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The Tomb of the Boy King: A True Story In Verse Hardcover – April 9, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (April 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374376743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374376741
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Frank (Erin's Voyage) spins a mesmerizing epic poem about the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb, weaving all of its accompanying drama and suspense into a tapestry of measured quatrains ("Three thousand years of darkness yawned/ behind that tiny flickering light--/ and Carter, staring with pupils wide,/ stood stunned before a wondrous sight"). Hooking readers quickly with an alluring glimpse of ancient grave robbers moving "with catlike stealth" in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, Frank sets the scene and then fast-forwards 30 centuries to the efforts of ambitious archeologist Howard Carter and his wealthy friend and financial backer Lord Carnarvon. The author's sophisticated blend of alliteration ("the seas of sweat his pores had spilled") and vivid imagery ("evening shed its twilight husk"; a curse "as dangerous as a sharpened sword"; an afterlife "born again from death's dark womb") conjures all the awe and excitement of Carter's prolonged search and triumphant discovery. An equally intriguing afterword tells more about Tutankhamen, as well as his legendary curse and the mysterious death of Carnarvon. Pohrt's (Having a Wonderful Time) graceful watercolors with their careful composition and muted sepia tones recall old photographs, while borders filled with hieroglyphs and Egyptian motifs underscore the exotic setting. A handsome typeface and elegant page design complete the package. Ages 5-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-An illustrated retelling of the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter. While the author adds nothing new to the basic facts, the book is unusual because it is written as poetry. Readers might be reminded of other verse describing real events, such as "Casey at the Bat" or "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." The text describes the death of the boy king; the supposed plundering of the tomb; Carter's archaeological excavation; and the mysterious death of Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of the expedition. Pohrt's informative pen-and-watercolor paintings, bathed in desert colors and reminiscent of early 20th-century illustrations, will be a real draw for some children. Many of the detailed pictures are full page; others are smaller and framed by colorful borders containing hieroglyphics, and spot-art portraits and illustrations of figurines and other objects appear throughout. While the poetry is well done, it is difficult to imagine children preferring this to the more straightforward tellings that are available such as Elaine Landau's The Curse of Tutankhamen (Millbrook, 1996). However, it would make a superb read-aloud for older students because the verse is carefully crafted.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zelda on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so impressed with this book that I've shared it with many children and adults. Like me, they are captivated by the rhythm, history, and eloquent details. Before reading they doubt a poem could present an engaging story. However, once they begin reading they are hooked and often tell me they read it again. It really is a rare book.

The author is obviously a talented poet. His smooth and captivating use of language is accessable as well as articulate. You can picture the events so easily, as if you were there. The illustrations are remarkable, as well.

I was quite certain it would win awards, but have heard the publisher doesn't tend to promote their children's books. In these times of poorly written celebrity children's books (which, sadly are the best sellers) it would be so refreshing to have a book of this caliber receive the attention it deserves.

If you appreciate quality children's literature, this book is a must to read and own. How often do you get to enjoy an extremely well written historical poem that captivates children and adult imaginations? Tomb of the Boy King is a treasure on our family bookshelf. It's an often requested read-aloud. I highly recommend it to all.
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Format: Hardcover
This book rhymes, which makes it wonderful for reading out loud, even to younger kids.

Beginning with the death of the boy king and the grave robbers sneaking to his tomb, this book offers adventure and wonderful illustrations. Good synopsis of the Carter expedition for the discovery of Tut-ankh-Amen's tomb, but dwells too much on the mummy's curse.

Once your kids get interested in hieroglyphics, nothing will stop them from deciphering them every chance they get. This book's illustrations offer lots of opportunities for your kids to show off how smart they are.

Good epilogue that touches on the death of king tut, and who stood to gain from his possible murder. Also, good information on the expeditions, but again with the mummy's curse.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is an awesome poem, and I can't believe that someone can weave a story like King Tut into a book like this. You should buy it because it's historically correct, and the verses are simply great (sorry, I'm not the best with adjectives at 11:15 at night).
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