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Be a Scribe!

"Superb information book that brings daily life in ancient Egypt vividly to life."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

May 2024 Non-Fiction Book of the Month

If you’re fascinated by ancient Egypt or simply want to know more about the lives of ordinary people in one of the world’s most interesting civilisations, this superb book is for you.

Authors Michael Hoffen, Dr Christian Casey and Dr Jen Thum have taken a work of ancient Egyptian literature, known as ‘The Satire of the Trades’, in which a father – Polonius like – passes on instructions to his son, and have used it to illustrate what daily life was like almost 4000 years ago.

Khety was sending Pepi his son to become a scribe, the very best job in his opinion and writes to pass on advice about living in the capital as he trains, and with criticism of other occupations. Double page spreads take sections from Khety’s long letter and explain what he is talking about via text and stunning photographs of real ancient Egyptian artifacts. We learn so much about what it was like to work in ancient Egypt and more too: readers will learn to read some Egyptian words in hieroglyphs for example, and there are guides to help you say them out loud. Idiosyncratic sayings of Khety’s are explained or highlighted, ‘hurry your legs’ for example, could that be the same as ‘don’t dilly-dally’?

It’s entertaining, intriguing, stimulating, and one of the most accessible, interesting books you’ll come across on ancient Egypt.

Andrea Reece

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Reader Reviews

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Full of fun facts and interesting illustrations.

Full of fun and interesting facts. I enjoyed learning new things, but most of all I loved the illustrations.... Read Full Review