Orphan of the Sun

( 3 )

Overview

Meryt-Re should consider herself lucky: her aunt and uncle take good care of her, a boy in the village wants to marry her, and the village itself is favored by the kings because it is home to the builders of the great Egyptian tombs. But as a teenage girl in Ancient Egypt, Meryt struggles with an uncle who wants to get rid of her, a village in turmoil over its leadership, and people not being quite as honest as they seem. Suspected of witchery and assumed to be ungrateful, Meryt must find her own way to happiness...

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Orphan of the Sun

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Overview

Meryt-Re should consider herself lucky: her aunt and uncle take good care of her, a boy in the village wants to marry her, and the village itself is favored by the kings because it is home to the builders of the great Egyptian tombs. But as a teenage girl in Ancient Egypt, Meryt struggles with an uncle who wants to get rid of her, a village in turmoil over its leadership, and people not being quite as honest as they seem. Suspected of witchery and assumed to be ungrateful, Meryt must find her own way to happiness as she uncovers mysteries the rest of the village is too preoccupied to acknowledge.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ann T. Reddy Damon
Meryt-Re, orphaned, thirteen years old, and facing a proposal of marriage to a boring man, has much on her mind. Her best friend's father is accused of theft, her dreams offer glimpses of prophecies, and she is tormented by her cousin Baki. When Baki's ritual circumcision causes grave illness, she finds herself homeless as well. Meryt-Re, Beloved of Re, consults her father's tomb for advice on her troubles. She draws her prayers on an ostracon (broken piece of pottery or stone) and offers them to Hathor, the cow-headed goddess of love. But it is from her friendship with Teti, the Knowing One famous for her powers of divination and herb lore, that Meryt learns of her own place in the village. She must trust the voice of her gods and act on these words, allowing others to do as they must. This intriguing tale set in ancient Egypt combines the clever sleuthing of a great mystery with historical relevance. Harvey fictionalizes characters out of the ruins of Set Maat, modern-day Deir el Medina, a village inhabited by the tomb builders of the New Kingdom in 1169 BC. The villagers' social structures, religious beliefs, and living patterns are woven into this story through fictionalized characters. This book would make a fine addition to a cross-curricular study of Ancient Egyptian culture, although a discussion of historical relativism should also be included. It makes the factual events in textbooks livelier through a well-told story.
School Library Journal

Gr 5–8
In ancient Egypt, where the gods and magic rule peoples' lives, 13-year-old Meryt-Re rejects her uncle's assertion that she is under the power of Sekhmet, bringing pestilence and destruction to those around her. Still, her cousin's circumcision becomes infected and he comes close to death; and there is trouble in town where a worker is making increasingly serious accusations against his foreman, the father of her best friend. Thrown out of her uncle's home, Meryt-Re eventually finds refuge with the town Wise Woman, who helps her make sense of her psychic dreams and bring healing to her community as well as to her family. Full of details of daily life in an artisan town exclusively devoted to building royal tombs, the story plunges readers into a very different political and social world. Meryt-Re's world seems distant, but the author provides some connections: readers will sympathize with her unwillingness to marry someone she doesn't like and the difficulty she has coming to terms with her own powers. Solid historical fiction with special appeal for fans of Egyptian history.
—Kathleen IsaacsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A spirited girl with a gift for predicting the future unravels secrets plaguing a village in ancient Egypt. As an orphan, 13-year-old Meryt-Re occupies a precarious position in Set Maat, a village housing craftsmen who build the royal tombs of the New Kingdom. Tormented by her cousin Baki, Meryt never feels welcome in her uncle Senmut's crowded house. Senmut is eager to see Meryt married to a plodding stonecutter she barely knows, especially since her ability to foretell events has many villagers wondering if she is under the power of Sekhmet, goddess of pestilence and destruction. When Baki becomes gravely ill, Senmut blames Meryt and banishes her. Haunted by strange dreams, the homeless Meryt turns to Teti, the village "rekhet," who teaches her to use dreams to find the truth. With the welfare of her family and friends threatened by mysterious events, Meryt follows her instincts and eventually solves the puzzle. Harvey deftly weaves historically accurate details of daily life in sun-scorched Set Maat into an intriguing plot. Fascinating fodder for budding Egyptologists. (glossary, maps) (Historical fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582346854
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/25/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gill Harvey has written and contributed to many nonfiction books for young people. This is her first work of fiction. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    isabel, complete bookworm

    this book is thrilling and it totally got me hookedon the first page. it took me only one day to read it!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Really Good

    I really liked this book. I would totally reccomend this to another person. I was so hooked on the fist page. It took me like 2 days to read it. (reading only at home after school and homework). It was really addictive.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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