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Miriam Paperback – February, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though brief biographies of biblical characters abound, young readers are rarely provided with fully realized portraits of key religious figures. Gormley's (Ellie's Birthstone Ring) innovative work of historical fiction offers an accessible look at the life of Miriam, Moses' older sister. The author weaves the contemporary political and geographical setting into her story and explains the tension between the Egyptians and the Hebrews during the reign of Ramses the Great. In this entertaining expansion of biblical events, Gormley describes Miriam's feisty spirit and resourceful, respectful ways. The heroine's emotions are nearly palpable when she saves her baby brother's life by sending him sailing among the rushes and into the arms of Pharaoh's daughter, Princess Bint-Anath. Gormley's novel not only imparts many interesting details but may well send children back to the original Bible passages that were its inspiration. Ages 9-14.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-Just as the animated film The Prince of Egypt brought new life to the story of Moses leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, Gormley reinvents the story of Moses's older sister. It is 11-year-old Miriam who dreams of her infant brother's salvation in a basket on the river. And Miriam, too, who suggests to the Egyptian princess Bint-Anath that she find a wet nurse for him. Ironically, Miriam arranges for their mother to come live at the palace to care for her own son. The story is told alternately by Miriam and by a narrator observing the thoughts and actions of Nebet, the princess's lady-in-waiting, thus enabling readers to understand and appreciate both the Hebrew and Egyptian points of view. Nebet is a wise, sympathetic character, loyal to the princess, while cautious and cunning in maintaining her and her mistress' favor with Pharaoh. Miriam is far more than a biblical retelling. Gormley gives readers the universal struggle between mother and daughter. In order to please the princess and hide her Hebrew heritage, the girl adopts Egyptian costume, hairstyle, and jewelry, prompting her mother to denounce her. In the end, Miriam must choose between her people and the enticing life she has found at the palace. The author provides rich insights into the characters' motivations, as well as a vivid portrait of Hebrew and Egyptian religious and daily life.
Barbara Auerbach, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (February 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802851568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802851567
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,455,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I decided when I was 9 that I'd grow up to be a writer. It only took me 30 years to achieve my dream! My daughters gave me my first good idea: "Write a story about a girl who can fly." I followed their advice, and MAIL-ORDER WINGS became my first book.
Since then, I've written many fiction and nonfiction books about things that interest me: dinosaurs, friends, magic wishes, presidents, time travel, ancient Rome, volcanoes, aliens, and people who follow their dreams.
Writing is hard work, but I get a lot of support. My daughters and my husband still encourage me and inspire me. My dog nudges me out into the fresh air to take walks. And my two cats sit on my desk while I write, editing by stepping on the computer keys.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By korglady on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Miriam is a Bible character who has always appealed to me. I've always wondered what happened in her life between watching the Egyptian princess discover baby Moses' basket and helping the adult Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Beatrice Gormely has attempted to fill in some of these gaps in the Biblical story with an imaginative but believable story. This story, which is told not only from Miriam's point of view, but also from the point of view of the lady-in-waiting of the Egyptian princess, is overflowing with descriptions of both Hebrew and Egyptian beliefs and customs. The characterization of both characters is superb. Miriam is an intelligent, and resourceful young lady who learns quite a bit about herself throughout the course of the book. Lady Nebet, the lady-in-waiting of princess Bint-Anath, is a crafty and scheming woman, who despite her initial dislike for Hebrews, begins to really like Miriam. Just when the two characters are becoming close, unforseeable events threaten to disrupt the peaceful life Miriam has grown used to in the palace. In the chaos that follows, Miriam has to make a tough choice. Will she stay at the palace, learn from Lady Nebet, and watch over her baby brother Moses, or will she turn her back on the easy life at the palace and return to her family? I will not spoil the book, but I will reccommend it to anyone young or old who enjoys historical fiction or Biblical fiction. This well-written book brings the past to life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book! I enjoyed it so very much. You are really drawn into the book and can easily relate to Miriam's thoughts. Lady Nebet is also very interesting. It was also very interesting to learn about the Egyptian and Hebrew culture, during that time period. Miriam is really amazing and makes some hard decisions. It is a fun story to read, especially if you are familiar with the story of Moses, for Miriam is his sister. I would definetly reccomend this captivating novel for anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By korglady on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Miriam is a Bible character who has always appealed to me. I've always wondered what happened in her life between watching the Egyptian princess discover baby Moses' basket and helping the adult Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Beatrice Gormely has attempted to fill in some of these gaps in the Biblical story with an imaginative but believable story. This story, which is told not only from Miriam's point of view, but also from the point of view of the lady-in-waiting of the Egyptian princess, is overflowing with descriptions of both Hebrew and Egyptian beliefs and customs. The characterization of both characters is superb. Miriam is an intelligent, and resourceful young lady who learns quite a bit about herself throughout the course of the book. Lady Nebet, the lady-in-waiting of princess Bint-Anath, is a crafty and scheming woman, who despite her initial dislike for Hebrews, begins to really like Miriam. Just when the two characters are becoming close, unforseeable events threaten to disrupt the peaceful life Miriam has grown used to in the palace. In the chaos that follows, Miriam has to make a tough choice. Will she stay at the palace, learn from Lady Nebet, and watch over her baby brother Moses, or will she turn her back on the easy life at the palace and return to her family? I will not spoil the book, but I will reccommend it to anyone young or old who enjoys historical fiction or Biblical fiction. This well-written book brings the past to life.
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By A.J on October 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gift for my sister and she loved it
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