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Children's LiteratureThis follow-up to Castle Diary and Pirate Diary (both also by Richard Platt) focuses on a nine-year-old Egyptian boy named Nakht who travels with his family to the bustling metropolis of Memphis. There his father can continue his own work as a scribe while training young Nakht in the craft. Nakht writes in his diary about everyday life in ancient Egypt: school struggles, squabbles with his sister Tamyt, and minor adventures and mishaps, such as the consumption of a friend's dog by a crocodile. Larger mysteries are afoot, too, such as the apprehension of a group of grave robbers and the true identity of King Hatshepsut. These plot elements are sure to draw in young readers, but the main value of the narrative is in its plentiful details about ancient Egyptian customs and culture. Parkins' broad, often humorous cartoon-like illustrations also make the historical elements more accessible. Several pages of historical notes (including a timeline) are provided at the end of the main narrative. 2005, Candlewick, Ages 9 to 12.