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Cleopatra's Moon

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Overview

Princess of Egypt... Cleopatra Selene is the only daughter of the brilliant Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius of Rome. She?s grown up with jewels on her arms, servants at her feet, and all the pleasures of a palace at her command, and she wants only to follow in her mother?s footsteps and become a great and powerful queen. Prisoner of Rome.... Then the Roman ruler Octavianus, who has always wanted Egypt?s wealth, launches a war that destroys all Selene has ever known. Taken to live in ...

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Cleopatra's Moon

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Overview

Princess of Egypt... Cleopatra Selene is the only daughter of the brilliant Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius of Rome. She’s grown up with jewels on her arms, servants at her feet, and all the pleasures of a palace at her command, and she wants only to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a great and powerful queen. Prisoner of Rome.... Then the Roman ruler Octavianus, who has always wanted Egypt’s wealth, launches a war that destroys all Selene has ever known. Taken to live in Octavianus’ palace in Rome, she vows to defeat him and reclaim her kingdom at all costs. Yet even as she gathers support for her return, Selene finds herself torn between two young men and two different paths to power. Will love distract her from her goal - or help her achieve her true destiny? Epic in scope and ravishing in detail, this audio book reveals the extraordinary life of a girl long hidden in history: the remarkable Cleopatra Selene.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This fascinating historical novel explores the tumultuous history of Cleopatra VIII Selene, the only daughter of Cleopatra VII and Marcus Antonius. "How was it that I went from a Princess of Egypt—the daughter of the most powerful queen in the world—to a prisoner of Rome, and now, to the bride of a petty ruler in the scrubs of Africa?" a teenage Cleopatra Selene wonders, before the narrative rewinds a decade to her upbringing in Alexandria and the dissolution of the Egyptian empire. The early sections highlight the high stakes, political pressure, and dangers facing Cleopatra VII's reign and the rich complexities of the Egyptian religion. Shecter (Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen) strongly sketches court life and highlights the differences between Cleopatra Selene's youth in Alexandria with the more restrictive court of Rome where Selene and her brothers move after her parents' deaths. In Rome, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers dodge palace dangers, including an attempt on their lives, with grace. Cleopatra Selene proves a stalwart heroine, and the novel's atmospheric setting and romantic intrigue are highly memorable. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

