Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Boy King Paperback – Import, January 1, 2007
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I like how Hawass begins his book with Howard Carter's discovery and how this story inspired Hawass to pursue Egyptian archaeology. Such a story may inspire kids to be motivated rather than just awed by things that intrigue them. Hawass includes info on how Tut lived (i.e. outdoor activities, favorite foods, military training, clothing, etc.) which would interest kids. Sometimes his speculations are a little much: "Tutankhamun and Ankhsenamun would have lived a life of luxury, and I believe that they loved each other very much" (pg. 33), or "I think that the king and queen must have been very sad when they lost their babies" (pg. 39). Sappy, but all right for a children's book, I guess. I found the info on the different gods a little confusing, especially when the author contradicts himself stating, on one page, that Amun was the most important god (pg. 22) and then, five pages later, that Aten was the most important (pg. 27). He also does not explain a photo showing that a section of Tut's tomb was robbed on page 18 until the very end of the book.
The most intriguing chapter of this book concerns a recent CAT scan done on Tut in January 2005. The results refute renown Egyptologist Bob Brier's theory that Tut was struck in the head and killed by his successor Ay (pg. 50). I was considering purchasing Brier's book "The Murder of Tutankhamun," as I enjoyed his long television documentary on mummies a few years back, but this children's book convinced me to spend my money on something else.
The book includes a timeline, short list of books for further reading with brief descriptions and age recommendations, and lots of full color photos including a stunning full-page photo of the gilded throne with King Tut and his Queen inlaid in semiprecious stones (pg. 34). The book is 64 pages.
It deals with the mystery of Tutankhamun's death, it works as a biography of Tut's life, and it whets your appetite for the science of excavation and preservation.. Top-notch.