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Mara, Daughter of the Nile (Puffin Story Books) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1985

4.8 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

McGraw, recipient of the 1996 C. E. S. Wood award for Lifetime Achievement.
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Product Details

  • Series: Puffin Story Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (October 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140319298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140319293
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Katherine Mann on March 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mara is a wonderful heroine for young girls. Set in the time of Hatshepsut, Pharoah of Egypt, this small novel brings to life a distant era with remarkable clarity. McGraw has crafted her vision of the period around an exciting palace intrigue. The character of Mara, a young slave girl, is an excellent example for young women and it is remarkable to find in a book that was written in the 1950s. If you know a young woman of 9 to 14, give her this book.

This is one of the best books that I have ever read - how fortunate that it is still in print after all these years! I first encountered this excellent novel in 1961. I read it at least 20 times. I was too poor to purchase, so I copied the book out in about 10 school scribblers. True! When my daughter was 10, I bought a copy for her and another for myself.

McGraw's interpretation of the era can easily be faulted, but her sense of "Egypt" cannot. This book sent me on an investigative journey into the subject of Egyptology that has been a distinct pleasure all my life. I highly recommend this wonderful tale.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was in junior high school, I read this book and loved it. In fact, I read it over and over, and recently sent a copy to my niece as a 12th birthday gift. Mara, the spunky 17-year-old slave girl, is a wonderful role model for adolescent girls: far from perfect (in fact, rather devious), but brave and eventually quite heroic as she risks death rather than betray the people and ideals that she loves. I'm not entirely happy with the fact that Queen Hatshepsut, another feminist heroine of mine, was the villain of this novel. For the record, the real Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for many years of peace and prosperity, and as far as we know, died peacefully of old age. Her stepson (NOT her brother) Thutmose then destroyed her statues and inscriptions in a fit of petulant pique, but did not overthrow her.
Still, who cares? This version makes a wonderful, swashbuckling story, and also provides an excellent introduction to the culture of ancient Egypt for kids who are curious about its history.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first novel I ever read (when I was 12) that transported me to the ancient world. I loved it so much that, many years later, I still have a copy of it on my bookshelf. Mara is a terrific heroine: courageous, imaginative, adventurous, and self confident. However, she also has the ability to be deceptive when she needs to be in order to survive. Because of her gift for languages, Mara is bought out of slavery to serve as interpreter between pharoah Hatshepsut's brother Thutmose and his betrothed, an unhappy Babylonian princess. She is supposed to be a spy on behalf of Hatshepsut's supporters, but circumstances force her to become a double agent, who also reports to Thutmose. This places her in the center of dangerous court intrigues. The story combines vivid historical detail, engaging characters, suspenseful adventures, and a touching love story. Although it was written for a young adult audience, adult readers can also find this very enjoyable. I agree with other reviewers: this would make a wonderful movie!
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By A Customer on April 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I usually don't buy books unless 1.It's part of a series I like. 2.It's by an author I like. 3.I had borrowed it and loved it. This one wasn't any of those, but when I was browsing through the teen section of the bookstore I saw this one and remembered that it was on the "if you like this, you'll like.." list here for a book I had liked, The Reluctant God. I read the first chapter right there at the bookstore and was hooked. Just today I finished it, reading for 2 hours straight because I had to find out what was going to happen!
This I loved this book!! Of course, the story is very captivating. Spys, romance, an Ancient Egyptian setting, what more could you want? Mara was awesome! I loved her strong, clever personality. (I always like those types of girl characters, or else the tomboy type) And Sheftu! I want my own Sheftu!! There's also other interesting and endearing characters, but I can't write about them all.
There is a lot of beautiful descriptions, but I confess I would catch myself unknowingly skimming over those parts, because I was so anxious to find out what would happen next! It doesn't matter though, when I read it again (for I know I will, many times!) I can go slower and catch all those parts.
This is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in Ancient Egypt. Also, if you like a good spy/romance book, you'll love this!
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By A Customer on March 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When a friend recommended Mara Daughter of the Nile to me, I wasn't quite sure if I would enjoy it. You see I can be quite a picky reader, and if the book isn't exceptionally good, it bores me right away.So, I was a bit skeptical. But the moment I picked up the book from my school library, I was already fascinated by it. In less than two hours, I had traveled with Mara and the other characters through the complicated and fascinating plot of the story. I had become 100% hooked on the book and read it several more times. You see, Mara Daughter of the Nile is a compelling and interesting story, taking place at the mystical and interesting time of the great Egyptians Pharaohs. The main character, Mara, is a witty and smart slave who is a double spy for two archenemies, the Queen Hatshepsut and her half-brother, Thutmose 3. Mara doesn't expect half the problems that she faces and one of them is falling in love. The story has an unexpected ending and the story line isn't as complicated as you expect. I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys historical fiction, action, romance and an extremely good story. Enjoy!
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