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The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt Hardcover – May 8, 2002
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Illustrated with wonderful, color-soaked paintings as well as collages of authentic documents and artifacts from the Giza 7000X site, this richly visual diary is as entertaining as it is educational. Young readers will revel in the "you are there" glimpse of an archaeological dig, learning that excavation can sometimes be as much about fleas and dust as it can be about mummies or, say, a solid gold lion's leg. Sidebars about pharoah's curses, cartouches, and heiroglyphs sit alongside enthusiastic postcards from the boy to his friends back home in Boston: "What are we doing? Picking up things hour after hour with TWEEZERS. If someone sneezes or trips--there goes 5,000 years of history down the drain." As Will lives behind the pyramids, he witnesses the discovery of a secret tomb... but whose is it? Can the team solve the mystery before Will and his parents return to America? Highly recommended. (Ages 8 and older) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
It's laid out somewhat like a scrapbook with lots of sidebar notes, postcards, and sketches adorning the basic story's text. Plenty of other reviews have covered the story itself, so I won't go into that. What I liked about the book is that it's a view of Ancient Egypt from an early 19th century archaeologist's perspective. The modern Egyptians also play a part in the story; it's not all about the American scientists.
If you have a child who loves archaeology and solving mysteries, this book will be a winner. My daughter enjoyed coming up with her own explanations as we read through the book. Actually the mystery is not definitively solved. There are two possibilities, but the open-ended nature of the tomb's discovery is a great opportunity to practice logical thinking - does your explanation fit the facts?
We follow Will's adventures through his journal entries and postcards back home to his friend Sam, another member of the King Tut Club. Artist Melissa Sweet's illustrations, created in acrylic and watercolor, consist of luminous paintings of the pyramids and inventive collages of authentic documents and artifacts. Throughout the book there are sidebars providing information on ancient Egypt regarding the layout of the Great Royal Cemetery at Giza, cartouches, and hieroglyphs, as well as explaining the tools and tricks of the archeological trade. From pouring over "The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle" young readers will come to appreciate the process by which archeologists unearth the past. Logan and Sweet also provide a sense of the time involved; Will saves a postcard telling about all the digging he has to do and there is a point where everyone sits around and waits for four months Dr. Reisner to return so they finally open the alabaster sarcophagus that has been found.Read more ›
The scrapbook style shows money and postage stamps, maps, brochures, and timetables. The information is broken into chunks, with letters and postcards from the boy to a friend back home carrying the plot forward. Very fine illustrations and descriptions of how a systematic archaeological dig works. Best of all: the mystery about this particular burial still persists. It's a very engaging book - problem solving, adventure, great illustrations, and a very good text.
(Book tie-in: Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science has a very good archeology book called "Archaeologists Dig For Clues")
Older children can try their hand at producing hieroglyphics in this book; younger children can copy shapes and patterns from Egyptian artifacts or even string beads in some of the colors shown in the book.
Vocabulary builders; vizier, sarcophagus, natron, amulets, jumble
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really well done book. We enjoyed reading it. Love how photos from the actual dig were incorporated into the book.Published 18 months ago by Michelle
Bought this book to go along with my son's lessons on Ancient Egypt. Just a really cute book. I would definitely recommend it.Published 22 months ago by patty jones