Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded
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Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers: One Hundred Ancient Egyptian Jobs You Might Have Desired or Dreaded

by Kristin Butcher, Martha Newbigging
     
 

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Imagine being an interpreter of dreams in ancient Egypt.

What was the daily grind like for the ancient Egyptians? Imagine it's your job to carve elaborate tombs out of rock formations (it will take years to do) or man an army outpost in the extreme heat of the desert. You might have worked transporting some of the over 2 million stones for the Great Pyramid or

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Overview

Imagine being an interpreter of dreams in ancient Egypt.

What was the daily grind like for the ancient Egyptians? Imagine it's your job to carve elaborate tombs out of rock formations (it will take years to do) or man an army outpost in the extreme heat of the desert. You might have worked transporting some of the over 2 million stones for the Great Pyramid or engineered irrigation projects along the Nile. Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers offers an innovative look at the jobs that kept Ancient Egypt running for 3,000 years.

Among the 100 careers profiled you'll also find reed cutters (who worked naked), sandal makers (many went barefoot) and even embalmers (pulling out organs took special training). Whether prestigious or poor, Egyptians had to be tough, trustworthy, stealthy and skilled to get by.

Complete with a fact-filled introduction, a comprehensive timeline and playful illustrations throughout, Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers will inspire readers to imagine how they may have lived out their days as a member of one of history's most fascinating civilizations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Hazel Rochman
This lively, illustrated volume introduces readers [to] the culture of ancient Egyptians by focusing on the work that they did. After a brief historical introduction, 15 chapters look at different job categories, including the military, the government, monument building, assisting the pharaoh, and entertainment. Illustrated with lots of playful cartoon characters, the text is interactive (What would you do?), but the chatty tone sometimes feels distracting. Getting ready for the afterlife was a big deal, for example, and the khopesh sword was dandy for chopping off heads. But the browsable format will introduce readers to the densely detailed social history about artisans, service jobs, miners, wet nurses, and much more, to say nothing of the gory specifics of removing the body's internal organs to mummify a corpse.
Canadian Review of Materials (CM) - Marilynne Black
Do school libraries need another book about ancient Egypt? When it is this book -- a resounding yes! Whereas many titles on ancient Egypt feature the lives of the pharaohs and the monuments they built, Butcher's book gives much information often not discussed in others on the topic. This title details the lives of those who actually built and decorated these monuments as well as those that served the pharaoh in many capacities. That it does so in such a fresh, amusing, and interesting way makes this book a must-have in all school libraries. Written in an easy-going informal style, this is a title that will certainly grab children's attention and maintain their interest... Kristin butcher is a prolific and versatile, award-winning writer who has produced 12 novels for a variety of age ranges and interests. The genres and topics include fantasy, sports, science, and mystery. Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers is a departure as it is nonfiction yet contains much evidence that she is a skilled writer. Highly Recommended.
Library Media Collection - Betty Russell
This book will appeal to advanced upper elementary children and middle school students who are researching life in ancient Egypt. The cartoon-like illustrations grab their attention and keep the mood light. The occupations are listed in a table of contents that breaks them down into categories...They are described with just the right amount of detail and interesting asides.... If your students research this time period, it would be useful in the school and public library collection.
INFOLINK - Brenda Kahn
With its humorous cartoon illustrations and humorous delivery, students will enjoy the book.
Canadian Teacher
This is the fourth in a series of books that explore occupations in ancient times. This volume focuses on Egypt 5000 years ago, describing 100 jobs that would have been common in the days of pharaohs and pyramids. The book begins with a short introductory section which provides information about this period in history; the remaining pages are devoted to half- or one-page discussions about particular jobs, grouped into fifteen chapters with titles such as Army Jobs, Government Jobs, Artisan Jobs, etc. The text speaks directly to the reader, as if describing his/her own occupation, in a light-hearted style that helps to bring the historical information to life. The cartoon-like illustrations contribute to the enjoyment of reading the text, often adding a touch of humour. Sidebars provide additional, supporting information on many pages. The simple page lay-up and short job profiles make this book easily accessible as a source of information for Social Studies projects or simply browsing out of interest.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—This book takes a clever approach to teaching kids about ancient Egyptian life. After a brief introduction, various jobs are discussed, such as archer, herder, grinding girl, and noblewoman, with each entry relating how the role fits into society. The jobs are arranged by type ("Nile Jobs," "Assisting Pharaoh Jobs," "Entertainment Jobs") into 15 chapters. Written in the second person, these short descriptions, along with the color cartoon-style drawings, attempt to entertain and educate at the same time. For the most part, this technique is successful, but the tone is a bit patronizing and overly simplistic in an attempt to make the material entertaining. Jacqueline Morley's You Wouldn't Want to Be a Pyramid Builder (Watts, 2004) is more successful at this format and at making history enjoyable in a factual way.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
"If you cry easily and enjoy causing a scene, you might like being a [hired] mourner." Or perhaps a Charioteer-"If you like excitement and can drive a chariot." From Tattoo Artist to Pharaoh him (or her) self, Butcher suggests a plethora of career possibilities (not actually options, since most jobs were inherited) for ancient Egyptians. Arranging occupations in general types ("Temple Jobs," "Personal Appearance Jobs"), the author briefly describes required skills, tools and hazards for each, along with bits of historical background for context. Newbigging echoes the lighthearted tone with lots of dark-skinned, bulb-nosed cartoon figures demonstrating each occupation and adds a handy map and timeline. A few minor flubs aside (no, the Mayan pyramids aren't as old as the Egyptian ones), this joins its series mates Archers, Alchemists and 98 Other Medieval Jobs (2003) and the rest in presenting an unusual, cross-sectional view of a commonly studied historical society. The annotated list of recommended further reading, though far from exhaustive, includes both fiction and nonfiction choices. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554511709
Publisher:
Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
02/20/2009
Series:
Jobs in History Series
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Meet the Author

A former teacher, Kristin Butcher has written 10 juvenile and young adult novels. She lives in Campbell River, B.C.

Martha Newbigging has illustrated many books, including Research Ate My Brain and Attack of the Killer Video Book. She lives in rural Ontario.

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