"Cleopatra Selene, the 16-year-old daughter of Egypt’s greatest rulers, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, begins a new life in Rome at her captor’s palace, with twin brother Alexandros and younger brother Ptolly. As they encounter palace intrigue, foreign religions, and cruel treatment, Selene mourns her parents and grows into a woman as beautiful and irresistible as her mother. Kirsten Potter’s delivery of the first-person point of view, along with her quick pace and youthful voice, evolves as  Selene ages and matures. Potter conveys Selene’s fears and frustrations as she’s torn between two men, two outlooks, and two paths to power in pursuit of returning to her beloved homeland. Potter’s delivery of vivid, sensory details transports the listener back to the sands of ancient times." 
G.D.W.  © AudioFile Portland, Maine
VOYA - Lynn Evarts
Goddess Isis is not being kind to Cleopatra VIII Selene ("Little Moon"), the only daughter of Cleopatra VII and Marcus Anthony. Little Moon is desperately trying to discover her place within her mother's Egyptian kingdom, but external forces keep interfering. Stress in her kingdom increases dramatically when her mother and Tata (Anthony) travel to Rome to fight for their land. Their deaths, along with the death of her twin brother, plunge Little Moon into a whole new world. Suddenly, she is no longer the pampered daughter of the queen of Egypt, but a forced exile in Rome. As time progresses, she learns to rely on the lessons her mother taught her and her own strong personality. Eventually, she meets someone who is her match, and together they rule parts of Algeria and Morocco in peace and prosperity. Historical fiction can be complex to write and to read, and Shecter does not shy away from these complexities, detailing not Cleopatra herself but her daughter. Kings, queens, princesses, gods and goddesses—Roman and Egyptian—make up this sweeping history. There is a character list at the beginning of the book that is vital to keeping track of all of the players, and "Facts within the Fiction" at the end of the book details the actual history of the times. Well written and painstakingly researched, this book will be a wonderful addition to advanced history reading lists and for students who like a fascinating story and a bit of a reading challenge. Reviewer: Lynn Evarts
Children's Literature - Amanda MacGregor
Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleaopatra VII and Marcus Antonius, is used to a life of splendor in Egypt. All of that starts to fall apart when her father names Caesarion (son of Cleaopatra VII and Julius Caesar) king of Egypt. Octavianus, Julius Caesar's nephew, was to be the one true heir and inherit the position of king. He declares war on Egypt, focusing on destroying Cleopatra's family. After both of their parents die, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers are taken to Rome, where they suffer further heartbreak yet hold out hope for returning to Egypt. Cleopatra Selene is determined to be like her mother, to make choices that will allow her to reclaim her destiny and Egypt, yet must face the truth that maybe her mother's choices are not the only ones available to her. Readers who appreciate a strong female protagonist will especially enjoy this dense historical novel. The large cast of characters is sometimes difficult to keep straight, particularly in the cases where multiple characters share similar names, but readers who persevere and find their footing will be treated to a wonderfully written story of intrigue, romance, and adventure. An appended section about the historical facts and liberties taken flesh out Cleopatra Selene's life and eventual rule. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Based on the lives of Cleopatra's children, this book is narrated by the queen's only daughter, Cleopatra Selene, whose father was Marcus Antonius and whose name means moon. Starting in Alexandria just as Octavianus is attacking the kingdom, Cleopatra Selene goes from a happy childhood at age seven to seeing her father kill himself, losing her mother, and being shipped off to Rome to live in the house of her enemy. Having been crowned queen along with her twin Alexandros, as the next king before being whisked out of Egypt, Cleopatra holds on to the hope that somehow the followers of Isis, her mother's patron goddess, will help them escape back to Egypt, all the while convinced that Octavianus's wife is trying to poison her family. She turns away from her own heart and focuses on power, allowing herself to be seduced by Marcellus, the next in line to rule Rome. At 16, Cleopatra Selene is married off by Octavianus to the King of Mauretania, which leads to an unexpected ending. An afterword describes the history surrounding the plot. This novel has romance, drama, heartbreak, and adventure, all rooted in an accurate and descriptive historical setting. Shecter writes about the world of ancient Egypt and Rome with wonderful detail, making it come alive and bringing in the Jewish culture that existed in both Rome and Alexandria. Her characters are skillfully fictionalized, and readers will connect with the hardship suffered by the children, particularly the deaths of Cleopatra Selene's brothers. A fantastic read with some valuable history.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545221313
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 286,847
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicky Alvear Shecter has been fascinated by the ancient world since she was ten, when photographs of classical sculptures like the Spear Bearer and the Venus de Milo led her to wonder about the cultures that created such transcendent bueaty. She has written two nonfiction books for young readers: Alexander the Great Rocks the World, a VOYA Honor Pick for Nonfiction, and Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen. This is her first novel. Vicky lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. Visit her at www.vickyalvearshecter.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    An amazing piece of historical fiction and definitely a must rea

    An amazing piece of historical fiction and definitely a must read for any teen!
    Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is a novel that follows the life of Cleopatra VII's daughter Cleopatra Selene after the death of her parents and the siege of her beloved kingdom Egypt. Now orphans, Cleopatra and her brothers are sent to Rome where they are to live under the custody of Octavian and his household. As a fourteen year old, this book is by far one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read and would recommend it to anyone. Everything in the book is described so vividly, that you almost feel that you are with Cleopatra everywhere in the story. Shecter has managed to grasp every last detail of Cleopatra's life and has obviously done her research, when it comes to the history of this time period.
    The story itself is a very sad and heartbreaking tale, but there is no doubt that beauty shines through each and every word in the book. The plot is filled with tragedy and despair, but at the same time there are glimpses of other story elements. Besides the losses, she feels for the people she cares about, young Cleopatra Selene finds herself caught in a love triangle between two different men; an Octavian's heir, Marcellus and Juba, an African prince afraid to face his past. Though Cleopatra can only choose one, both men offer her something she deeply wants; love and power.
    Everything about this book is amazing to me. I was skeptical at first about taking this book from the library that I hadn't heard about, but as soon as I started reading I was instantly hooked. I especially love the front cover and admire it for its beauty. I love all the characters in this book, especially Cleopatra Selene because she changes from a spoiled little brat to a clever and cunning adult. Everything is so accurate and it is easy to feel as if you are in Rome and Egypt as well. This book gives you so much insight on history that you can just indulge in it. There is so much emotion that you can feel while reading this, especially the chills running down your spine when you truly grasp how inhumane Octavian really was. There's everything from romance, adventure, tragedy, heart break, loss, love, treachery, and even sacrifice. I promise you, this is definitely a book that anyone will enjoy and love.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    Heartbreakingly Beautiful

