HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The golden goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Loading...

The golden goblet (original 1961; edition 1986)

by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,16786,945 (3.74)14
Member:vampreader
Title:The golden goblet
Authors:Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Info:New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Puffin Books, 1986.
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (1961)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I love historical fiction and was prepared to like this but I was disappointed. There are many interesting historical facts but the pace was too slow until the very end and the humor fell flat. ( )
  YAbookfest | May 11, 2014 |
This was probably one of my top ten favorite books when I was a kid. When I started interning at the local Egyptian museum earlier this year, I decided to re-read it since teachers were still using it during their Ancient Egypt units, and kids would mention it when I led school tours. I was also curious to see how well the book has held up over the years – will I still enjoy it as an adult?

Ranofer is a porter in a goldsmith’s shop, lowlier than even the apprentices. More than anything, he wishes to become a goldsmith, too – but after the death of his parents, his older half-brother Gebu refused to pay for his training. When small amounts of gold goes missing from the shop, Ranofer suspects his brother is involved. When he confronts, Gebu, his brother retaliates by pulling Ranofer from the goldsmith’s and forcing him to work in Gebu’s stonecutting workshop instead. Soon, Ranofer suspects that his brother is still stealing, but instead of targeting goldsmiths he has picked a far greater prize: the tombs of the dead!

It’s been at least fifteen years since I last read this book, but I think I enjoyed it just as much as I did back then. McGraw’s writing transports the reader right back into Ancient Egypt – and unlike most of the books I’ve read, which tend to hover around the royal families and their glamorous lives in the palaces, the story is about the people in the middle class. She creates a very clear image of life in the workshops of the artisans who created goods for the tombs of the wealthy elite, from the lowly papyrus maker to goldsmiths who work for the Queen herself.

She also does a wonderful job of explaining the religious beliefs of the peasant classes. Egyptian cosmology is confusing, and the magic rituals and ceremonies recorded by priests and scribes in fancy temples were probably not used by those of humbler origin. Ranofer knows a few of the key gods that affect his life, and at times he can be quite superstitious, and for a boy in his station it seemed appropriate.

The characters aren’t always completely fleshed out. Gebu is a douchebag, to be sure, but we don’t really know why he’s so abusive to his younger half-brother, other than he likes to be in control. The bad guys are always evil, with no redeeming qualities. But for a children’s book, these people have a lot of personality. Ranofer’s friends are funny, clever and loyal. Ranofer himself is thrown into one bad situation after another, but he always keeps his eye on his goal of becoming a goldsmith. He isn’t allowed to become an apprentice? He watches everyone carefully so that he is still learning new techniques. He approaches one of the best goldsmiths in town and tries to convince him to accept his as an apprentice, even though he can’t pay the costs, because he is skilled and willing to work harder than anyone else. He just never gives up, and I really admire that about him.

It makes me sad to skim the reviews of this book on Amazon.com – mostly from kids – and see how many of them are negative because the book is “boring” and “hard”. One parent complained that the language is too complicated for kids, and I find that stance so annoying. First of all, the language isn’t that difficult – there are some Egyptian terms but translations are provided in the same sentence, and while there are some multi-syllable words they aren’t that unusual. Second, even if the language is a little harder, what’s wrong with challenging kids a little? If the book is really beyond them, just shelve the book for a year or two and try again when they’re a little more mature. ( )
  makaiju | Apr 27, 2013 |
It isn’t often that a book throws you into the world of Ancient Egypt with such perfection that you move from cover to cover as easily as you’d travel down the Nile. This is the case with The Golden Goblet, a winner of the Newberry Honor that should have managed to claim the full award. While reading I found myself realizing that the descriptions were perfect replications of the lives painted on the walls of the tombs, that it was as if those paintings had come to life, as they were meant to when they were drawn onto the walls to guide those in the afterlife.

Though the mystery is somewhat obvious for an adult mind, the read itself is not to be missed. Not once did I put the book down to think “that wouldn’t have happened” or “they would never have said that.” If it were possible for someone to have lived in the time of the story, come back and written this book, I could easily believe that was exactly what had happened in the process of creating this book. Time travel is possible, just open the cover and begin your journey. ( )
  mirrani | Oct 13, 2011 |
My mom got this one for my kids about a year ago, and they were just not interested at all. So it's sat around. I finally picked it up to take a look. It's a Newberry honor book, so I figured it was probably worth reading.

In fact, I did enjoy it. It's about a boy, Ranofer, whose father has recently died. His father was a goldsmith and he was training Ranofer in the trade. But now Ranofer lives with his brutal half brother Gebu, who alternately beats and berates Ranofer and makes him his own apprentice as a stonecutter. Then Ranofer begins to notice that Gebu has more money than he should. Where is he getting it? And what about the golden goblet of the title?

I would recommend this one to kids or teens interested in ancient Egypt, especially boys.

CMB ( )
  cmbohn | Feb 11, 2008 |
Published in the same year as The Bronze Bow (which perhaps explains why it received only a Newbery Honor award), The Golden Goblet is an excellent mystery set in ancient Egypt. I would recommend reading the first two or three chapters aloud, and then letting the student finish it on his own. The first chapters can be discouraging for some readers, although the story picks up by the third chapter.
  mebrock | Jan 22, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The stream of molten gold flowed smoothly from the crucible, reflecting in its surface the cloudless blue of the Egyptian sky.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When he is orphaned, Ranofer has no choice but to move in with his abusive half-brother Gebu. Though he longs to be a master goldsmith like his late father, Ranofer is forced to become an apprentice stone cutter. Worries about his future are soon overshadowed when he stumbles across a stolen secret. A Newberry Honor Book.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140303359, Paperback)

Ranofer struggles to thwart the plottings of his evil brother, Gebu, so he can become master goldsmith like their father in this exciting tale of ancient Egyptian mystery and intrigue.
Newbery Honor Book

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:39 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A young Egyptian boy struggles to reveal a hideous crime and reshape his own destiny.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
26 wanted
1 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.74)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5 2
2 6
2.5 2
3 17
3.5 8
4 32
4.5 4
5 23

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,361,602 books! | Top bar: Always visible