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At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the…

At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of…

by Christine Liu-Perkins

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Summary: This is a fascinating nonfiction story for older, more adept at reading children who are interested in Ancient History and mummies! It explores the tomb and mummy (or rather preserved cadaver) of Lady Dai, that is thought to be from the Han Dynasty, close to 2000 years old! The tomb was a treasure trove of artifacts and insight into this ancient culture. It was fascinating reading about the almost unbelievably well preserved body, unlike any ever found of that age.

Reflection: This is a really great book about a piece of Ancient Culture. There are passages told in the beginning of chapters that are written like a storybook and diary. There are drawings and actual photographs from the tomb that further enhance the book. This is a must read for anyone interested in Ancient China, Lady Dai, and Mawangdui. Besides the typical layout of the book there are information boxes throughout that give extra historical background and facts. There is also a timeline, author's note, bibliography, and index of quotes. This book would be a nice addition to a middle school social studies classroom. ( )
  AlinaA | Mar 10, 2016 |
Fascinating account of the discovery and excavation of three 2000-year-old tombs in western China. The most remarkable find in the tombs was the remarkably well-preserved body of a Chinese noblewoman whose skin was still soft to the touch. The author offers great information about her times and the processes scientists used to examine the body and other contents of her tomb. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
When I read this, I realized that THIS is what I wanted Sky Caves to be. This isn't really fair, since they're about very different archaeological discoveries, but the topics are roughly the same - an archaeological discovery with major historical impact. This book, however, drew me in from the start and held my attention to the very end.

The introduction explains how the author first encountered "Lady Dai" and her treasures and got the inspiration to write this book.

Each chapter is introduced by a fictional recreation of an aspect of Lady Dai's life which then segues into a discussion of that aspect of the discoveries made in the tomb. So, a brief glimpse of Lady Dai caring for silkworms opens the chapter on the silk books that were discovered in the tomb. The chapters not only discuss the archaeological discoveries, they talk about their historical impact and the context of the time period. So the chapter on silk books not only talks about how the discovery of these books greatly added to knowledge of the time period and how very little from that time has survived, it also talks about the value of silk and the the subjects of the books.

Drawings, photographs, and artists' impressions fill the book, all with thorough captions. The book concludes with a reflection on the people of the time period and a brief history of the Qin and Han dynasties. There is also a time line, map, glossary, author's note (including a note about the "imagined scenes"), sources of quotations, bibliography, and index.

Verdict: While this is a challenging book, a strong reader will be drawn into the story by the excellent layout and strong writing. Even if you don't have much interest in Asia or archeology at your library, I'd still give this a chance. It's not only a fascinating look into an amazing archaeological discovery and a great introduction to a history that most American kids don't know, it's also a great introduction to excellent writing and research. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781580893701; Published 2014 by Charlesbridge; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 7, 2014 |
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"...Unearths the mysteries of the Mawangdui (mah-wahng-dway) tombs, one of China's top archaeological finds of the last century. Miniature servants, mysterious silk paintings, scrolls of long-lost secrets, and the best preserved mummy in the world (the body of Lady Dai) are just some of the artifacts that shed light upon life in China during the Han dynasty."--Amazon.com.Presents the mysteries of the Mawangdui tombs, one of China's top archaeological finds of the last century, shedding light upon life in China during the Han dynasty. --Publisher's description.… (more)

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