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Children's LiteratureBe they Alexander the Great's or Julius Caesar's, the political empires of the ancient world were practically transient compared to the enduring intellectual empire of the Library of Alexandria. Its rooms were the offices of the immortal ancient scientists, from Euclid to Ptolemy to Archimedes. The library was the baby of a blossoming culture of knowledge, but it was also a problem child: the accumulation of its collections was rife with scandal, and the scholars who used the library stirred up more trouble by daring to go against the grain of conventional thought. This book emphasizes the story of the library, treating it almost as a living thing. It documents the founding of the library, its changes over the years and its ultimate destruction; various chapters about astronomy, geography, mathematics and medicine highlight the huge advancements in human knowledge made possible through the library's holdings. This book dispenses with the flashy layout of tables, charts and text-bites characterizing so much children's nonfiction, a format which may discourage lukewarm readers, but which gives the main narrative more punch for those who actually sit down and read it. At any rate, although the book's reading level is not particularly difficult, the intertwining—and sometimes confusing—web of Greek, Egyptian and Roman cultures will probably make this a choice for a more enthusiastic audience. End-of-the-book features include maps, a family tree of Egyptian rulers, glossary, bibliography, further reading list and index. 2003, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 9 to 13.