Mummies, Tombs and Treasure: Secrets of Ancient Egypt

Perl, Lila. Mummies, Tombs and Treasure: Secrets of Ancient Egypt. 1987. Available in paperback. 120pp. Lexile 1090.

This exemplary nonfiction title gives a fine overview of mummies in Ancient Egypt with details on why and how mummies were created, including information about religion, mythology, and the pharaohs.  Perl is especially good at drawing readers into the smooth narrative with questions and intriguing details, such as the use of human hair for artificial eyebrows on some mummies.  She covers mummified animals and tomb robbers, among many fascinating topics. Diagrams and maps clarify points as do excellent black-and-white drawings.  The photographs, while sometimes less than perfect, show mummies, artwork, and artifacts.  Supplement the photographs with a more recent book with color photos such as Shelley Tanaka’s 2005 Mummies: The Newest, Coolest and Creepiest.

Reading Std #9 for grades 6-8: Compare/contrast texts on similar themes or topics.  Although an excellent and still useful book, the Perl volume was published in 1987 and so lacks more recent information.  Have students do research in areas such as use of technology to study mummies and other artifacts; discoveries of Egyptian mummies since 1987 such as the 2010 unearthing of 57 tombs; political issues about ownership and control of antiquities; and the like.