ANUBIS SPEAKS!

A GUIDE TO THE AFTERLIFE BY THE EGYPTIAN GOD OF THE DEAD

From the Secrets of the Ancient Gods series

Staid, dispensable illustrations aside, an informative and unusually lively look at the Egyptian way of death.

The jackal-headed god dares readers to come along on the sun god Ra’s nightly journey through Duat, the Egyptian afterworld, to rebirth.

Schecter (Cleopatra Rules!, 2010) properly notes at the outset that Egyptian beliefs were not monolithic, so her canine co-conspirator has chosen elements that convey the “gist.” The god himself steps up to promise with indecent relish that there will be “blood. And snakes. And decapitations. And monsters who like to gobble up hearts and squeeze heads until they pop.” Anubis begins by describing how Ra created the world and the major gods by (as he puts it) “hocking a giant lougie” but ultimately left Earth in disgust to take up residence in the heavens. He delivers an hour-by-hour travelogue of Ra’s passage through the “dark lands” and accounts of gory battles that repeatedly leave the evil giant snake Apophis chopped into sushi. Anubis goes on to deliver introductions to ancient Egyptian culture and myths, major pharaohs, mummification (with particular emphasis on the gross bits) and burial practices—since, as he perceptively points out, Ra’s voyage also served as symbol and metaphor for the human passage through life and the afterlife.

Staid, dispensable illustrations aside, an informative and unusually lively look at the Egyptian way of death. (cast list, glossary, bibliography, index) (Mythology. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-995-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

GIVE ME LIBERTY!

THE STORY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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VAQUEROS

AMERICA’S FIRST COWBOYS

Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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