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The Children's Bookshelf: "The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamen's Tomb:" - September 13, 2021

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The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb written by Candace Fleming is a fascinating book with two interrelated stories----one is about the things that happened to those people who dared to disturb the peace of a pharaoh and the other is about people, who were determined to find the tomb of Tutankhamun, a King who died when he was just eighteen.

The design of the book discusses the finding of the tomb and the excavating of the priceless treasures on white paper. It discusses the various curses and misfortunes that struck many of those involved on black paper. The terrific visual component, however, is the more than 75 photographs of the discovery of the tomb led by British Egyptologist Howard Carter, that moves this story clearly and excitingly forward.

Within the chapters there are important discussions around the moral issue of taking Egyptian treasures out of Egypt.

Once found it took Carter some ten years to complete the excavation of King Tut’s Tomb while carefully cataloging 5,398 items! The story is well written and keeps the reader glued to each step of the way from the first stairway and anti-chamber to the sarcophagus with three coffins! The third coffin was made of solid gold.

The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb written by Candace Fleming is perfect for readers 9-12 years of age and up. (Focus/ an imprint of Scholastic, 2021)

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb

There are a great many photographs in this book of Tutankhamun’s Tomb being unearthed and examined. Review the photos and then select a number of feelings and details with which to draw a poster that would best help you remember this book. You can use colored pencils, watercolors, a collage cut and paste process or any other media you like.

Robert Carter is, of course, the major figure in locating the tomb and carefully going through its treasures. Go through the story as written by Candace Fleming and find the answers to the following questions: Where did Carter live while in Egypt? Why? How did he meet Lord Carnarvon? Where was Carter sure Tutankhamun’s tomb would be found? Why? What convinced Carter that he and his team had found young Tutankhamun’s tomb? How many years did it take Carter to extract and carefully label over 5,000 items from the tomb? When Carter died why was there not a single British institution that took note of his work?

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.