Best children's books about Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt is one of the primary history topics that children most want to learn about and it’s easy to see why. Y6 teacher Ashley Booth picks his favourite Nile-based fiction books to fascinate your child and introduce them to a world of pyramids, mummies and pharaohs.
The Scarab’s Secret by Christina BalitSecond-hand only, out of print
This excellent picture book will appeal to children both young and old (and adults). Khepri is a mere scarab beetle who finds a trap designed to kill the Pharoah. Will a beetle be able to warn the Pharoah and save him? The beautiful illustrations and well-thought-out story will sweep any young reader along with them.
There’s A Pharoah In Our Bath! by Jeremy Strong(£5.99, Puffin)
This laugh-out-loud Jeremy Strong tale will win over your children in an instant. Tony usually brings home sick or injured animals, so no one’s shocked when he brings home a man covered in bandages. Only the man turns out to be an Ancient Egyptian Pharoah! You can only imagine the chaos that ensues...
The Plot On The Pyramid by Terry Deary(£3.99, A & C Black)
All the pyramid builders hate their tyrant of a boss Antef, but when he goes missing they all claim they are innocent. The only witness is Antef’s daughter Daria, who comes up with a cunning plan. A great book to get kids interested in Ancient Egypt, with a real page-turning mystery at its heart.
Flat Stanley: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery by Jeff Brown(£4.99, Egmont)
Everyone knows that Flat Stanley is flat, which is why when he’s contacted by an archaeologist he can travel to Egypt instantly (by airmail) to help find some Ancient Egyptian treasure buried deep in a pyramid. A world-famous character that continues to charm and amuse, presenting Egyptian culture to younger children in a brilliant way.
The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan(£5.75, Puffin)
Perfect for your older children, this epic tale comes from Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series. Carter and Sadie’s dad is an amazing Egyptologist, but one night he makes a huge mistake and releases Set, the Egyptian god of Chaos. Can they save the world? Full of shocking twists and turns, this will have even the most reluctant-to-read child hooked from the get go.
The Time Travelling Cat And The Egyptian Goddess by Julia Jarman(£6.99, Andersen Press)
Topher misses his mum, who passed away recently. To try and cheer Topher up, his dad takes in a stray cat – only this cat bears a striking resemblance to an Ancient Egyptian cat ornament his mum gave him. What could it all mean? Jarman’s novel will have your child bursting at the seams to read on.
The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo(£4.99, Collins)
A retelling of the classic Cinderella story with an Ancient Egyptian twist. Simple to follow, this reinvention turns the tale we all know on its head and makes it fun, exciting and educational. It’s the perfect book for 4-8 year olds with an interest in Ancient Egypt.
My Story: Cleopatra by Kristiana Gregory(£4.99, Scholastic)
Before Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony and the infamous asp, Cleopatra was a princess of Egypt. Find out more about her childhood by the Nile, her complicated family alliances (both of her sisters were rulers before her but killed by rival political factions) and her ambitions in this first-person "diary" account of her life.
Casting the Gods Adrift by Geraldine McCaughrean(£4.99, A & C Black Publishers)
When Tutmose and Ibrim's father, an animal dealer, is commanded by the pharaoh Akhenaten to bring him animals (and lots of them) for his new capital city, he is delighted. But what will the pharaoh's strange new religion and his belief in only one god mean for Tutmose, Ibrim and their family, and can the pharaoh be trusted? This thriller is a great read for kids studying life in ancient Egypt and is set in 1351-1354BC.
Secrets of a Sun King by Emma Carroll(£6.99, Faber & Faber)
A mysterious package, a famous (deceased) Egyptologist, a deadly pharaoh's curse and a tomb archaeologists are desperately hunting for – the ingredients of this fast-paced, exciting adventure, set in 1922 but packed with details about the lives (and after-lives) of the Ancient Egyptians. A great introduction to kids' historical fiction.