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
Cleopatra: Discover the World of Cleopatra through the Diary of her Handmaid Nefretby 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 Cleopatra's struggle to become a pharaoh and her relentless determination to rule Egypt well. A reference chapter provides accurate historical and cultural context.
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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