Geraldine McCaughrean – Casting the Gods Adrift Ancient Egypt BC 1354
From CIP: Tutmose, an apprentice sculptor, and his nearly-blind brother, Ibrim, an apprentice musician, are content at the court of Pharaoh Akhenaten, but their father rages against Pharaoh’s rejection of traditional Egyptian gods and plots a deadly revenge.
Caroline B Cooney – Goddess of Yesterday Ancient Greece BC 1184
This book was on our school reading list a few years ago and it was quite popular. I am a huge fan of Caroline Cooney’s writing and have read so many of her books. This is one of her best. From CIP: Taken from her home on an Aegean island as a six-year-old girl, Anaxndra calls on the protection of her goddess while she poses as two different princesses over the next six years, before ending up as a servant in the company of Helen and Paris as they make their way to Troy.
Susan Fletcher – Shadow Spinner Ancient Persia BC 500
This is masterful storytelling and my first true introduction to Shahrazad. Told from the point of view of Marjan, who was crippled as a child. If Shahrazad tells the Sultan a new story each night, her life will be spared for one more day. Panicked when she runs out of stories, she finds Marjan, who gathers stories and feeds them to her, thus prolonging her life. Remains one of my all-time favorites.
Julius Lester – Pharaoh’s Daughter Ancient Egypt BC 332
From CIP: A fictionalized account of a Biblical story in which an Egyptian princess rescues a Hebrew infant who becomes a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods.