Carlos Summer Reading List

Below you will find fascinating reads about the ancient world to get wrapped up in this summer! The books are available through the DeKalb County Library and the Carlos Museum Bookshop.

Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 4-8, 9-12, 12 & up

Ancient Americas: Ages 4-8, 9-12

Africa: Ages 4-8, 9-12

Asia: Ages 4-8, 9-12, 12 & up

Ancient Greece & Rome: Ages 4-8, 9-12, 12 & up



Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 4-8:


Tut's Mummy: Lost... and Found

by Judy Donnelly ($3.99)

Illustrated in full color with black-and-white & full-color photos. "Beginning with the death of Tutankhamen, the book moves forward to archaeologist Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb. Information about ancient Egyptian life is interspersed in a clear, smooth fashion throughout. A good way to get readers into non-fiction." - Booklist. 

(All Aboard Reading)

by Joyce Milton ($3.99)

Along with offering new readers a lot of information, this is one of the most attractive easy-to-reads around. Milton explains in clear, crisp language the theory and process of mummification. Swan's intricate cut-paper collages portray modern-day and ancient Egypt; intricately cut pieces of paper are turned into masks and mummies and ornate decorations. The occasional photograph adds interest but jars a little. Considering at how early an age children are fascinated by ancient Egypt, this will make a welcome introduction that they can read themselves. Ilene Cooper - Booklist

Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning

by Mary Pope Osborne ($3.99)

Jack and Annie don't need another mummy. But that's what they get when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient Egypt, where they come face to face with a dead queen--and her 1,000-year-old mummy! Will Jack and Annie be able to solve the puzzle, or will they end up as mummies themselves?

Tutankhamen's Gift

by Robert Sabuda ($7.99)

Small and frail, Tutankhamen was an all but ignored member of the royal family of the great Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III. At the school of the menoi, or tutors, he did not excel at physical activities with the other royal princes. Keeping to himself, he observed and admired the work of his father's craftsmen, who built glorious temples to Egypt's many gods. Then Amenhotep III died and the unpopular reign of Tutankhamen's brother ended in mystery. Who now would be pharaoh? Could it be a boy of only ten?

Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs

by James Rumford ($6.95)

In 1802, Jean-Francois Champollion was eleven years old. That year, he vowed to be the first person to read Egypt's ancient hieroglyphs. James Rumford introduces the remarkable man who deciphered the ancient Egyptian script and fulfilled a lifelong dream in the process. Stunning watercolors bring Champollion's adventure to life in a story that challenges the mind and touches the heart.

Mummies Made in Egypt

by Aliki Brandenburg($6.99)

Aliki describes each step in the process of preparing the body for the afterlife. Some of the illustrations are based on actual artwork found in ancient Egyptian tombs.




Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 9-12:

The Wadjet Eye

by Jill Rubalcaba ($5.95)

In this story set in 45 BC, Damon's medical training under the Pharaoh's own physician didn't prepare him for his mother's last illness, or for the adventure that follows. From shipwreck and shark attack to the political maneuverings of Cleopatra, Cicero, and Caesar, this historical novel combines page-turning excitement with a well-researched portrait of the ancient world.





The Egypt Game (Yearling Newberry)

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder ($6.50)

The first time Melanie Ross meets April Hall, she's not sure they'll have anything in common. But she soon discovers that they both love anything to do with ancient Egypt. When they stumble upon a deserted storage yard behind the A-Z Antiques and Curio Shop, Melanie and April decide it's the perfect spot for Egypt Game. Before long there are six Egyptians instead of two. After school and on weekends they all meet to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code. Everyone thinks it's just a game, until strange things begin happening to the players. Has the Egypt Game gone too far?



Gilgamesh the King

by Ludmila Zeman ($8.95)

Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help. In answer, another kind of man, Enkidu, is sent to earth to live among the animals and learn kindness from them. He falls in love with Shamhat, a singer from the temple, and he follows her back to Uruk. There, Enkidu, the "uncivilized" beast from the forest, shows the evil Gilgamesh through friendship what it means to be human.


