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The Ugly Goddess Hardcover – October, 2002

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
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On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry gets a bag of sand in the mail-his only inheritance from his father and mother. He soon learns that this is no ordinary bag of sand. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Princess Meret, only 14, has been promised by her father, the Pharaoh, to be the next Divine Wife of Amun, in order to save his kingdom. He has commissioned a statue of Taweret, protector of women, to accompany her and keep her safe. Meret does not want to leave her father, and she has recently developed a crush on a young Greek soldier, Hector. When the master who is crafting the sculpture suddenly falls ill, his dying words instruct Bata, his errand boy, to finish his work. The lives of the three young people become intertwined when Bata tries to find the princess in order to take the statue to her, Hector decides to follow his love, and Meret is kidnapped by soldiers. The teens are guided and aided by Taweret, who magically comes to life from her stone statue. Mystery, adventure, ancient religion, and romance all figure into this fictional re-creation of the Persian takeover of Egypt in 525 B.C.E. Marston alternates the voices of the male and female characters. Accurate historical details with only an occasional lapse into modern language combine with a fast-paced story and interesting characters. The devotion to statues and the pantheon of ancient gods may confuse readers unfamiliar with mythology, but all in all, this is a decent story for budding Egyptologists.
Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. This quirky novel of ancient Egypt blends well-researched history, fiction, and fantasy. In 523 B.C.E. Greek mercenaries protect Egypt from the Persian hordes. Plots and counterplots are everywhere, and three teens are caught up in the turmoil. First, there's smart, sassy, 14-year-old Princess Meret, reluctantly on her way to Thebes to marry the Great God Amun. Then there's Hector, the son of the Greek commander, who is madly in love with the princess and determined to follow her to Thebes. Finally, there's Bata, an Egyptian boy who has a dangerous secret: he has stolen the partially completed statue of the "ugly goddess" Taweret, which he plans to take to the princess. Bata joins up with Hector, and the boys travel to Thebes. When they arrive, they discover that the princess has been kidnapped, and Bata turns to Ugly Goddess for help. Marston offers a lighthearted romp through an intriguing time period in Egyptian history that will especially appeal to readers who enjoyed Eloise McGraw's Mara Daughter of the Nile (1990), or Dorothy Sharp Carter's His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut (1987). Jean Franklin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Hardcover: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Cricket Books; 1 edition (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812626672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812626674
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,185,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
An orphaned Egyptian servant boy, Bata travels to the Sacred City of Thebes with Hector, a Greek mercenary, to rescue the princess Meret and save Egypt from provoking a war with powerful Persia. In the process friendship crosses class and cultural barriers, Bata�s faith in the traditional gods of Egypt is challenged by his Greek friend�s commitment to reason, and all of them find that their lives will not be what they expected.
This lively adventure puts plaster and paint on those Egyptian ruins you have read about and brings to life the people who once lived there with their customs, beliefs, conflicts and concerns. Some elements of the story may be taken as fantasy or as an endorsement of ancient religion. They will certainly provoke discussion, which Ms Marston encourages with questions on her website. I enjoyed the story simply as a story, but it will no doubt be especially appreciated by upper-elementary teachers looking for historical fiction set in ancient Egypt.
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