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Secrets of The Sphinx by James Cross Giblin

Secrets of The Sphinx

by James Cross Giblin

Other authors: Bagram Ibatoulline (Illustrator)

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Like most people who are (or were) children, Ancient Egypt is a fascinating subject to study. These early humans formed one of the first advanced civilizations on the planet. In that regard, they are somewhat familiar. However, in so many other ways they are utterly alien to us. In this last regard, the Sphinx is no exception.
The book goes into far more detail than I would have imagined, given its size. I thought this would be an elementary picture book about the statue itself. I found myself pleasantly surprised what the book delved into amazing detail about the beginnings of Ancient Egypt, its society, its culture, the challenges in learning its language, later Egypt, as well as the Sphinx itself and the efforts directed towards its restoration.
When picking up this book, I thought that a teacher might only be able to spend a day on it, but this could have a whole section dedicated to it. It is still best for Elementary and Middle School students. ( )
  CharlesHollis | May 3, 2015 |
Audience- 5-8th grade
Secrets of the Sphinx is a wonderful book about the Egyptian Sphinx, civilization and how it was built. It is very informative with excellent illustrations and will be very useful to middle-schoolers while studying ancient civilizations. I will keep this book as a resource for student projects and also while teaching in class. ( )
  ShantiR | Apr 8, 2014 |
  BRCSBooks | Mar 27, 2013 |
The author clearly shows great reverence for the sphinx as an important monument that needs to be preserved. His standpoint is biased in favor of Egyptian government officials who are against digging or probing around the monument to discover supposed “hidden chambers”, and the author attempts with his research to debunk any legendary connections between the sphinx and the lost city of Atlantis. I understand that the author wants to be factual and logical, and not promote further speculation. To be honest, though, I would be more interested to read legends about the sphinx (whether true or not) then details about current efforts to restore and preserve the stonework. I was also hoping for more theories about why the sphinx was built and its role in Egyptian religious life. This book focuses more on the day to day life of the workers who built the sphinx, how it was constructed, and forces that have eroded it over the years. This book would be very useful for a research paper about the sphinx, probably for the middle school aged student. The text is too formal in style for students below fifth grade, in my opinion. Personally, I would be more interested in exploring some of the other texts that the author cites in his “Source Notes and Bibliography”, which deal more with the legends behind the sphinx. I appreciate the fact that he clearly cites all his sources with notes about each one, because that helps the reader to determine which sources to explore for further research. I also did enjoy the author’s fanciful recounting of the legend behind the sphinx in the classic Greek drama Oedipus, the King, and how this sphinx differs greatly in character from the Egyptian sphinx. It helps readers to understand how the Great Sphinx has inspired literature and drama throughout time.
  Collene_Kuznicki | Feb 25, 2013 |
A well done non fiction book exposing students to some of the wonderful wonders of the world. Beautiful illustrations.
  ymelodie | Oct 28, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Cross Giblinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ibatoulline, BagramIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Discusses some of Egypt's most famous artifacts and monuments, including the pyramids, the Rosetta Stone, and, especially, the Great Sphinx, presenting research and speculation about their origins and their future.

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