Allow me to introduce myself. I am Anubis- the Egyptian god of the “Mysteries of Embalming”, the “Guardian of the Veil of Death,” “Opener of the Ways of the Dead,” and if you are “bad”….Your.Worst. Nightmare.
But do not fear. I will not snatch your beating heart from your chest and toss it to my good friend, crocodile-headed Amut the Destroyer, for a squishy snack…not today anyway. Instead, I will guide you through my world of deep magic, strange gods, and gruesome monsters……
Meanwhile, take heed; if you scare easily, I suggest you close this book right now and go back to coloring rainbows and unicorns.
And so begins one of the quirkiest and most enjoyable books I read as a part of my Cybils judging duties. Anubis has a seriously snarky attitude and middle-schoolers are going to love him. The book centers on the Egyptian myth that every night Ra the sun would disappear into the underworld to do battle with Apophis, a giant serpent and the embodiment of evil. If he won, the sun would rise again the next day and all would be well until the next night when the Ra’s journey would begin again. Along the way, Vicky Alvear Shecter packs in facts on Egyptian mythology, the process of mummification and Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.
It’s not a book for the easily queasy. Anubis loves describing the bloody and gory and gross parts in detail. But for any kid fascinated by Percy Jackson, this would be a great go-along book. John loves mythology of any kind and I’ve realized that a lot of his interest in history has grown from first reading the stories of ancient cultures and then learning what those stories meant. I would recommend this for any mythology or history loving kid or for an older reluctant reader who might just be swayed into thinking reading is cool by Anubis.
This book is a nominee for a Cybils Award in the Elementary and Middle Grade Non-Fiction category for which I am a Round 1 panelist. I received a review copy from the publisher specifically for the Cybils. My opinions are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the other panelists.