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Cleopatra: Discover the World of Cleopatra through the Diary of her Handmaid Nefret
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Cleopatra: Discover the World of Cleopatra through the Diary of her Handmaid Nefret

by Adele Geras, M. P. Robertson (Illustrator), M. P. Robertson (Illustrator)
 
This innovative, fully illustrated, and factually accurate novel tells the story of the legendary Egyptian queen. At ten years old, a young girl named Nefret becomes a handmaid to Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. It is through her eyes, as a servant in Cleopatra's court, that the history of this powerful ruler unfolds. In Nefret's diary, readers will observe

Overview

This innovative, fully illustrated, and factually accurate novel tells the story of the legendary Egyptian queen. At ten years old, a young girl named Nefret becomes a handmaid to Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. It is through her eyes, as a servant in Cleopatra's court, that the history of this powerful ruler unfolds. In Nefret's diary, readers will observe Cleopatra's struggle to become a pharaoh and her relentless determination to rule Egypt well. A reference chapter provides accurate historical and cultural context.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6- The first part of this book is the fictionalized diary of Nefret, one of Cleopatra's young handmaidens. Many of the traditional stories surrounding Cleopatra and her dealings with the Romans are related, some of which are perhaps not completely true. The second part gives the historical background of ancient Egypt at the time of the queen's rule in a style reminiscent of the "Eyewitness" series (DK), while also tying the history into elements of Nefret's story. Because the whole book is relating aspects of both Egyptian and Roman history in relatively little text, it can only cover part of the story. The narrative, however, is not vague, and the second half has wonderful details about hairstyles, meals, and religion. The map of Alexandra adds great context, and the glossary and index make for easy navigation. The cover, with its three-dimensional jewels, is similar to that of the "Ologies" series (Candlewick), but the inside contains none of the extras, although it is no less exciting. The diary half of the book is illustrated with splashy full-color cartoon-style characters that have little bearing on reality (for example, Cleopatra is depicted as quite beautiful), but are humorous. The historical half has some illustrations but is mainly filled with photos of artifacts and paintings of ancient Egypt. This is a fun approach to Cleopatra's life and history, and readers will find it educational and entertaining.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

Kirkus Reviews
Beneath a heavy cover studded with "rubies" and other "gems," the diary of one of Cleopatra's handmaids offers a look at Ptolemaic Egypt's last years. Interspersed with comments about cats, the court and life in Alexandria, ten-year-old Nefret's chatty record of Cleopatra's successive intrigues with her husband/brother Ptolemy, Julius Caesar and later Marc Antony ends partway through. Then Geras switches to third person to trace Cleo's later life and to cover a series of related topics, from Egyptian people and gods to the Roman army. Robertson's paintings range from busy Alexandria street scenes to a view of Caesar's bloody corpse, and are populated with natural-looking, sometimes humorous figures, including a glimpse of Nefret "walking like an Egyptian." Capped by photos of the pyramids and Egyptian artifacts, this mix of fact and fancy isn't exactly seamless, but it does introduce one of history's heroines and brings her era to life in a reasonably accurate way. (glossary, index) (Historical fiction. 9-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780753460252
Publisher:
Kingfisher
Publication date:
10/15/2009
Series:
Lifelines Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
10.63(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Adele Geras was born in Jerusalem. Her first book appeared in 1976, and since then she has published many acclaimed books for children and young people, both here and in England. She is alsothe author of Facing the Light, abook for adult readers. She lives in Manchester with her husband, and they have two daughters.

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