Who doesn't find Cleopatra just fascinating? She is just one of those amazing, strong women of the past that continues to be mysterious...which of course just makes me want to know more about her.
Vicky Alvear Shecter and totally opens the door to all this Cleopatra. I learned so much more than I ever could have imagined about this intriguing young woman that began her reign as Queen of Egypt at just 17.
Did you know that in the beginning, she loved books more than boys? Or that once she took the throne, she was pretty much expected to marry her brother, who had inherited the role as King? I was very impressed with the amount of information about Cleopatra, her siblings, boyfriends, death, and of course, the Egyptian customs that had a hand in how things went for all of them. Every topic Shecter touched on was explained and/or described in the appropriate amount of detail, which seems to be difficult for a lot of Non-Fiction authors.
The presentation is appealing, as the chapters are short and divided into blocks of info. Lots of photos, drawings, and fact boxes fill the pages, and the actual reading is anything but dry. While reading it, I almost found myself comparing it to a true crime novel or the like. I think teens will eat it up.
My favorite part? When Cleopatra and Antony married, this is what the author writes:
"So what did the romantic newlyweds do for their honeymoon? They planned a war. Because, you know, nothin' says lovin' quite like dead bodies on the battlefield (73)." Hysterical!
Hand this one to a teen needing to do a project on a person from history or just as an interesting read. It's definitely readable and you (or your teen) will walk away knowing a heck of a lot more about Cleopatra than you ever had before. I'm certainly inspired to pick up more about this famous teen Queen!
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen
Vicky Alvear Shecter
Boyds Mills Press
Review copy received from publisher
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