Elsa Marston
children's author

"...useful, well-written, and attractive... Marston offers a clear explanation of the rise and demise of the Egyptian dynasties and of the culture's complex religious beliefs." (School Library Journal)

Forthcoming in 2014:
Just published, 2013:
Fiction, young adult
An adventure in ancient Egypt
Poetry
poems inspired by animals depicted in Southwestern rock art
Nonfiction
a look at the variety of women's lives in the Middle East and North Africa
History
Stories in Y-A collections
in FIRST CROSSING AND OTHER STORIES OF IMMIGRANT TEENS
in MEMORIES OF SUN: STORIES OF AFRICA AND AMERICA (2004)
in SOUL SEARCHING: THIRTEEN STORIES ABOUT FAITH AND BELIEF

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THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS

...Nefertari, beloved queen of Ramses II, depicted in her spectacular tomb in the Valley of the Queens...

The ancient Egyptians laid a heavy load on themselves . . . dozens of deities, all-powerful Pharoah, amazingly large temples and royal tombs, obsession with life-after-death. But the system worked, and worked well. Among the many books about ancient Egypt for young readers, this one is unusual because of its focus on the thought system and religion that kept ancient Egyptian culture going for more than three thousand years.

Along with the gods and goddesses, the meaning of mummies, and the purpose of pyramids, THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS discusses the people's moral beliefs. What did the Egyptians think was the "good life," the right way to behave? They spelled out the rules carefully--which will surprise anyone who thinks ancient Egypt was a cruel society with despotic rulers who could do anything they liked.

Egypt has fascinated people since ancient times, because the ancient Egyptians' culture was so rich and they left so much of it behind. This book provides a good introduction to that culture. Like all the "Cultures of the Past" volumes, it is beautifully illustrated and includes not only a time line, glossary, and list of recommended reading, but a carefully imagined sidelight describing what people's lives might really have been like: "If you'd been born in ancient Egypt. . . ."

Published in 1996, THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS is still at the top of the series in sales. It may be ordered through your usual book supplier or directly from the publisher, Marshall Cavendish, at 1-800-821-9881.


SOME QUESTIONS TO TALK ABOUT . . .

How would you explain why the culture of ancient Egypt lasted such a long, long time?

What do you find especially attractive about the ancient Egyptians? Is there something about them that turns you off?

Can you imagine believing in a system in which a large group of deities are supposed to keep the whole world going? How might that make more sense than believing in just one deity?

Why, do you think, did the ancient Egyptians have so many guidelines about how people should behave? Do you suppose those rules really helped produce a good society?

How would you like to have gone to school in ancient Egypt?