Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt

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9780064409698: Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt

I saved my brother from the soldiers,
but the princess says he is hers now.
Abba and Ima will never trust me again.

In ancient Egypt, there lives a girl named Almah who will do anything to ensure the safety of her baby brother, Mosis.

She will leave her enslaved family and assume the role of Egyptian princess. She will change her identity if it means winning health and freedom for her brother.

Mosis, however, does not feel completely free. His identity has been changed against his will, and he longs to find himself. And when he does, he will do anything in his power to see that justice is served.

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Review:

In his introduction to this engrossing novel of ancient Egypt, Julius Lester says, "It is difficult not to see Charlton Heston when one thinks of Moses." But not in this book. Lester's Moses is a bungling teenager, scared and confused as he tries to find the courage to decide who he is and what he believes in. Raised as the pampered grandson of Pharaoh, he enjoys the attentions of three mother figures: Yocheved, his birth mother, who constantly implores him to return to his own people; Almah, his older sister, who has left her traditions to dance naked as a priestess of the goddess Hathor; and Batya, Pharoah's daughter, who saved him from death when he was a baby. But now his anger at his unresolved split identity has goaded him into a terrible act of violence--an act that will have a vast impact on history.

Julius Lester, a distinguished African-American writer best known for his Newbery Honor Book To Be a Slave, startled the literary world in 1981 by converting to Judaism. In Pharaoh's Daughter he follows the time-honored Jewish tradition of Midrash--a way of exploring a sacred text through the use of one's imagination. Armed with an impressive knowledge of the Hebrew language and the history of ancient Egypt, he jolts us out of our expectations and brings a fresh and richly detailed perspective to the Exodus. As Moses flees with his father's blessing--"You must go and come back and teach us all to be free"--we can only hope that Julius Lester plans to tell the rest of the story. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

Book Description:

Hardcover edition 2000 978-0-15-201826-9  $17.00  

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Lester, Julius
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