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  1. LIGHTS ON THE NILE by Donna Jo Napoli | Kirkus Reviews
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LIGHTS ON THE NILE by Donna Jo Napoli | Kirkus Reviews

Award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli's newest book, suitable for elementary school readers, is set during that fascinating period, and tells the story of Kepi, a young girl living around BCE. Kepi's father, a laborer, has been wounded during the construction of a pyramid for Pharaoh Khufu. Kepi's life changes dramatically when she, along w Ancient Egypt continues to hold great appeal for young and old, and even makes the best-seller lists see Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: Kepi's life changes dramatically when she, along with her pet baby baboon, Babu, is kidnapped and hidden in a large basket on a boat.

Where is she being taken and what will become of them? Babu, we soon discover, is destined to be sold to priests at one of the great city temples. When she is separated from her beloved pet, Kepi decides she must go see the powerful Pharaoh to tell him about men who are getting injured building his pyramid. Surely he will help these men and their families! Kepi will need to draw on all her courage to try to reach the all-powerful Pharaoh. Napoli makes the reader feel that she, too, is travelling down the Nile, with her vivid descriptions of the wildlife--oryx, pelicans, and the dangerous hippos, crocodiles, and other animals--temples, gods, and people of the region.

This is a quick-moving adventure story well-suited for middle-grade readers. Here in California, ancient Egypt part of the sixth grade curriculum, and this would be an excellent book to recommend for children developing an interest in that period. Many of the novels about this period for young people seem to involve Cleopatra; this new book makes a welcome addition to novels about the period, offering a story about an ordinary girl who takes an extraordinary journey.

I would not want to pitch this to children as a story about fairies, since fairies do not even come into the narrative into the very end. A child expecting "Disney Fairies goes to ancient Egypt" will be very disappointed!

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Sep 12, Stephanie Jobe rated it liked it. Kepi's name means tempest. She does everything passionately and with the best intentions from rescuing Babu, the baby baboon to her journey up the river on a mission to help Babu and speak to the pharaoh on behalf of her father wounded working on the pyramids. At first her only friends are animals, but then it begins to seem that her prayers are being answered just not necessarily as she expected.

She will make friends but this journey will end far from how she expected. Kepi loo Kepi's name means tempest. Kepi looks very clean and very well dressed. That is not the simple dress that she wears on this great adventure and seeing as her mother takes away her jewelry the headpiece seems out of place When I first saw the cover I was thinking she was a rich Egyptian, not a farm girl who goes through such hardship.

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I liked that I did not have the slightest clue how it was going to end. I think it was a good balance of new vocabulary and familiar vocabulary. Kepi is extremely likeable but far from perfect. The ending threw me for a loop, but I think it was a good one. It feels very mini-epic in some ways.

MORE BY DONNA JO NAPOLI

You can imagine it as a more story book version: However I think Kepi definitely made the story, even the others we don't get to know as well. Definitely enjoyed, definitely one where I was more conscious of the younger audience. Nov 22, Nicole rated it really liked it Shelves: I am always confident when picking up a book from this author that the material is well researched — yet still suspenseful and not bogged down by someone trying too hard to prove they are knowledgeable on the subject. I enjoyed it the book, but honestly I may have preferred an alternate ending.

Jan 23, Miss Amanda rated it it was ok Shelves: Her family is always warning Kepi to think before she acts, but Kepi just can't help herself. Because of her impulsiveness, Kepi ends up being kidnapped. At first, Kepi is desperate to return home. But then Kepi decides that once they reach Ineb Hedj, the capital, she might have an opportunity to do some good. Her father is unable to work since he was injured while helping to build the pharaoh's pyramid. Kepi is sure that if she can just talk to the p gr pgs around BC, Ancient Egypt.


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Kepi is sure that if she can just talk to the pharaoh, she'll be able to convince him to provide financial help to her and her family, and others like them. This was a great historical fiction story up until the last few pages when the Egyptian gods showed up and turned Kepi and her friends into fairies. In the author's note at the end of the book, the author explains that she intended this story to be about how fairies came to be. Although there were hints that the Egyptian gods might be taking an interest in Kepi, it was hard to tell if these events were not just coincidences. I would've liked this book more if it had skipped the fairies or gave the Egyptian gods a larger part earlier in the book.

