Muti's Necklace: The Oldest Story In The World

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9780618535835: Muti's Necklace: The Oldest Story In The World
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Thousands of years ago in Egypt, a girl named Muti receives a beautiful necklace from her father. He has carved it himself?from ?turquoise as blue as a dragonfly’s wing, and carnelian, as red as the inside of a pomegranate.” Muti wears it every day as she grows from a small child into an independent young woman.

When at the age of thirteen she is sent to work for King Snefru, the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt, Muti finds out just how precious her necklace really is. And in the process, she learns the value of standing up for what she treasures most.

With Louise Hawes’s clear, evocative prose and Rebecca Guay’s rich, powerful illustrations, Muti’s tale from thousands of years ago burns brightly alive today.

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About the Author:

Louise Hawes is the author of many novels for young adults and is also a faculty member of the Spalding University MFA in Writing program. She has always loved fairy tales and says that Black Pearls was written for 'everyone who dances without looking at the clock.' She lives in North Carolina.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-4–Adapting and expanding an ancient Egyptian story, Hawes has created an original fairy tale about familial love and its power to thwart even the majesty of Pharaoh. Muti cherishes the necklace her father made for her when she was born, associating it with many happy memories. After turning 13, she leaves her beloved family to work as a servant in King Snefru's palace. Pharaoh, impressed by her beauty and grace, makes her the leader of a cohort of female rowers for his pleasure boat. When her necklace breaks and falls into the lake, she refuses to row or to accept a replacement. It is so important to her that she stands up to Pharaoh, who is now even more impressed by her determination. Where the story contrasts sharply with traditional fairy tales is in the climax: when Snefru asks Muti to become his queen, she declines, preferring to be reunited with her family. The writing style favors the more fleshed-out manner of a short story than the leanness of a folktale. Guay's lush watercolor-and-gouache paintings incorporate elements of Egyptian art and culture, including jewelry motifs, decorative geometric patterns in the scenery, and headdresses and hairstyles. The characters' faces and gestures are expressive and dramatic, and the surrounding landscape teems with life.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
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Louise Hawes, Rebecca Guay (Illustrator)
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