Ancient history books

Kids Books on Ancient EGYPT, c. 3500 – 1000 BC

To make history fun for kids, spend some time on Ancient Egypt! Select from the recommended books below for stories about hieroglyphs, pharaohs, treasure and more. The topics are fascinating, and the book selection is large.

In our house, the easy-to-read “Tut’s Mummy Lost and Found” was worn from being read over and over again. Who can resist a real-life treasure hunt with an amazing ending?!…not to mention the mysterious curse. Most public libraries will have a copy you can borrow.

Ancient Egypt Books: c. 3500 B.C. – 1000 B.C.

See Cleopatra under ROME, c. 400 B.C. – 400 A.D.The Best Book of Mummies by Philip Steele. Kingfisher. E-UE
Full of color, fun illustrations, & lots of information! It very well may be the best book to explain mummies to the younger ages! Recommended.

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie DePaola. K-E
Delightful picture book! The adventures of two friends, a crocodile & a bird, surrounded by Egyptian artifacts and lots of humor!

The Cat of Bubastes : A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G. A. Henty JH-HS
Click on Author/Series Reviews to read the general review of stories by G.A. Henty.

Croco’nile by Roy Gerrard. Farrar,Straus& Giroux, 1994. K-E
Fun picture book illustrates Egyptian culture – from hairstyle to chariots to pyramids & sphinxes.
A hieroglyph puzzle woven throughout makes it fun for older children as well.

Egyptian Boats (Carolrhoda on My Own Books) by Geoffrey Scott, illus. Nancy L. Carlson. Carolrhoda Books, 1981. K-UE
Explore one more aspect of Egyptian culture. The building materials & design were more impressive than meets the eye, as the author substantiates in his last pages. Three-color illustrations.

The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, illus. Ruth Heller. HarperCollins, 1989. *K-UE
A familiar theme with an Egyptian twist. Fiction, but based on an old Egyptian tale and a real Egyptian queen. *Read aloud for K & E.

Gift Of The Nile: An Ancient Egyptian Legend retold by Jan M. Mike, illus by Charles Reasoner. Troll Associates, 1993. E-UE
Senefru is the main character of this ancient legend about friendship, with colorful artwork on every page.

God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson. Bethlehem Books, 2002. UE-HS
The Egyptian Prince Taharka (Kushite dynasty) fled to Judah after an attempt on his life c. 700 BC, where he encounters King Hezekiah. This story includes insight into Eyptian culture, especially concerning their superstitions and their gods.

The Golden Goblet (Puffin Newbery Library) by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Puffin Books, 1961. Newbery Award. UE-HS
An action-adventure story with a young apprentice, Ranofer, as the hero is set in ancient Egyptian culture, and includes a mystery involving tomb robbery. Great read!

Joseph by Brian Wildsmith. Oxford Univ. Press & Eerdmans, 1997. *K-UE
The authentically Egyptian illustrations add awe and wonder to this Bible story. The sequel is Exodus by the same author/illustrator. *Read aloud for K & E.

Mara, Daughter of the Nile
, by Eloise McGraw. Puffin Books, 1953, 1981. JH+
Romance and adventure! Mara is a slave girl who becomes intertwined in a struggle for power between Hatshepsut and Thutmose.
Egyptian lifestyle and customs woven into the story. A favorite for many girls.

Mouldy Mummies (Smelly Old History) by Mary Dobson, illus. Chris Smedley. Oxford Univ. Press. E-UE
A humorous Scratch & Sniff book exploring the mummification process from an olfactory point of view!

Mummies & Pyramids (Magic Tree House Research Guide, paper) by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne, illus. Sal Murdocca. Random House, 2001. E-UE+
Get all the basic facts about ancient Egypt in a fun format with lots of black & white illustrations and photos. Advanced E.

Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki. E-UE+

Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons. Little, Brown, and Co., 2004. E
Great format for the younger child. Each page tells of a different aspect of Egyptian culture in a short paragraph, accompanied by a full-page, color illustration. Nice.

Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh, illus. Fiona French. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, 1994. E-UE
Imaginative story of the painting of a prince’s tomb with colorful, Egyptian-style illustrations. Hieroglyphs give the “secret names” of the animals, which are decoded in the back.

Pharaohs and Pyramids (Time Traveler Series) by Tony Allen, Phillipa Wingate. Usborne. UE-JH

The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (Landmark Book) by Elizabeth Payne. Random House, 1964. UE+
Full of information and great for a thorough overview of the topic or for research purposes, but lacks flair. More textbook-y than story.

The Prince of Egypt starring Val Kilmer & Ralph Fiennes. Dreamworks, 1998. DVD/VIDEO. Rated PG. E+
This animated film depicts the biblical story of Moses, with Rameses portrayed as his brother. Kids and adults will both love this movie, with its authentic story line, fabulous animation, and beautiful music.

Pyramid by David Macaulay. UE+

The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone: Key to Ancient Egypt by James Cross Giblin, illus. Patricia Tobin. UE-HS
Did you know it took more than 100 years to fully decipher the Rosetta Stone? This book is a clear and simple explanation of the historical challenge of hieroglyphs and how the Stone allowed scholars to crack the code.

Shadow Hawk (Living History Library) by Andre Norton. Bethlehem Books. JH-HS

Songbird Of The Nile: The Diary Of Miriam’s Best Friend, Egypt, 1527-1526 B.C. (Promised Land Diaries) by Anne Adams, illus. Dennis Edwards. Baker Books. E-UETemple Cat by Andrew Clements, illust. Kate Kiesler. Clarion Books, 1996. K-E
Picture Book. An Egyptian cat is worshiped as deity, but would rather live free from the “luxuries” and pampering in the temple. One night he slips away…

Tirzah by Lucille Travis. Herald Press, 1991. UE+
A novel based on Israel’s exodus from Eygpt. Follows an Israelite girl from slavery in Egypt to several experiences in the wilderness. Not especially exciting, but readable.

Tut’s Mummy: Lost…and Found (Step into Reading, Step 4) by Judy Donnelly, illus. James Watling. *E-UE
Conveys the excitement of finding the greatest treasure in modern times, as well as awe at the wealth of ancient Egypt. True-to-life illustrations and real photographs enhance the story. *Easy to read. Recommended.

Tutankhamun by Robert Greeen. UE-JH+
Robert Green´s biographies are well-designed & comprehensive, with plenty of color & illustrations.

Zekmet, the Stone Carver: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Mary Stolz, illus. Deborah Nourse Lattimore. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988. E-UE
The story of how the sphinx may have come to be, with illustrations reflecting Egyptian art and hieroglyphs. Recommended.

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