The Last Quest of Gilgamesh

by Ludmila Zeman ($8.95)

In his final quest, Gilgamesh, still mourning the death of his dear friend Enkidu, sets out to find the key to immortality. He must fight ferocious serpents and wild lions. He travels through bitterly cold caves, across scorching deserts, and over the fatal waters of the Sea of Death. Finally he arrives at the palace of Utnapishtim, the only human who knows the secret of immortality. Utnapishtim sets Gilgamesh a test to stay away for six days and seven nights, but Gilgamesh fails. Finally, Enkidu comes from the underworld to show Gilgamesh true immortality: the king will be remembered for his good deeds, courage, and love for his people.


The Revenge of Ishtar

by Ludmila Zeman ($8.95)

In this second volume in the Gilgamesh trilogy, Enkidu joins Gilgamesh in the quest to slay Humbaba, the monster who has attacked the city and caused great destruction, including the death of the beautiful singer, Shamat. Gilgamesh and Enkidu successfully slay the monster and in so doing, Gilgamesh attracts the attention of the goddess Ishtar. In rejecting her advances, he incurs her revenge and an attack by the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu manages to kill the bull, but is slain by Ishtar, striking at the bond between the two friends. Shattered, Gilgamesh vows he will destroy the last monster: death.

Egypt & the Ancient Near East: Ages 12 and up:

The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

by Elizabeth Payne ($5.99)

The astonishing culture of ancient Egypt thrived for more than 3,000 years along the banks of the Nile. But when its cities crumbled to dust, Egypt's culture and the secrets of its hieroglyphic writings were also lost. This book explains how archaeologists have pieced together their discoveries to reclaim the history of Egypt's people, its pharaohs, and its golden days.




Pharaoh's Daughter (Newberry Honor Recipient)

by Julius Lester ($6.99)

A fictionalized account of the Biblical tale in which a Hebrew infant, rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, passes through a turbulent adolescence to eventually become a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods. Born into slavery, adopted as an infant by a princess, and raised in the palace of mighty Pharaoh, Moses struggles to define himself. And so do the three women who love him: his own embittered mother, forced to give him up by Pharaoh's decree; the Egyptian princess who defies her father and raises Moses as her own child; and his headstrong sister Almah, who discovers a greater kinship with the Egyptian deities than with her own God of the Hebrews. Told by Moses and his sister Almah from alternating points of view, this stunning novel by Newbery Honor-author Julius Lester probes questions of identity, faith, and destiny.


The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid

by Rick Riordan ($17.99)

Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.



The Kane Chronicles: The Throne of Fire

by Rick Riordan ($18.99)

Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family. To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished. First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly? Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.


Ancient Americas: Ages 4-8:


How to Be an Aztec Warrior

by Fiona Macdonald ($14.95 Hardback, $5.95 Paperback)

Imagine living in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and studying to become a successful warrior. This "primer" for young readers describes the lives of these ancient fighters, from the training they received to the weapons they used, and their combat strategies. The book also discusses warfare as a religious duty, with prisoners sacrificed to the gods. An appealing combination of user-friendly text and attractive illustrations makes it easy for readers to prepare for the job interview at the end of the book.


The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest

by Lynne Cherry, Mark J. Plotkin ($7.00)

For thousands of years, in the jungles of the Amazon, shamans have passed their wisdom of the medicinal values of rain forest plants from one generation to the next. The Shaman's Apprentice tells the story of a Tirio Indian boy who dreams of one day being the tribal shaman, and how he and his people learn the importance of their own knowledge about the healing properties of the rain forest.

Ancient Americas: Ages 9-12:

Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Ancient Quiche Maya

by Victor Montejo ($12.95)

One of the few Maya documents to survive the Spanish conquest, the Popol Vuh describes the creation of the Maya universe and of humans. It tells the tale of the Hero Twins, who defeated the gods of the underworld in a ball game, and details the legendary history of the Quiche Maya rulers until their imprisonment and torture by the Spanish. Equivalent to the Bible and the Greek and Roman mythologies, the Popol Vuh is the essential text of Mayan culture. Here, vivid images and captivating text will fascinate children.

The Hero Twins: Against the Lords of Death

by Dan Jolley, illustrated by David Witt ($8.95)

In this new title in the Graphic Myths and Legends series of comic book mythology, two young boys, the Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque, were blessed by the Mayan gods with special powers. But their incredible skill at playing Pok-ta-Pok, the Maya ball game, angers the lords of Xibalba, rulers of the land of the dead. When the lords challenge them to a Pok-ta-Pok game in Xibalba, the twins know they must use all of their powers and cunning to defeat the lords’ many challenges.

Trail of Tears

by Joseph Bruchac ($3.99)

John Ross, chief, and the great Cherokee Nation do not want to leave their land, but they have no choice. Today is their first day on the Trail of Tears.

Africa: Ages 4-8

Kente Colors

by Debbie Chocolate ($6.95)

A joyful ode to kente celebrates the beauty and tradition of this West African fabric that is now so popular in America. Rhythmic verse shows the special meaning of colors and patterns while glorious paintings show kente as it is used and worn in Ghana, from babies' blankets to dancers' capes. An author's note further explains kente's rich symbolism. Readers young and old will delight in discovering the connections between African culture and the colorful cloth we love to wear.

Look What Came From Africa

by Miles Harvey ($6.95)

Each book in this elementary-level multicultural series explores, in a very simple fashion, the foods, words, inventions, toys, games and sports, religions, music, and crafts that a specific country has contributed to the world. If you think that jazz music, the banjo, and the Charleston are American classics, think again! They came to us all the way from Africa, along with coffee, sesame seeds, and yams, cornrows and kente cloth, exotic masks, and the game of mancala.

A Story A Story: An African Tale

by Gail E. Hailey ($7.99)

Many African stories are called "Spider stories". This book is about how that came to be. And it tells that long, long ago there were no stories on earth for children to hear. All stories belonged to Nyame, the Sky god. Ananse, the Spider man, wanted to buy some of these stories, so he spun a web up to the sky and went to bargain with the Sky god. The price the Sky god asked was Osebo, the leopard-of-the-terrible-teeth, Mmboro the hornet who-stings-like-fire and Mmoatia the fairy whom-man-never-see. This book is about how Ananse paid the price.

Africa: Ages 9-12

Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

by Nelson Mandela, ed ($?)

Mandela has chosen 32 traditional tales for this handsome oversized volume. While nearly half the selections have their origins in South Africa, the rest represent some of the continent's most cherished tales and come from Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and other sub-Saharan countries as well as a single selection from Morocco. Each story is introduced with a short provenance or source note, and a frontispiece map matches each tale with its geographical area. Told by a variety of storytellers and folklorists, or gleaned from previously published sources, the tellings vary from literary to contemporary. The book also provides a showcase for 18 illustrators, mostly from South Africa, who contributed one full-page illustration per story. This is a rich collection that would provide depth and breadth to any classroom study alongside the many single-tale picture-book editions readily found on library shelves.

Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories

by Adwoa Badoe, illustrated by Baba Waqoe Diakite ($12.95)

One of the major figures in African folklore is the round-bellied trickster-spider Ananse, who outwits enemies large and small. With The Pot of Wisdom, a wider audience can enjoy these delightful tales. Adwoa Badoe's witty retellings and Baba Wague Diakite's colorful images bring Ananse and his amusing — and instructive — adventures to life.

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions

by Margaret Musgrove ($6.99)

Ashanti to Zulu presents 26 African tribes, from A to Z, and lets children learn something about the culture and customs of each one. Aside from being a learning experience, the book is visually eye-popping; and the book won a well-deserved Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children's book of 1977.

Sunjata: Warrior King of Mali

by Ron Fontes & Justine Fontes, illustrated by Sandy Carruthers ($8.95)

Weak and silent, young Sunjata is unable to walk, unable even to pull a bow, but a prophesy foretold that his mother would bear a son who will become the mansa of all the Mande people—the greatest king ever to rule. Sunjata sets out to find the strength and courage to fulfill his birthright and to overcome the plotting of a rival queen and the sorcery of the terrible tyrant Sumanguru.



