Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Geraldine Harris' first-rate "Cultural Atlas" of Ancient Egypt begins with a history of the pharaohs which spans the almost 3,000 years from Egypt's unification to the arrival of the Romans. It concludes with an archaeological journey down the Nile, from Lower Nubia, south of Egypt, to the Mediterranean coast, stops at Abu Simbel, Luxor, Memphis and other noteworthy, artifact-laden sites. Lavishly illustrated with well-chosen, -annotated, and -placed photographs, illustrations, maps, and timelines, Ms. Harris' smooth narrative is a pleasure to read and learn from.
In addition to death and taxes, another inevitability of life is that those of middle school age will be called upon to write reports about ancient times. To librarians and media specialists, the search for interesting and complete sources remains a challenge. Fortunately, this revised seven-book "Cultural Atlas for Young People" series of cultural atlases is replete with enough colorful maps, time lines, photographs, and illustrations to satisfy even the most finicky student. Works about Greece, America, Rome, Africa, and the first civilizations accompany these volumes. Having different authors ensures that each book in the series will have diverse styles while maintaining the general purpose of providing insight into and information about each civilization. Some books offer slightly more detail about the human aspect whereas others concentrate on the technical maps and factual data. All follow the same basic format and contain similar features. Ancient Egypt is divided into two main sections. The first is the story of Egypt through its beginnings to the coming of the Romans. The second part explores the regions and sites along the famous Nile River, with maps accompanying each section. Daily life and details for the kingdom are found in more depth than in other volumes. Those interested in striking visuals of the pyramids, mummies, and art objects of the period will find plenty to hold their attention. The sheer number of topics contained within each book makes for a better overview than an inclusive reference source for those researching a specific aspect of a civilization. In addition, the geographic and other detail found could be daunting for a younger or less experiencedstudent and might require some guidance. Those of middle and junior high school level will be better prepared to use this wonderful resource most efficiently. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Facts on File, 96p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Further Reading. Chronology., $35 PLB. Ages 11 to 15.
AGERANGE: Ages 10 to 14.
Over 4500 years ago Egyptian craftsmen, architects, and laborers put the finishing touches on the Great Pyramids of Giza. Now, thousands of visitors annually travel to visit these unbelievable edifices. Those pyramids are but one element of the civilization that was ancient Egypt. Geraldine Harris takes on the challenge of presenting salient aspects of this age old culture in this book, a part of the "Cultural Atlas for Young People" series. Combining photography and other imagery with a readable text, this book succeeds in introducing youngsters to the world of the ancient Egyptians. Among the subjects presented are biographies of some of the most noteworthy pharaohs, religious practices, commercial elements, and the memorable archeological sites that remain open to the public. While this book is, by definition, an introductory text, it does succeed in offering readers a once-over-lightly perspective. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
It's the detailed maps, informative full-color photographs and drawings, and the explanations of historical Egyptian locations that will make this book useful. Harris' text is dry, and concentrates on the archaeological sites of various time periods of ancient Egypt, giving far more detail than average grade-school researchers need. Although it touches on subjects such as mummy preparation, pyramid construction, and everyday life in ancient Egypt, the excellent visuals and the descriptions of ruins such as Abu Simbel and the temple at Karnak are the book's strengths. This offering would better serve perspective travelers to Egypt than students doing basic research. For more of an overview, try Robinson's Ancient Egypt (Watts, 1984). Purchase this one where Egyptology is a popular topic, or to supplement more rudimentary texts with archaeological and geographical detail. --Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library