Catalogue


Pharaoh's daughter : a novel of ancient Egypt /
Julius Lester.
imprint
San Diego : Silver Whistle/Harcourt, c2000.
description
ix, 182 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0152018263, 9780152018269
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
San Diego : Silver Whistle/Harcourt, c2000.
isbn
0152018263
9780152018269
abstract
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.
catalogue key
3917660
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [180]-182).
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-01-31:
Lester (To Be a Slave) creates a captivating story and a compelling portrait of a Moses torn between two cultures, from the time of his discovery in the bulrushes to his solo flight to Midian. A brief introduction explains that the author has "removed Moses from sacred history and [has] sought to put him into human history"; thus he changes "Moses" to "Mosis" (meaning "is born," a shortened form of the Egyptian name "Tuthmosis") and plants the seed for the spiritual conflict that begins to grow within the great would-be leader. In a prologue, narrated by the eponymous heroine, Mosis confesses that he has just murdered an Egyptian. Lester immediately grabs readers' attention and goes about answering the resounding question posed at the prologue's end: "Why, Mosis?" The author plants many surprises along the way. To begin with, the titular heroine is not Meryetamun, daughter of the pharaoh Ramesses the Great, who takes the baby from the bulrushes. Instead, she is Mosis's sister, Almah (Lester carefully documents his logic in creating her character), an independent thinker whose scholarly father taught her the Egyptian language of Khemetian. Her fearlessness and honesty when she meets the princess leads to Mosis's--and all male Habiru (Hebrew) babies'--imminent salvation and results in her and Mosis's adoption into the pharaoh's family. Through impeccably researched details, Lester imagines a titillating paradise within the pharaoh's palace walls. He appeals to all five senses as he evokes the exotic smells, sounds, costumes, jewelry and worship practices the girl discovers there. Readers witness for themselves why Almah and Mosis are inexorably torn between the faith of their Habiru mother (who remains in the palace for Mosis's early childhood) and the Khemetian aesthetics and beliefs. Almah's narration in part one describes her tantalizing seduction into the Khemetian way of life. Her perspective provides the perfect contrast to Mosis's narration in part two; she possesses the ability to respect both sides and to choose what she believes to be right, while he lives in confusion until he is forced to make a choice. Mosis's pain is palpable as he describes his betrayal by the men in the palace to whom he felt closest. The murder that begins the novel is transformed, by the conclusion, into an act of love. By painting the Khemetian and Habiru cultures as equally compelling, Lester reenacts an ancient society completely interdependent, with power struggles as potent as any in the modern world. Here Mosis has not reached the Red Sea; he is a young man of faith and doubt, as human as readers themselves. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
star "A captivating story and a compelling portrait of a Moses torn between two cultures."-- Publishers Weekly (starred)"A multilayered story with many wonderful characters . . . highly recommended."-- VOYA (5Q--highest rating)star "A richly textured novel of feelings and ideas."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
star "A captivating story and a compelling portrait of a Moses torn between two cultures."-- Publishers Weekly (starred) "A multilayered story with many wonderful characters . . . highly recommended."-- VOYA (5Q--highest rating) star "A richly textured novel of feelings and ideas."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, January 2000
Kirkus Reviews, March 2000
Booklist, April 2000
School Library Journal, June 2000
Voice of Youth Advocates, June 2000
Horn Book Magazine, July 2000
Horn Book Guide, September 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Lester features 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.
Main Description
Born into slavery, adopted as an infant by a princess, and raised in the palace of mighty Pharaoh, Moses struggles to define himself. And so do the three women who love him: his own embittered mother, forced to give him up by Pharaoh's decree; the Egyptian princess who defies her father and raises Moses as her own child; and his headstrong sister Almah, who discovers a greater kinship with the Egyptian deities than with her own God of the Hebrews. Told by Moses and his sister Almah from alternating points of view, this stunning novel by Newbery Honor-author Julius Lester probes questions of identity, faith, and destiny.
Main Description
Born into slavery, adopted as an infant by a princess, and raised in the palace of mighty Pharaoh, Moses struggles to define himself. And so do the three women who love him: his own embittered mother, forced to give him up by Pharaoh's decree; the Egyptian princess who defies her father and raises Moses as her own child; and his headstrong sister Almah, who discovers a greater kinship with the Egyptian deities than with her own God of the Hebrews. Told by Moses and his sister Almah from alternating points of view, this stunning novel by Newbery Honor-author Julius Lester probes questions of identity, faith, and destiny. From a Newbery Honor winner, National Book Award finalist, and renowned scholar of religious studies A thought-provoking story of family and faith for Easter or Passover gift-giving
Description for Library
A fictionalized account of the Biblical tale in which a Hebrew infant, rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh, passes through a turbulent adolescence to eventually become a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods.

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