National Geographic Investigates: Ancient Africa.

by Victoria Sherrow ($17.95)

From Benin to Mali and from the empire of Ghana to Songhai, archaeologists have searched Africa for years, looking for clues to the history of the African people. These ancient artifacts - the drystone walls of Great Zimbabwe; the shawabtis, or carved figurines, created by Nubian artisans - help scientists today to piece together the puzzle of Africa's past.


Asia: Ages 4-8

The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales

Retold by Sherab Chodzin and Alexadra Kohn ($17.95)

A collection of Buddhist moral tales from India, Burma, Tibet, China, and Japan, The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales is as enchanting as it is exotic. Vivid illustrations from tales such as "The Foolish Boy" and "Useless Work" depict the characters in traditional dress, and the page margins of every story are decorated with distinctive, intricate designs. All of these stories are lightheartedly retold for children and a delight to read.

Hanuman: based on Valmiki's Ramayana

Retold by Erik Jendreson and Joshua M. Greene ($7.95)

Hanuman, the monkey hero, once leapt all the way to the sun--but suffered dearly for it. Now all grown, he lends his long-forgotten powers to the cosmic battle to save Princess Sita from the foul demon king, Ravana. Full color.

Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia

By Sally Pomme Clayton; Sophie Herxheimer, Illus. ($8.95)

Why are some carpets magic? What is a wish-tree? And where can the fountain of eternal life be found? This book answers these questions. Together with a glossary and brief notes, it combines to reveal the richness of the little-known, faraway lands of Central Asia.

Asia: Ages 9-12


by Henry Holt, Demi ($21.95)

Many centuries ago, a child was born to a king and queen in the land that is now India. The young prince, Siddhartha, was raised in the greatest luxury, sheltered from all pain and ugliness. But one day, Siddhartha left the palace and saw, for the first time, human suffering and death. He knew then that he must relinquish everything to discover the Truth of life. Demi's exquisite illustrations add a mystical dimension to this biography of an extraordinary spiritual leader. Full color.

Asia: Ages 12 & up


What You Will See Inside a Hindu Temple

by Dr. Mahendra Jani and Dr. Vandana Jani ($17.99)

From the dependable What You Will See Inside series, this introduces the beliefs and practices of the Hindu religion. The book opens with a traditional Sanskrit word of greeting, Namaste ("I salute God within you"), setting the respectful, inviting tone of the text, which leads readers into a temple. The book explains what can be seen there and discusses Hindu beliefs, worship practices, scriptures, celebrations, blessing ceremonies, and family shrines in home.- Booklist

Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 4-8:

Vacation Under the Volcano - Magic Tree House #13

by Mary Pope Osborne ($3.99)

Jack and Annie race against time to find an ancient library in Pompeii before it is buried in ash!






Hour of the Olympics - Magic Tree House #16

by Mary Pope Osborne ($3.99)

Jack and Annie are off on another adventure! This time they are sent to ancient Greece, where a very important event is taking place. Join them as they race against time and witness the very first Olympic games!

Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 9-12:

Pompeii: Lost and Found

by Mary Pope Osborne ($16.95)

The famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius that snuffed out life in Pompeii and buried the town has long been a fascinating moment in history for children. This book presents that dramatic story with Mary Pope Osborne's brief text and with stunning frescoes created by Bonnie Christensen, using the same colors, style, and technique as the ancient frescoes unearthed at Pompeii. In addition to the destruction of Pompeii and the rediscovery of the ruins nearly 1,700 years later, the book shows what daily life was like in this prosperous Roman town in the year 79 A.D.


The Mystery of the Roman Colosseum

by Carol Marsh ($5.95)

In this historical mystery series, Mimi, a children's writer, is working on a new mystery set in Italy. When her granddaughter Christina discovers a puzzling advertisement in an Italian newspaper, suspicious men in black trench coats start popping up. Follow Mimi and her family and friends as they explore Italy in the middle of Carnivale and solve the mystery of the Roman Colosseum.



The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War

by Emily Little ($3.99)

The Greeks, fighting the Trojans for ten years, wonder how they will ever storm the walled city of Troy. Find out how their clever trick changed the outcome of the war.

