THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA by Kelly Trumble

THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A stirring account of the rise and fall of the ancient world’s largest library, said to contain half-a-million items at its height. Founded, like most major libraries, by ruthless autocrats—including one member of the Ptolemy family who ordered all incoming ships searched for books, and permanently “borrowed” manuscripts from the Athenian government archives—it quickly became a renowned center for scholarship. Trumble profiles several still-famous scientists who lived or studied there, from Aristarchus and Ptolemy to Euclid and Archimedes; she also scans the whole history of the city and its famous lighthouse, then closes with maps, a family tree, a quick city tour, and a note on the recently opened Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Though she never mentions Hypatia or any other woman (aside from Cleopatra) associated with the library, and one of Marshall’s stiff, bland tableaus shows Alexander the Great stabbing a Persian with the wrong end of a spear, this tribute performs a worthy task in bringing a fabled institution of learning up from the footnotes, while showing young readers that libraries have a surprisingly colorful history. (index, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 2003
ISBN: 0-395-75832-7
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2003