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Cleopatra's Moon Hardcover – August 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cleopatra Selene, the 16-year-old daughter of Egypt’s greatest rulers, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, begins a new life in Rome at her captor’s palace, with twin brother Alexandros and younger brother Ptolly. As they encounter palace intrigue, foreign religions, and cruel treatment, Selene mourns her parents and grows into a woman as beautiful and irresistible as her mother. Kirsten Potter’s delivery of the first-person point of view, along with her quick pace and youthful voice, evolves as  Selene ages and matures. Potter conveys Selene’s fears and frustrations as she’s torn between two men, two outlooks, and two paths to power in pursuit of returning to her beloved homeland. Potter’s delivery of vivid, sensory details transports the listener back to the sands of ancient times." 
G.D.W.  © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

What Do Critics Have To Say About
One Of The Best Young Adult Romance Books Of The Year?



Entertainment Weekly: They put Cleopatra's Moon in their annual 'Must Read List' of young adult romance novels.

The Wall Street Journal: They infrequently review teen romance books but they made and exception for Cleopatra's Moon, calling it "An absorbing historical novel for sophisticated readers ages 14 and older."

Publisher's Weekly: The young adult historical fiction reviewer wrote, "Fascinating...the novel's atmospheric setting and romantic intrigue are highly memorable."

Shelf Awareness: The teen romance novels reviewer called it "Captivating...riveting."

Booklist: The young adult books reviewer called it "A fascinating take on a neglected historical figure."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545221307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545221306
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of the young adult novel, CLEOPATRA'S MOON (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two award-winning biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. The LA TIMES calls CLEOPATRA'S MOON, "magical" and "impressive." PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY said it was "fascinating" and "highly memorable." The WALL STREET JOURNAL called it "absorbing."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BCS on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cleopatra Selene is a force to be reckoned with, as were her mother, Cleopatra, and father, Marcus Antonius, yet who today knew she existed? Cleopatra Selene, as she prefers to be called,not only exists, she lives on every page of CLEOPATRA'S MOON, from her home in the palace in Alexandria, Egypt, to Rome where she and her brothers are taken by Octavianus after he conquered Egypt and her parents take their own lives. We follow her from 34 BCE to 25 BCE in her determination to return to and rule Egypt, to survive the threats on her and her brother's lives from Octavianus and Livia, and to serve and follow the Great Goddess, Isis. Who are her real friends..and enemies? Who truly loves her, Marcellus or Juba? Vicky Alvear Shecter's novel introduces us to a multifascited character as she steers Cleopatra Selene and us through the beauty of Alexandria to the rough-and-tumble, dirty, smelly Rome,full of intrigue and murder. Along the way, we meet historical figures, learn bits of the seven languages Cleopatra and her children spoke, see the customs of Alexandria and Rome, and live through the anxiety Cleopatra Selene feels, wishing we could help her. This is a MUST READ!
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Format: Hardcover
As a historical fiction enthusiast, I'm always excited to see historical fiction on the shelves. More and more lately, I've been excited to see some of this coming to young adult shelves, especially since it's some of my favorite stuff. I'm a huge fan of Egyptian history, specifically the Michelle Moran books for example. When I saw Cleopatra's Moon on the shelves of the Teen section, I was instantly curious. Michelle Moran had already covered the topic of Cleopatra's daughter Cleopatra Selene very well, but I was interested to see what the young adult take on her would be. The results were actually quite interesting.

The beginning of the book was very similar to Moran's, to the point that I was almost bored. Honestly, this isn't Shecter's fault: historical fiction is historical fiction. My interest began to rise, however, as Shecter began to make the different decisions, like letting both of Selene's brothers live when they were at Rome. A few other plot twists and differences developed, and I was ecstatic. It really morphed into a different take on who Selene was, while keeping her likeable and relatable.

Perhaps the most amusing difference between Moran and Shecter's books is dictated by the shelves I found them on, adult and teen respectively. Though Cleopatra's Moon was on the teen shelf, Shecter's Selene actually makes more adult-ish decisions than Moran's. Whether its witnessing her father's death or planning to seduce a Roman man just like her mother did, this Selene is far more headstrong. Here is how Shecter gets Selene to transcend time and fit in on the teen shelf. She doesn't hold back. Selene becomes a fighter, a girl determined to retake her homeland at any cost while asserting her pride in her female identity.

Don't get me wrong, I adore both books.
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Format: Hardcover
Vicky Alvear Shecter has shaped a world, an ancient world, vivid with sights and sounds and smells, to allow the reader to feel what it might have been like to live in ancient Egypt or Rome - a true treat. The multiple dieties and beliefs are so well woven into daily life, the reader gets a true sense of the morality of the times. And as Queen Cleopatra experiences her downfall, we are beside her, feeling the devastation and disappointment.

Through it all, we meet Cleopatra Selene - a young girl stuck in the middle of high politics who grows into a woman as capable as her mother. Brilliant, inquisitive and curious, she is a heroine for modern times as she struggles with the issues of free will and whether or not her destiny has already been decided by the gods.

Not only is this a great young adult read, adults will fall into the grand scape of the story as well. It would also make an excellent mother-daughter book club read as it deals with expectations and filling shoes (sandals!) that perhaps no longer fit a young heroine. Be prepared to fall into this sumptuous story that brings up so many interesting questions. GREAT read - five stars!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always loved Michelle Moran's Cleopatra's Daughter but left me wondering whatever happened to Selene and Juba after.And this is it!I loved the twist of the love story, the love triangle and Selene's more daring portrayal though w/ a tinge of foolishness,after all, she's only a teenager.I really enjoyed it.Hoping for a sequel,but please keep Selene's dignity unlike some other version I recently read where Selene has turned out to be some desperate w###e.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book.

I, being a lover of historical fiction and all things Ancient Egypt, have read my fair share of books on Cleopatra Selene and her mother Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt. Like all books, some are better than others and one usually becomes the standard by which all other books on that same topic are measured. Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter is that standard.

Told from the view point of Cleopatra Selene, the book follows the children as they are forced to leave Egypt by Octavianus, known to history as Augusts, and watch as they try to navigate and make sense of their new lives and circumstances. Living in Octavianus's household, the children, more specifically Cleopatra Selene, attempt to figure out just who to trust while trying to maintain both their faith and ideals.

What I really liked about this book is the role reversal of two of the characters. In every other book I have read or movie I have watched about this period and instance, these particular characters have been portrayed in the opposite fashion. It was really refreshing to see that character reversal, whether it was true or not. I also liked the fact that even though you know the basic premise of the story, you never find yourself thinking 'well that certainly didn't happen' or 'that's not realistic at all'. You are able to immerse yourself in the story and simply enjoy it for what it is.

In Cleopatra's Moon, the author has managed to create dynamic, engaging and flawed characters that bring to life one of history's most fascinating time periods. Weaving the tale of the little known story of what happened to the children of Cleopatra once Egypt finally fell into complete control of the Roman empire, the story contains both mystical elements and a love story that leaves you questioning just what is fact and what is fiction.
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