The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan (17.95 Hardback, $7.99 Paperback)

The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he's a demigod. Perseus, aka Percy Jackson, thinks he has big problems. His father left before he was born, he's been kicked out of six schools in six years, he's dyslexic, and he has ADHD. What a surprise when he finds out that that's only the tip of the iceberg: he vaporizes his pre-algebra teacher, learns his best friend is a satyr, and is almost killed by a minotaur before his mother manages to get him to the safety of Camp Half-Blood--where he discovers that Poseidon is his father. But that's a problem, too. Poseidon has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, and unless Percy can return the bolt, humankind is doomed. Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny. Percy is an appealing, but reluctant hero, the modernized gods are hilarious, and the parallels to Harry Potter are frequent and obvious. Because Riordan is faithful to the original myths, librarians should be prepared for a rush of readers wanting the classic stories. Chris Sherman, Booklist.

Sea of Monsters

by Rick Riordan ($7.99)

In this second adventure in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Percy is anticipating the end of seventh grade and a summer at Camp Half-Blood with kids who are the offspring of Greek gods and mortals. He dreams that his pal Grover, a satyr, is in danger. After monsters attack in his school gym class, Percy and Tyson, a homeless kid, are picked up by Annabeth, a half-blood friend, and rushed to the camp, which is under attack. The tree that guards the camp is dying, and Chiron, the activity director, has been dismissed. Another dream reveals that Grover, whose peril is increasing, is on the same island as the legendary Golden Fleece, which may be the cure for the troubled camp. With the help of Hermes, Percy and his pals set off to the Sea of Monsters, where they encounter legendary dangers. Riordan's clever mix of classical mythology, contemporary teen characters, and an action-packed adventure will bring new readers to the series. Diana Herald, Booklist.

The Titan’s Curse

by Rick Riordan ($7.99)

Just after finding Bianca and Nico, two newly discovered half-bloods, Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Thalia end up trapped between a helicopter and a manticore. Artemis and her Hunters save the day, but Annabeth disappears over a cliff; then Artemis rushes off to hunt a dangerous monster. Back at Camp Half-Blood, the Oracle foretells that Artemis must be rescued and makes a prediction that bodes ill for one of their number—but which one? Percy, who is supposed to remain behind while others pursue the quest, follows in search of the missing Annabeth. Their adventures range widely across the U.S., taking them to locales that include Washington, D.C., and the deserts of the Southwest and pitting them against the usual assortment of colorful adversaries. The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series is built around a terrific idea—that the half-mortal offspring of Greek gods live among us, playing out struggles of mythic scale—and Riordan takes it from strength to strength with this exciting installment, adding even more depth to the characters and story arc while retaining its predecessors' nonstop laughs and action. Diana Herald, Booklist

The Battle of the Labyrinth

by Rick Riordan ($7.99)

As an incoming freshman, Percy isn't expecting his high school orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends will set out on a quest through the Labyrinth-a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.


The Last Olympian

by Rick Riordan ($17.99, Hardback only)

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos's army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan's power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it's up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy's sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Ancient Greece and Rome: Ages 12 and up:


by Adèle Geras ($6.95)

The siege of Troy has lasted almost ten years. Inside the walled city, food is scarce and death is common. From the heights of Mount Olympus, the Gods keep watch. But Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is bored with the endless, dreary war. Aided by Eros's bow, the goddess sends two sisters down a bloody path to an awful truth: In the fury of war, love strikes the deadliest blows. Heralded by fans and critics alike, Adèle Geras breathes personality, heartbreak, and humor into this classic story.






by Adèle Geras ($6.95)

Many years have passed since the end of the Trojan War, and Penelope is still waiting for her husband, Odysseus, to return home. The city of Ithaka is overrun with uncouth suitors from the surrounding islands who are vying to win Penelope's hand in marriage, thereby gaining control of the land. When a naked, half-drowned man washes up on the beach, everything changes. . . . Told through the eyes of Klymene, a young girl who is like a daughter to Penelope-and who longs for more than friendship from the young prince Telemachus-Ithaka captures the quiet strength and patience of a woman's enduring love for her husband and the ensuing chaos that threatens all as Penelope is pressured to remarry.



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