From School Library Journal
Grade 3-7–Hawass, director of excavations at the Giza pyramids and head of Egypt's archaeological council, turns his attention to a perennial topic of curiosity. Combining scholarship and personality, he nimbly offers a solid summary, some of it necessarily conjectural, of the complex and controversial 18th dynasty in which Tut lived and avoids dry history by interjecting himself at times into the story. He recalls, for example, the beginnings of his own fascination with his country's history and surmises how Tut and his young wife might have felt at various times in their lives. Likewise, he examines the theory that Tut was murdered, including his own part in a CT scan of the king's mummy in early 2005 and concluding that the evidence points away from murder. The up-to-date nature of Hawass's text will not long matter, of course, but the accompanying photographs are timeless. Black-and-white shots from the past join rich color photographs that almost glow. Especially marvelous is a stunning re-creation, employing current reconstructive techniques, of what Tut might have looked like. If Hawass's style occasionally seems intrusive, this is a minor quibble in what is primarily a first-rate investigation enriched by beautiful artwork.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
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Gr. 4-7. Just the name King Tut conjures up mystery and the excitement of discovery. Hawass, director of excavations at the Giza Pyramids and the Valley of the Golden Mummies, lends personal insight into the life, death, and burial of Tut and the unearthing of his tomb. Quite a bit is known about Tutankhamun (who was crowned when he was around age 9 and died under questionable circumstances some 10 years later): relatives, pastimes, religion, and children. The biggest question has been what killed him, and Hawass presents new information. A recent CAT scan on the boy-king's mummy revealed that Tut was not killed by a blow to the head, as many surmised. Hawass' personal commentary adds much and also detracts a little from the text (some of the writing is repetitious and awkwardly phrased), but his presence during many of the recent discoveries and excavations gives a you-are-there feel to the book. The photos are spectacular, so rich and vibrant that readers will want to reach out and touch. Pair this with Curse of the Pharaohs,
also by Hawass (2004). Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved