For a long time, I’ve had a crush on Ancient Egypt. It makes me happy that my kids get a chance to learn about ancient cultures when they go to school. Books about history from a long time ago make us feel like we’re part of it. In the first book on this list, you’ll learn more about the relationship between the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut and her architect, Senenmut, who was also her lover and a friend. That’s not the only thing I’ve learned. The great Pharoah Ramses II is also the Pharoah who wouldn’t let Moses and his people go until 10 great plagues hit Egypt. Moses and Ramses II may not have always been enemies, according to a book by Christian Jacq called “Ramses.”
When I read middle-grade books that use Ancient Egyptian mythology, I love how it makes it possible for characters in books to have superpowers. Rick Riordan, Marissa Moss, and Donna Jo Napoli all write action-packed books with these themes. They all have exciting stories.
When you think about Ancient Egypt, it seems like it’s not very far-fetched to have some kind of magical ability.
It’s up to you. Does this time in history make you happy? What are some of your favorite books about Egypt? It was a great idea!
Best Books for Kids about Ancient Egypt
The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss
It was in 1478 BC that Hatshepsut took the throne of Egypt, and she was very important. Her rise to power was important because she had to use her bloodline, education, and knowledge of religion to get there. It was a good thing that she was the daughter, sister, and wife of a king. She was able to become the God’s Wife of Amun because she knew about religion. Officially, she and Thutmose III shared the throne. Thutmose III was about two years old when he took the throne the year before. Hatshepsut was the main wife of Thutmose II, the father of Thutmose III. It comes from Wikipedia. It turns out that my favorite Rick Riordan-like book about ancient Egypt is not written by Rick Riordan at all. Is by Marissa Moss, who is best known for her Amelia’s Notebook books. This book has all the things you’d expect from a Rick Riordan book: action-adventure, hidden powers from a powerful bloodline, and a fight against evil.
Adom and Talibah go with their father to modern Egypt, where he is working on a project. When they go with him, they get caught up in a mystery about an ancient, lost pharaoh who was a rare queen ruler. Someone has tried to erase her from the record, making it look like she didn’t even live! Her high priest, Senenmut, needs Talibah to help her and her people get back to where they should be in history. This book is full of riddles, old stories, and, most shockingly, a connection to Talibah and Adom’s mother who died mysteriously. This is a book for middle graders, ages 8 and up. You can read more about it here: The secret of the Pharaoh is at the Museum of Fine Arts.
The Red Pyramid series by Rick Riordan
I thought this series about Ancient Egyptian mythology was very interesting. Sadie and her brother Carter are twins, but they were separated during their early years of life. It was a mysterious explosion that killed their mother. Sadie lives with her grandparents in London, and Carter lives with their father after their mother died in the U.S. When their father, an Egyptologist, does research at the British Museum, the siblings are all together again. To save their father, Carter and Sadie must learn how to use their own powers. The god Set was accidentally let out. This is a book for middle graders, ages 8 and up.
From the Kane Chronicles Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual: Your Guide to Egyptian Gods & Creatures, Glyphs & Spells, and More by Rick Riordan
Our guide is Carter Kane, and he will show you how to find out about Egyptian Gods, Creatures, Glyphs, and Spells! This primer will also give you the backstory to the Kane Chronicles, so you can better understand them. This is a book for middle graders, ages 8 and up.
A Place in the Sun by Jill Rubalcaba
Merneptah was the 13th son of his long-lived father, Ramses II. When he took the throne in about 1213, he was nearing 60 years old. Merneptah or Merenptah was the fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. She was also known as Merneptah. It says that he was Egypt’s ruler from late July or early August 1213 BC until May 2, 1203 BC, when he died. It comes from Wikipedia.
This book is set in the time of Ramses II, and it tells the story of his life. When 9-year-old Senmut’s father is bitten by a cobra, he tries to save him by carving a statue. It is thought that this will free the god Sekhmet, who is trapped in the stone. After killing a dove in haste because he didn’t want to wait for his father to finish, Senmut must die. His father was an expert carver. In Nubia, Senmut is sent to live in the gold mines. It’s very hard to make a living there. Determined to save his father, he finishes the statue in a hidden place. It is only when the Pharoah’s son, Merenptah, is sick that the statue of Senmut is found. Is it possible for the statue to save the son of the Pharaoh? Senmut’s life is at stake. This is a book for middle graders, ages 8 and up.
Casting the Gods Adrift by Geraldine McCaughrean
It’s possible that Akhenaten was known as Amenhotep IV before the fifth year of his reign. He was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. He reigned for 17 years and may have died in 1336 BC or 1334 BC, but we don’t know for sure. He is known for giving up traditional Egyptian polytheism and starting worship centered on the Aten (notably instead of Amun, the temples of which he destroyed, the name of whom he rubbed off and the priests of whom he left without resources). It comes from Wikipedia.
During Akhenaten’s time as Pharaoh, he orders that all of the old gods must be thrown out and replaced with a single god called Aten, which is the sun god. This is a hard time for the Egyptian people, especially for the father of young Tutmose, Harkhuf. Harkhuf is a fan of rare animals that show how many gods there are. He wants to kill the Pharaoh, and he needs Tutmose’s help. Tutmose is a good sculptor, and the faience cat he made is used as a weapon. They have been nice to Tutmose and his brother, though. Akenaten and his wife Nefertiti have been good to them. What side will he choose? ages 9 and up can read this historical middle grade fiction.
Lights on the Nile by Donna Jo Napoli
This is what you need to know about the ancient Egyptian monarch, Khufu, or “Cheops.” Khufu was the second ruler of the Fourth Dynasty, and he ruled for about half of the Old Kingdom period. He was also known as Cheops (26th century BC). Khufu took over the throne from his father, Sneferu. It comes from Wikipedia.
It’s a great book for people who like Ancient Egypt mixed with fairies. Kepi and her pet baboon, Babu, are taken away by someone. A woman has to go to the capital city, Ineb Hedj, to get her pet back. This is a book for middle graders, ages 9 and up.
The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham
“Ash is a good-looking person who has a good mix of desire to succeed and irritation with some of his circumstances.” Solarpunk is a good setting because it has magical, solar-powered vehicles and a lot of interesting Egyptian gods, so it works. The royal wrangling over the heir to the throne, as well as the royal duty to look out for the good of the people, make the tests interesting. If you’re a fan of Black and Clare’s Magisterium series, this book is for you. It has a lot of different kinds of gods, as well as tests and fights. There’s a nice twist with the fate of the people who didn’t make it. This is a book for middle graders, ages 8 and up.
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
It’s a story about kids who fall in love with Ancient Egypt, but with a murder mystery twist.
First, Melanie Ross doesn’t know if she and April Hall are friends. That’s not all. She soon finds out that they both have a thing for anything about ancient Egypt. There is a storage yard that isn’t being used anymore, so Melanie and April think it would be a good place for the Egypt Game. Before long, there are six Egyptians, and they all meet together to wear costumes, hold ceremonies, and work on their secret code, which is very important to them. All of a sudden, strange things start to happen. This game is called “Egypt.”
Books about Ancient Egypt by Marcia Williams are called Ancient Egypt: Stories of God and Pharaoh by Marcia Williams. With her signature comic strip style, Marcia Williams retells nine myths and stories from ancient Egypt. She shows the rich mythology and early history of this great civilization in a unique way. Rami, Ra’s favorite cat, points out all of Egypt’s cultural and technological progress as they go. This collection of stories is an easy way to learn about an ancient civilization. It’s sure to be a hit with young Egyptologists.
Ramses series by Christian Jacq
Ramesses II, also called Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty. He was also known as Ramesses the Great. Many people think that he was the best pharaoh of the New Kingdom because he was so well-known and powerful. They called him “the Great Ancestor” after him. It comes from Wikipedia.
Even though this is a series for adults, it appeals to a wide range of ages. When Christian Jacq writes, he makes the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II come to life in a way that looks like something from the movies. In the first book, when Ramses II is a young man, he has to show that he is good enough. If you look at his rotten Shannar, you’ll also see him trying to get to the top of the kingdom. Ramses has a lot of friends, including Moses from the Bible, Setau the mage, and Ahmeni the weak scholar. In this five-book series, he ruled for 66 years. [young adult, between the ages of 12 and 30]