“…all agreed the curse existed. And it had but one purpose: deadly protection.”
Long-time children’s author, Candace Fleming, delves into the world of mummies in this nonfiction chapter book for upper elementary readers. Ancient Egyptian practices are explained as well as how the prejudicial beliefs of the “right” of the Western world directly influenced the developing practices of archaeology.
The legend of the curse of the mummy is definitely not ignored as it is presented in gray washed pages spaced throughout the book. These pages begin with “It was said…” and offer the rumors and conjecture that have prompted the plot of many movies and books that have been added to the Halloween cannon over the years. Each section of the rumors is answered by highly researched chapters that tell the story of the finding and excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Readers are given an inside look into the world of the smarmy yet charismatic Lord Carnarvon and the controversial scientist Howard Carter.
Fleming takes great care to point out that the curse is simply a myth “that diminishes the real-life Tutankhamun.” There is no denying- even without the rumored curse- the tale told here is filled with tension, danger, and intrigue. Highly suggested for budding archaeologists. In our contemporary world where fake news travels at the speed of a mouse click, this offers an interesting look in the development of fake news in the pre-digital age.