A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Little known truths about the famous queen Cleopatra come to light as the book covers the rise of the queen's family to power, internal and international struggles, and how life was lived during the "teen queen's" reign. Helpful maps, artifacts, and illustrations help bring the ancient time to life.
Perseverance, loyalty, and commitment to scholarship are themes that run through the book. It also reaffirms the idea that women can be strong rulers and brilliant politicians.
Positive Role Models
Though modern Western history casts Cleopatra as anything but a positive role model, this book sheds light on her admirable qualities. She has a curious intellect, a thirst for knowledge, and she shows fierce loyalty to her country and children, using every bit of her knowledge to protect them both.
Violence & Scariness
The violence here is consistent with the time period. People are beheaded, stabbed, commit suicide, etc., but the descriptions, historical photos, and sculptures depicting these acts are not graphic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Cleopatra is talked about as being sexy, and her affairs with two Romans are recounted. The cultural practice of marrying a sibling is mentioned and described as unacceptable now but common in ancient Egypt. Also, there are several photos and sculptures that show naked human forms, but these are artistic portrayals, often in world-famous paintings.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are portrayed drinking wine, and some are described as getting drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this informal history, peppered with puns and teen slang, features mystery, fights, death, murder, suicide, brother-sister marriage, drunks -- typical fare for a biographical look at an ancient ruler. There is nothing questionable in the book that isn't seen in mainstream media. In fact, it's relatively tame considering what currently appears in much tween/teen entertainment.
Is It Any Good?
History is cool again in this hip, fun exploration into the life of Queen Cleopatra. Life as a teen pharaoh isn't all it's cracked up to be. Thousands of years of innuendo, bad PR, and Hollywood versions of her story have painted her as a conniving tramp, when the real story is much more exciting and refreshing. Kids should be hooked from the first glance at its glamorous, edgy cover.
Sidebars, graphics, bright photos, and slang enliven the text. Heavy on metaphors, such as, “[they] trash-talked her worse than feuding starlets at a Hollywood club,” the language won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it will resonate with kids and reluctant readers. Amid the fluff and contempo tone, the information is solid and well-researched, and extensive footnotes and sources are provided for those interested in learning more about Egypt's famous queen.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.