Pictured: me in Egypt, 2001. I feel fortunate to have visited this fascinating country. Here are some things I learned: camels grunt and their backs are higher than horses; even if you are not ordinarily a fan of orange soda, after you have been tramping around in the dessert all day, nothing will taste better than an orange Fanta; when the sun shines through the water in the Red Sea, it makes the goldfish really sparkly and beautiful… Okay, so I did not become very advanced in Egyptology per se. But it was a real thrill to stand in a pyramid or temple that people built over 3,000 years ago. That’s why I’m excited to debut a series of book reviews about time travel books in which kids go to Egypt. I’m hoping I will have a chance to learn some things, filling in blanks of things I might have missed on my trip. I’ll have a section in these posts called What I Learned About Egypt.
Tut, Tut by Jon Scieszka, (1996, 74 pages), is a fun book to kick off my series of Egypt posts, although it is actually not about King Tut. Does Scieszka write any bad books? I doubt it. Like other books in the Time Warp Trio series I have read, Tut, Tut is really funny, and moves along at a great clip. In this story Joe, Sam, and Fred are catapulted back through the years, this time with Joe’s little sister and his cat, into a tomb in ancient Egypt. They have to outwit a bad guy who tries to frame them as tomb robbers, and find their magic book in order to come home. Kind of amazing, with the book being short and funny, that Scieszka manages to include a lot of facts about ancient Egypt. Did I learn anything? Plenty!
What I Learned About Egypt
- Were there any women pharaohs? Yes! Not many, but Hapshepsut was one. She co-ruled with her son Thutmose III.
- The people of Egypt relied on the Nile flooding every year. This was now their crops got irrigated.
- Women and men wore eye makeup.
- Anubis, “the dog-headed guy”, is the god of mummification.
- Isis was a goddess who was the wife and sister of Osirus.
Quote from book:
“Thieves. Vermin. Crocodile dung. Where do you robbers come from in these strange garmets and sandals? Answer!”
For more middle grade book reviews, see the list of links on Shannon Messenger’s blog.