    Vicky Alvear Shecter paints an incredible picture of life in the time of Cleopatra both in Egypt and Rome. Her worldbuilding is extensive and detailed without ever slowing down the narrative of the story. Historical fiction lovers of all ages should have no complaints, and while I cannot promise that they will love the heartbreaking journey of Cleopatra Selene's life from childhood to adulthood (there were moments when I had to stop reading because I was so emotionally invested in the story that the tragedy was too much to bear without a breather) I can promise that the style and quality of the storytelling is exceptional!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2012

    This book is a wonderful piece of historical fiction, and it is

    This book is a wonderful piece of historical fiction, and it is very intriguing, especially for someone like me who is interested in this specific time period. I actually met the author of this book at a Latin Convention I attended, and from what I saw, she does some very extensive research before she writes her books; the result is that the settings and time periods she portrays are very historically accurate. This book uses wonderful imagery and descriptive language, making you feel as if you are really on the Nile or in the grungy streets of Rome, right along with Cleopatra Selene. The way the book is written really makes you sympathize with the characters and their struggles, especially Cleopatra Selene and her attempts to find her rightful place in the world. It is definitely worth your time if you are interested in ancient Egyptian and Roman culture.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Zippin388

    I found this a VERY interesting book. If you like historical facts or mythology i would deffently reccomend it to you!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!

    U have to read this u willl love it!! Best book ever!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    GREAT BOOK!

    Loved reading this! I'm actually still mad that I finished it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Awesome!

    Im on chapter 23. Andbitsbso good! Its also realy sad. So if if u dont like sad books. Than i wouldnt recromend readin it. Other wise its the best book ever! Its goodbfor kids 12 and older. I cant wait tobfinish it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Just fantastic

    Even if you are not interested in history this is still an amazing book! I loved it and couldnt put it down and it was fun talking about the story with my friend. The endings really good too!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    must read and amazing i want to read another story like this

    must read and amazing i want to read another story like this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Different

    Loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Beyond Compare!!!

    I am in Latin at my high school, so we learned the stories about Caesar and Marc Antony. But even though i know the true history that this story is based on, I love it!!!!! It is a fantastic twist to a tragic history! It shows the strength it takes to get past such hard times. Much of the story is based on the true history of Cleopatra Selene and what happened to her family! But the way the author created the in between part of her life is amazing! No complaints what so ever!!!!!!!

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  • Posted August 9, 2013

    The only daughter of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Cleopatra Selene en

    The only daughter of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, Cleopatra Selene endures the deaths of her father and her mother before being dragged back to Rome by Octavianus to walk in his triumph. But her trials continue as she must survive traps set for her in Rome, and learn to become a queen in her own right.

    I love anything Egyptian (except Cleopatra VII, who just had to go and lose Egypt to the Romans), and Vicky Alvear Shecter delivers a wonderful novel with a strong heroine in Cleopatra Selene. While I knew the history regarding Selene's life, Shecter's version has many delightful twists and turns. The writing was atmospheric so I felt like I was actually trudging through the filth of the Subura in Rome, and the characters were all complicated and terribly human. And of course, being a sucker for romance, I adored the bit of a love triangle.

    This is a great book for lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy the ancient world and scrappy heroines!

