Examining the remains of seven Egyptian mummies ranging from a prehistoric farmer who lived about 3400 b.c. to a schoolboy from Roman Egypt in 120 a.d., the author, a lecturer at the British Museum, provides a fascinating introduction to history. She explains where and how mummies were found, how they were made and why, how they were treated by early archaeologists and treasure seekers, and what can be learned, from studying mummies, about history, medicine, and life in the past. Mummies are treated with dignity and photographed with sensitivity. Portraits and painted plaster portrait masks are particularly effective, as are the inclusion of oddities that will appeal to young readers, such as, for example, animal mummies, with photographs from the underground tombs at Saqqara, which contain millions of mummified ibis. The author includes a map, timeline, glossary, further reading, index, and picture credits. Vivid, full-color photographs, lively writing, and an attractive and accessible format make this a first choice for studying the life and times of ancient Egypt. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-202600-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2001

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A beautiful, powerful reflection on a tragic history.


In spare verse, Lowry reflects on moments in her childhood, including the bombings of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. 

When she was a child, Lowry played at Waikiki Beach with her grandmother while her father filmed. In the old home movie, the USS Arizona appears through the mist on the horizon. Looking back at her childhood in Hawaii and then Japan, Lowry reflects on the bombings that began and ended a war and how they affected and connected everyone involved. In Part 1, she shares the lives and actions of sailors at Pearl Harbor. Part 2 is stories of civilians in Hiroshima affected by the bombing. Part 3 presents her own experience as an American in Japan shortly after the war ended. The poems bring the haunting human scale of war to the forefront, like the Christmas cards a sailor sent days before he died or the 4-year-old who was buried with his red tricycle after Hiroshima. All the personal stories—of sailors, civilians, and Lowry herself—are grounding. There is heartbreak and hope, reminding readers to reflect on the past to create a more peaceful future. Lowry uses a variety of poetry styles, identifying some, such as triolet and haiku. Pak’s graphite illustrations are like still shots of history, adding to the emotion and somber feeling. He includes some sailors of color among the mostly white U.S. forces; Lowry is white.

A beautiful, powerful reflection on a tragic history. (author’s note, bibliography) (Memoir/poetry. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-12940-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A blend of fact and fiction in both text and pictures add up to a resistible invitation to create coded messages by substituting Egyptian hieroglyphics for plain language. In the perfunctory plot, an archeologist acquires a mysterious, veiled helper who guides him from one simple written clue to the next, leading ultimately to an artifact that was stolen and hidden away thousands of years ago. Along the way there’s plenty of opportunity to explain ancient Egyptian writing and funerary customs, to fill page space with small photos or images of surviving or reconstructed tombs, sarcophagi, painted murals and statuary and to practice translating the aforementioned clues. The historical information is easily available elsewhere, and though the downloadable typeface on the embedded CD will make the creation of new messages much less tedious than having to draw hieroglyphics by hand, even dedicated fans of codes and ciphers aren’t likely to give this more than a quick once-over. (Fact/fiction blend. 11-13)

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6411-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2010

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