne
After struggling against the gods and his fate for more than twenty years, Odysseus has returned to Ithaca at last. But things have changed: what used to be his island has been overrun by suitors who clamor for his wife's hand in marriage and plague his son, Telemachus. With the help of the gray-eyed goddess, Athena, Odysseus and Telemachus set out to regain control of Ithaca. In the last book of the series based on episodes from Homer's Odyssey, Mary Pope Osborne brings one of the greatest adventures of all time to a dramatic climax.
Bright-Eyed Athena: Stories from Ancient Greece
by Richard Woff
A group of women, spinning and weaving wool in a house in classical Athens, share ancient myths and legends about the beautiful and fearsome Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom. Bright-Eyed Athena collects eight famous and lesser-known Greek myths retold especially for children in a lively and readable format, illustrated with statues, gems, and pottery fragments from the collections of the Getty and other museums. The tales of the great weaving contest between Arachne and Athena, Pandora's box, Perseus, and the Gorgon Medusa, along with other myths, represent a captivating introduction to the history and culture of ancient Athens.
We Goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, Hera
by Doris Orgel
In "life" they hardly got along, but their book is a triumph of witty, robust, spell-casting collaboration. The Greek myths have never before been told by their leading ladies, nor ever before in such a charming, conversational yet dramatic and modern way. The tellings of Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera intertwine (though none repeats a myth), enabling us to hear more than one perspective on events and motives -- say, for instance, their wrangle over the golden apple and the outbreak of the Trojan War. And the cast of Olympian, mortal, and animal characters is unforgettable, as it has been since the times of Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, and Ovid, whose originals are the author's first sources here. Miraculous births, triumphs and sorrows in love, spats and adventures are all given a personal vividness, the voice of each goddess being distinctly her own. An introduction in the author's voice casts light on the Greeks' sense of right and wrong, and on their attitudes toward the social/political position of women (debased on earth, exalted on high), as well as explaining how children helped in the shaping of this book. In an Epilogue/Afterword, the goddesses personally invite readers to Olympus to choose among them as the young shepherd Paris had to. But now, their rivalries stilled, a sense of sisterhood prevails. Opulent original paintings adorn their tellings; back-matter pages of sculptures, vases, and friezes show how Classical artists imagined the goddesses, whose selves have proved to be deservedly immortal.
Pompeii: Lost and Found
by Mary Pope Osborne
The famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius that snuffed out life in Pompeii and buried the town has long been a fascinating moment in history for children. This book presents that dramatic story with Mary Pope Osborne's brief text and with stunning frescoes created by Bonnie Christensen, using the same colors, style, and technique as the ancient frescoes unearthed at Pompeii. In addition to the destruction of Pompeii and the rediscovery of the ruins nearly 1,700 years later, the book shows what daily life was like in this prosperous Roman town in the year 79 A.D.
Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 12 and up:
by Adèle Geras
The siege of Troy has lasted almost ten years. Inside the walled city, food is scarce and death is common. From the heights of Mount Olympus, the Gods keep watch. But Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is bored with the endless, dreary war. Aided by Eros's bow, the goddess sends two sisters down a bloody path to an awful truth: In the fury of war, love strikes the deadliest blows. Heralded by fans and critics alike, Adèle Geras breathes personality, heartbreak, and humor into this classic story.
by Adèle Geras
Many years have passed since the end of the Trojan War, and Penelope is still waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to return home. The city of Ithaka is overrun with uncouth suitors from the surrounding islands who are vying to win Penelope's hand in marriage, thereby gaining control of the land. When a naked, half-drowned man washes up on the beach, everything changes. . . .
Told through the eyes of Klymene, a young girl who is like a daughter to Penelope-and who longs for more than friendship from the young prince Telemachus-Ithaka captures the quiet strength and patience of a woman's enduring love for her husband and the ensuing chaos that threatens all as Penelope is pressured to remarry.