Review Blog

Oct 03 2017

The story of Tutankhamun by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408876787
(Age 8+) The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun is one of the most celebrated events in the history of archaeology. It has intrigued Egyptologists and enthusiasts alike since 1922, when Howard Carter unearthed the young pharaoh's burial chamber and revealed its extraordinary treasures.
Patricia Cleveland-Peck has told the story of that discovery in three parts. Firstly, she has explained the family, beliefs, life and death of Tutankhamun. Secondly, she has focused on the moment when Carter entered the tomb, then described how the artefacts were documented before their relocation to Cairo. The author has also demystified the so-called curse. In the final section, Patricia Cleveland-Peck has explained how technologies unknown to Carter have thrown new light on the cause of the pharaoh's death, but failed to solve all the mysteries which surround him. Instead of reproducing photographs, Isabel Greenberg has illustrated the entire book with stylised drawings. The inclusion of speech bubbles and the occasional use of a handwriting font enable readers to experience the text as a combination of graphic nonfiction and conventional, information book. The narrative is readable but, in places, lacks fluency. Younger readers may find the font small but will delight in the colourful illustrations on every page. Although the book can be used as a source of information, it lacks an index and a reference list. The picture book format suggests that this is a book to be shared and enjoyed.
The story of Tutankhamun will attract readers who are fascinated by Ancient Egypt and its youngest pharaoh. It will also provide insights into the quest by archaeologists to find evidence that helps to explain the lives of those who lived in the past.
Elizabeth Bor

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