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    I¿m not sure if there has ever been a book that left me as emoti

    I’m not sure if there has ever been a book that left me as emotional and/or completely fascinated by history as Cleopatra’s Moon. I have to admit I knew nothing about Cleopatra other than her skimpy Halloween costume. After reading this story about her daughter I find myself wanting to learn even more about their lives and the society they lived in. 
    This book has a good mix of reality with fantasy. I really appreciated the list facts at the end of the book where the author let us know her story is based on the truth and certain parts she took creative liberties. Throughout the story the author slipped in ancient terminology with a brief description. If there were more books like this I may have done better in history! (Okay, so there may be, but I have yet to discover them at least).
    The characters are wonderful and even though I knew certain ones would bite the dust, I still found myself emotional over their deaths as seen through the MC’s eyes. 
    The writing is brilliant. I found myself immersed in the story and I could get a real sense of what life back then would have been like.
    I’m certainly a fan of this author now and will read anything else she publishes! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Amazing story!

    An amazingly written story! This is the second story in a week i have read about Cleopatra Selene. I love the connection she shares with her and her brothers. Juba is an amazing character as well! The characters seemed as historically accurate as possible. This is thetype of story that brought out my love for reading as a child! If you love the ancient world this is a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Love,history, and a happy ending

    Loved it! Slow at some points but overall is a great book. The romance is there but doesn't overpower the story line. It seems very real and throws things for a loop to keep it interesting. I loved how the history aspect was tied into the story. I got a very enjoyable history lesson out of this. A must read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Breathtaking

    When i finished this book i just sat and was like "wow, this was the best book i ever read." Thr drama and the beauty shocked me and never had i felt so connected to book. The characters are developed with amazing detail. Must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Glow

    Broke my heart and built it up again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Definitely!

    Loved it!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Awesome!

    This was one of the best books i have ever read. I couldn't put it down. Really good if you are interested in history.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    As a historical fiction enthusiast, I’m always excited to

    As a historical fiction enthusiast, I’m always excited to see historical fiction on the shelves. More and more lately, I’ve been excited to see some of this coming to young adult shelves, especially since it’s some of my favorite stuff. I’m a huge fan of Egyptian history, specifically the Michelle Moran books for example. When I saw Cleopatra’s Moon on the shelves of the Teen section, I was instantly curious. Michelle Moran had already covered the topic of Cleopatra’s daughter Cleopatra Selene very well, but I was interested to see what the young adult take on her would be. The results were actually quite interesting.

    The beginning of the book was very similar to Moran’s, to the point that I was almost bored. Honestly, this isn’t Shecter’s fault: historical fiction is historical fiction. My interest began to rise, however, as Shecter began to make the different decisions, like letting both of Selene’s brothers live when they were at Rome. A few other plot twists and differences developed, and I was ecstatic. It really morphed into a different take on who Selene was, while keeping her likeable and relatable.

    Perhaps the most amusing difference between Moran and Shecter’s books is dictated by the shelves I found them on, adult and teen respectively. Though Cleopatra’s Moon was on the teen shelf, Shecter’s Selene actually makes more adult-ish decisions than Moran’s. Whether its witnessing her father’s death or planning to seduce a Roman man just like her mother did, this Selene is far more headstrong. Here is how Shecter gets Selene to transcend time and fit in on the teen shelf. She doesn’t hold back. Selene becomes a fighter, a girl determined to retake her homeland at any cost while asserting her pride in her female identity.

    Don’t get me wrong, I adore both books. Cleopatra’s Moon is going to go into a slot right next to my Michelle Moran books. This is what I so enjoy about historical fiction, these different views on the life of one person, and how they interacted with the other historical figures of their time. I certainly recommend Cleopatra’s Moon for all lovers of Egyptian historical fiction, teen or adult. Unlike Moran’s books, however, which were much more steeped in fact and historical story, I also recommend this book to readers curious but perhaps not entirely into historical fiction. (Moran’s books can also be read by non-history lovers, but I believe they’re more enjoyable when you have the background.) Whether you like history or not, the Selene of Cleopatra’s Moon is a feisty female heroine that every teen girl can relate to and take courage from.

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