by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Release Date: Oct 1, 2010
Source: sent by author
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Book Summary from BoydsMillsPress.com:
Good. Evil. Dangerous. Glamorous. Will the real Cleopatra please stand up? Almost everything we know about the last queen of Egypt came from her enemies—the Romans. Now it’s time to meet the “real” Cleopatra, a ruler more complex, brilliant, and powerful than we ever knew. Cleopatra didn’t just rock the boat when she became queen at seventeen. She rocked the world with brilliant alliances that kept her in power and in control. When Mark Antony tried to put Egypt under his thumb, she negotiated for—and won—more territory than any Egyptian ruler had snagged in generations. Cleopatra didn’t just play by the rules. She made them up as she went along. She bowed to no one, including Octavian—the future Caesar Augustus—who never missed an opportunity to pump out anti-Cleopatra propaganda. The queen of Egypt has fascinated the world for thousands of years. It’s time to find out why. So, on your knees, commoner! The world’s most brilliant and outrageous queen—Cleopatra VII, the last Pharaoh of Egypt—is about to make her entrance. Includes maps, endnotes, timeline, glossary, sources, and index.
This was such a beautiful book! I was really impressed. The layout and photos of this non-fiction book for young readers were very nicely put together. The cover is absolutely stunning and the image is on the book too, not just the dust jacket.
I have always admired Cleopatra and I knew some of the facts, but Shecter opened my eyes about some things. I knew Cleopatra was misunderstood by most and her image of the sexy seductress wasn't all there was to her. But I always thought it was Hollywood who chopped up her image. But no, it was her own enemies in her own time who did all of that.
Also, I knew Cleopatra was very well read (one of the reasons I love her) but I did not know that Marc Antony once stole a very valuable scroll (book) for her as a wedding present! Here's a guy who knows what his lady likes!
The author's voice was so easy to read and really brought the history alive for today's younger reader. Her writing flowed and she compared things that happened to Cleopatra with events that were more family to today's reader. For instance, all of the bad 'press' Cleopatra had in her day was similar to Perez cutting down a celeb on his blog today.
Bottom Line: I really enjoyed reading Cleopatra's story again and the author really presents her in a fair and accurate light. I love the way the book is written for today's young readers. And I was glad to learn new information.