When a child thinks about ancient Egypt, the infamous images of mummies, pyramids and pharaohs may come to mind. Learning about ancient societies can be quite fun and adventurous for tweens and I believe that fictional sources can stir up some of the greatest adventures of the imagination. Mysteries tend to find a home in ancient Egypt setting, with protagonists ranging in age between 9-14 exploring a fascinating world full of suspense, intrigue and history.
Come and explore the world of ancient Egypt with some these great finds I’ve recently unearthed myself:
1. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
A cursed Egyptain amulet sends a curious girl named Theodosia Throckmorton on a mysterious, spellbinding adventure. Not sure if this one is right for you? Then read an excerpt by visiting Theosodia Throckmorton’s website at http://www.theodosiathrockmorton.com/read-an-excerpt/
Are you a teacher or librarian and need some resources for this book? This is also found on Theosodia’s informationally-packed website at http://www.theodosiathrockmorton.com/for-teachers-and-librarians
2. The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram
Aimed at ages 9-12, Ingram’s novel The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is about two boys named Justin and Adam who join their Aunt on an archeological dig to Egypt. A recent book review by BlogCritics recommends Ingram’s novel for the classroom, stating that “The Secret of Sacred Scarabalso has a lot of educational potential for teachers in the classroom. It can help to open up a lot of much needed discussion about Egypt and its very rich history and landscape. So, it would relevant in History and Geography classes.”
The book’s website at http://www.secretofthesacredscarab.com/allows readers to email the main characters Justin and Adam, adding another dimension of fun and interactivity.
3. The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt by Claudia Logan and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Publisher’s Weekly gives us a wonderful summary of this unique Egyptain mystery, stating,
“Logan (Scruffy’s Museum Adventure) uses a fictional boy hooked on ancient Egypt to guide readers through a real archeological dig in this gripping and entertaining picture book mystery. Young Will Hunt cannot wait to travel with his parents to Giza in 1924 Egypt. There, living right behind the pyramids, he is eyewitness to the discovery of a secret tomb and an excavation led by Harvard archaeologist Dr. George Reisner. The author organizes the narrative into the boy’s diary entries, and postcards home from Will to his friend Sam add immediacy and humor to the events… Ages 8 and up.”
4. The Orphan of the Sun by Gill Harvey
Recommended for ages 9-12, in the Orphan of the Sun, we are introduced to a strong female protagonist, 13 year old Meryt-Re- she is not a princess but rather an orphaned, ordinary girl struggling with her own identity. A complex plot mirrors the complexity of Meryt-Re’s struggles. While set in Egypt, this book could easily fall into the categories of self-identity, girlhood and mystery.
A wonderful interactive website: http://www.orphanofthesun.com/
5. The Mummies’ Treasure by Richard Barcott
A great middle school read, the Mummies’ Treasure is very a ‘boy book’ in that all its protagonists are males (Dr. Randalls and his nephew and son). Driven into adventure set in Egypt, this mystery type book would be great for boys 9-12.
Need more suggestions? Below are some more useful websites recommending books to tweens set in ancient Egypt.
Many of these titles have been published in the 19th and 20th centuries, so copy availability may vary depending on your library system: