MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION: The Curse of the Mummy by Candace Fleming
ABOUT THE BOOK
The true story of the search for Tutankhamun's tomb, the Western public's belief that the dig was cursed, and the battle for ownership of the treasures within.
During the reign of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun ruled and died tragically young. In order to send him on his way into the afterlife, his tomb was filled with every treasure he would need after death. And then, it was lost to time, buried in the sands of the Valley of the Kings.
His tomb was also said to be cursed.
Centuries later, as Egypt-mania gripped Europe, two Brits -- a rich earl with a habit for gambling and a disreputable, determined archeologist -- worked for years to rediscover and open Tutankhamun's tomb. But once it was uncovered, would ancient powers take their revenge for disturbing and even looting the pharaoh's resting place? What else could explain the mysterious illnesses, accidents, and deaths that began once it was found?
Candace Fleming does a fabulous job documenting the events surrounding the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Starting with the thieves who robbed the tomb, Fleming introduces the story of the tomb that was buried by floods before too much damage was done to it. The tomb remained undisturbed for millennia before finally being found by a British Earl and a self-taught Egyptologist named Howard Carter. Mixed in with the chapters full of factual information about the Carnarvon and Carter's work are sections that begin with the phrase, "It was said...". These sections focus on the curse that many claimed existed around the tomb. It's surprising just how many unfortunate happenings were connected to the so-called curse. Everything from deaths and accidents to diseases and ghosts were blamed on this curse. Mixing rumor and fact makes for a fascinating read and demonstrates just how difficult science, especially archaeology can be when questions remain unanswered. This book reads a great deal like an adventure story while being thoroughly documented with original sources and photographs. The photographs in particular add a great deal to the story. Readers can be grateful that Carter and his colleagues were so thorough in documenting their work. A very engaging, thoroughly documented work of nonfiction that young readers are bound to devour hook, line, and sinker.