Friday, February 29, 2008

The Golden Goblet

by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Listening Age: 7+

A wonderful supplement to our study of Ancient Egypt. This historical fiction taught the young ones (and me!) things I didn't know--like the conspiracies of the tomb robbers and stone masons during the construction of the pyramid tombs. And the book let us peek into the very hard life of the working class and children. Well, at least the boys and men. Come to think of it, there was not a woman in the story except the queen!

I'm glad I read it aloud to my 12, 7 and 5 year olds. It allowed me to censor some of the unnecessary details with which the main character spooked himself while still allowing the children a general idea of the superstition and false gods that ruled the land and its inhabitants in and around the days of Moses.

The story is full of intrigue and suspense, but also centers on a child in distress. The main character, Ranofer, is orphaned, abused and neglected by his guardian and half brother, and spends a fair amount of the story living in fear of him. He also suspects him of wrong-doing which is what the story centers around--Ranofer schemes with the only two friends he has in the world to try and establish proof to take to the authorities.

The ending of the book does not disappoint! It is very exciting and shows Ranofer to be of noble character--which we knew all along, but is proved in spades at the story's conclusion.

With parental censorship for the spiritual aspects, I give this book an "A."

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