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Secrets in Stone: All About Maya Hieroglyphs Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316158836
  • ASIN: B0000C7C34
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grades 3-6--Though she includes information on the rediscovery of Mayan culture, ruins, and aspects of daily life, Coulter's focus is on the decipherment and usage of the Mayan syllabary. The author includes the false steps as well as the progress of 19th- and 20th-century researchers and, on many pages, uses "glyph searches" and other hooks to encourage readers to examine carefully the illustrations, which consist of high-quality photos of sites and artifacts, detailed drawings, and clear reproductions. The calendar, ways of naming and identifying people, and counting are all explained in straightforward fashion and in each case the information serves to further the author's goal of making readers think about how these symbols worked and to put them to use. The star attraction is the "Glyphmaster," a spread that provides common signs in relief so that children can make rubbings. There are glyphs for animals, colors, and people, plus a version of the alphabet in which letters are represented by symbols approximating those sounds, even though the text explains that the Mayan system produces syllables, not individual letters. Combining historical information with activity-based ideas, this attractive volume may reach a larger audience than the usual history title.
Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Unlocking the secret of Mayan hieroglyphics was a long and painstaking process, lasting well over a hundred years. Europeans rediscovered early Mayan cities in the 1840s, and their bafflement at the ancient system of writing began a scholarly process that didn't have its final breakthrough until the mid-1970s. Coulter describes clearly and concisely how the mystery was unraveled, while the colorful, well-laid-out pages add appeal with plenty of photographs and stylized drawings that suggest Mayan art. Ideas for crafts, activities and even a party run along the page bottoms. Also explained are the Maya civilization's number system and complex calendar. A time line, short glossary, and short bibliography (of mostly adult books) are appended. A substantive, much-needed resource. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dSavannah George-Jones VINE VOICE on November 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up as a gift for my goddaughter. I have always loved hieroglyphs, so I figured I should read it before I gave it to her! And I'm very glad I did!

This book is a very interesting and informative look at not only Maya hieroglyphs, but also the Mayan culture, how the ruins were discovered, and how the glyphs were decoded. It's written in simple, easy-to-understand language that does not talk down to the reader (did I mention I enjoyed it?!?!), with gorgeous full-color illustrations. (The whole time I read it, I could just imagine how much time the illustrator spent on crafting them.)

The book includes learning (fun!) activities and a "glyphmaster" to trace over to "write" secret messages.

I would definitely recommend this for a kid who likes art and history.

The only disappointment is that a website included in the book (that writes out your Maya birthdate) doesn't exist anymore. (Of course, the book has been out for 11 years....)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Mellizson on December 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You won't actually be conversant in the Mayan language after you finish this book, but you will have a basic understanding of the language, the mathematics, and their calendar (which has generated so much "doomsday" attention). The Mayas had the concept of "zero" centuries before Europeans, contemporary with the Hindus who usually get all the credit. The author teaches you how to do addition in Maya mathematics -- a system that uses only 3 characters (our Arabic derived system uses 10, counting the zero; and the Roman uses 7). If you want to write using Maya hieroglyphics, there is a special section in the back of the book that gives extra help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 20 Something Reader on April 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a 6th grade History teacher and was so excited when I bought this book. It is PACKED with INFORMATION about the Mayans as well as the archaeologists who discovered Mayan ruins.

It also has beautiful pictures as well as fun interactive activities for the readers to practice writing in Mayan hieroglyphics.

My 6th graders loved this book in my classroom library.
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3 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
well done, but I could have done without the part about burning blood as a sacrafice. Also the story about the vampire bat.My daughter is in third grade,I am not sure if that story would scare her, but it certainly is not necessary. Seems to me like the author added some gore just to keep older kids reading. The book is well done, I would have liked to have given it 5 stars.
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