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Tough Times: A Kids Life in Ancient Egypt

Tough Times: A Kid's Life in Ancient Egypt

Published: 1 May 2019

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 7+

By Roger Canavan

Illustrated by David Antram

Published by Salariya Book Company Ltd

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Tough Times: A Kid's Life in Ancient Egypt shows the world of ancient Egypt through the eyes of a craftsman's child, using cartoon-like illustrations, easy-to-read text, fact boxes and maps to immerse young readers in the sights, sounds and smells of the period. Dodge crocodiles on the Nile, decipher some hieroglyphics and witness the ghastly and gruesome mummification process... if you dare! By covering familiar subjects such as school, family, careers and entertainment, young readers are able to relate the lives of the historical figures to their own experiences, which aids their ability to absorb historical knowledge.

Tagged ancient Egyptians

The Tough Times series

Tough Times: A Kid's Life in Ancient Egypt

Reviewed by Ben Harris

A Kid’s Life in Ancient Egypt

So YOU Think You’ve Got it Bad?

Books for children about Ancient Egypt are legion, so what’s so special about this one? Taking a slant where children and their lives come centre-stage is a novel and appealing one and will positively engage young readers wanting to find out about this fascinating civilization.

The pages of this book are chock-full of great questions which would bring the reader’s life into close comparison with a child living in Ancient Egypt. ‘Do you ever wish you didn’t have to take the school bus?’ opens a section on transport. Do you ever wish you could have something other than cornflakes or toast for breakfast?’ regales us with the Egyptian taste for onion and garlic! – a great way to re-present the facts but in modern fashion.

I also enjoyed the informality and friendliness of the text. In the section on Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, for instance, the marriage between brother and sister. Osiris and Isis is described as ‘awkwaaaaard’! and in referring to a son of the wealthier families as ‘Little Prince Poshpants’, you will immediately recognize the distinct vein of fun that runs through the whole book.

The organization of the book, though, follows the structure of more traditional non-fiction texts: this makes it easy to use and to navigate. There is a clear contents list, a good glossary and an easy-to-read index – useful for those classes in Years 3 and 4, particularly who are getting to grips with the different format of information texts. Pages are full of information, but the layout is very clear and lends itself to ‘browsing’ through the text as well as more detailed interrogation. Illustrations draw in the reader and are bold, colourful and particularly friendly. They also add to children’s knowledge by the simple use of captions and labelling.

If you are looking for something up-to-date about Ancient Egypt which will engage your younger Junior classes, then A Kid’s Life in Ancient Egypt is the book!

I'm a primary school teacher in Essex and completely love reading and books of all kinds. In my spare time, when not reading, I like to compose music...and occasionally attempt to bring some order to the tottering piles of books lurking around my house.