For many years I had the rich treasure of reviewing books for our family’s book business, Emmanuel Books. It is a joy to read and review thousands of books offered today to choose the very best ones that fit not only our family, but the needs of the thousands of families we served for over 20 years.
Here is my go to list of the best books for the study of Ancient Egypt. I also did similar reviews for other time periods, like Medieval, Greek and Roman Times and American History too.
By Marian Broida
No study of Ancient Egypt can be complete without some exploration into the other cultures that existed at the same time and what better way than to add hands-on fun along with informative text. This unique activity book for children shows what life was like among the Nubians, Mesopotamians, Hittites, and their neighbors the Egyptians from around 3100 B.C., when Upper and Lower Egypt became one kingdom, to the death of Queen Cleopatra under the Romans, in 30 B.C. Projects such as building a Nubian irrigation machine, creating a Mesopotamian cylinder seal out of clay, and writing in Hittite cuneiform help young readers to connect with these ancient cultures and see how profoundly they have influenced our own. (PB 208 pp. 11” x 8 1/2”, 25 B/W Photos, ages 9+)
By Ralph Masiello
I love when we can incorporate art lessons into our study of history. In this engaging book Ralph Masiello explores the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, from the great pyramid of Khafra to Queen Nefertiti. Step-by-step diagrams show kids how to draw pyramids, sphinxes, pharaohs, and more. Bonus steps encourage young artists to customize their drawings with historically accurate symbols and other details. An introduction and annotations throughout the book provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of this ancient civilization. (PB, Gr. 3-7)
By Graham White
This challenging maze book is not just for fun, but is interspersed with fun facts about historical topics and culminates with a special code-cracking puzzle. All mazes are finger-traceable for easy reuse, and solutions are shown in the back of the book. In Secrets of the Pyramids, a friend’s father is trapped inside the Great Pyramid. To reach him, readers have to make their way through secret tunnels and chambers, deciphering hieroglyphics, uncovering buried treasures, and learning a lot about pyramid construction and life in the age of pharaohs. (PB 32 pages, size 9” x 11”, Gr. 3-8)
By Carmella Van Vleet
From reed boats, papyrus, and amulets to pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies, this interactive activity book explores the fascinating lives of ancient Egyptians with more than two dozen hands-on projects.
The informative text covers ancient Egyptian food and housing, games and toys, farming, medicine, clothing and jewelry, as well as gods, pharaohs, hieroglyphs, pyramids, temples, and mummies. It gives readers today a chance to experience how the ancient Egyptians lived, cooked, worked, worshipped, entertained themselves, and interacted with their neighbors through building projects that use common household items.
These engaging projects using easily obtainable materials and requiring little adult supervision build on what is taught in each section and include building a shaduf, making a 1:1,000 scale model of the Great Pyramid, cooking flatbread, recreating papyrus, mixing perfume, designing a cartouche using hieroglyphs, and making sandals in the style worn by King Tut. Detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project are combined with historical facts and anecdotes, biographies, and trivia for the real-life models of each project. Together they give kids a first-hand look at daily life in ancient Egypt. (PB, 128 pp. 60 Color Illustrations, 100 Line Drawings, 30 Diagrams, 8” x 10”, Gr. 5-8)
By Joanne Williamson
A never before published tale by the author of Hittite Warrior. It tells the story of Egypt during the Kushite dynasty. Young Taharka has assumed the throne after his father’s death, and is quickly pushed into exile by his own people, causing him to fall into the hands of Amos, an emissary of King Hezekiah seeking help for Judea from the Egyptians against the Assyrians. Now Taharka finds himself in the middle of a battle and having to choose between two kings – Sennacherib, the Assyrian, promising alliance – and Hezekiah, the Jew who trusts in Yahweh – and with whom he will live and die. (211 pages quality softcover – Ages 10+)
By Eloise Jarvis McGraw
A young boy is orphaned and left in the care of his older brother. His life’s ambition has been to learn the trade of a goldsmith in whose shop he serves, but his brother threatens to apprentice him to the stonecutters. (PB, 248 pages, Grade 4-8)
By Eloise Jarvis McGraw
A slave girl finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies— each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. (PB, 279 pages, Ages 11+)
By Joanne Williamson
Judea has always been the crossroads and battlefield of contending nations. When Uriah Tarhund’s Hittite home is destroyed by invading Greeks, his dying father tells him to go south and seek a Canaanite named Sisera. Uriah is plunged into the tumult of an uneasy Judea. When he saves a young boy from being sacrificed to Moloch, he is given succor for a time by the Hebrews. Later he finds Sisera and joins him in war against these same people. When the Canaanites are defeated, the young Hittite has the opportunity to come to a peace with himself, the Hebrew people and their God. Set in 1200 B.C. (PB, 238 pages, Ages 10+)