I would recommend this book to readers who like adventure stories. Nov 19, Phoebe rated it liked it Shelves: A story set in the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, beginning quite strongly with the story of Kepi and her family, struggling since the accident that befell her father while working for the Pharaoh ferrying the granite blocks up the river for a new great pyramid.

He cannot work, and decides that he will become a bread baker and experiment with new kinds of breads. He sends Kepi and her pet baby baboon out to gather herbs for the dough, but they are kidnapped because Babu is a valuable animal who w A story set in the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, beginning quite strongly with the story of Kepi and her family, struggling since the accident that befell her father while working for the Pharaoh ferrying the granite blocks up the river for a new great pyramid.

He sends Kepi and her pet baby baboon out to gather herbs for the dough, but they are kidnapped because Babu is a valuable animal who will fetch a good price if sold to the temple in Ineb Hedj. Kepi is angry at the Pharaoh for not caring what happens to his workers, and she longs to talk to him and tell him what she thinks.

Her kidnapping seems to present the perfect opportunity for this. Quite suddenly near the end of the book the plot twists into fantasy, with the appearance of the gods, when Kepi and her companions are given a choice to make about how they will spend the rest of their lives. Despite DJN's usual great writing, the book is a peculiar mix of historical fiction and fantasy that doesn't quite jell.

Nov 13, Rosa rated it liked it Shelves: Kepi is a young Egyptian girl whose father was injured in the construction of the pyramids. Her father has plans to get their family back on track and she and her pet baboon Babu have a part in these plans. Unfortunately Babu is stolen and when Kepi goes after him, she too is kidnapped. When her and Babu are separated, she knows that she must go to the capital city to retrieve him and find a way to speak with the pharaoh about the injustice of what happens to those who get injured or killed work Kepi is a young Egyptian girl whose father was injured in the construction of the pyramids.

When her and Babu are separated, she knows that she must go to the capital city to retrieve him and find a way to speak with the pharaoh about the injustice of what happens to those who get injured or killed working on the pyramid's and what happens to their families. Once in the city she makes friends with two boys, both orphans, one a slave and one an apprentice and another girl.

Their trip takes them to places and to meet people they never imagined. I thought this was a really interesting take on who becomes a fairy and how they become a fairy. Fairy's are not typically something that I think of as being Egyptian. It was not a place I was ever expecting the story to go and I really appreciated the surprise. It's clear that the author did a lot of research on Ancient Egypt and it's culture and I always love historical fiction that really teaches you things. Oct 28, Jeni Enjaian rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed this book more than some of Napoli's other books but this one felt much too similar to North in terms of basic formatting.

Obviously, North was set in North America with a black boy bent on Arctic exploration and this book is set in ancient Africa with an Egyptian girl kidnapped by a man she thought her friend. I loved how the book ended but I really did not want to leave this world! This really is a wonderful book and I am really glad I read it: You could say Kepi has her head in the clouds. It's not that she doesn't want to help her family make a living with their farm, it's that she gets distracted when she sees a beetle. Or when she gets a good idea. Or when she comes across a crocodile who has just finished lunch, and a baby baboon who has just been orphaned.

When Kepi adopts the baboon and names him Babu, that's when things begin to change. Out picking figs for her father, Kepi and Babu inadvertently end up kidnapped and stuffed into a basket on a ship bound for Ineb Hedj, the capital city of ancient Egypt. With no one but Babu for company, Kepi ends up forging a strange relationship with Menes, the man who kidnaps her.

But he's not so interested in Kepi. Baboons are sacred, and Menes and his fellow boatmen will receive a hefty price when they sell Babu and Kepi as slaves to a temple in the capital. Kepi insists she'll have none of that, but she doesn't exactly want to escape. Ineb Hedj is where the pharaoh Khufu lives, and Kepi has a bone to pick with him.


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It is because of the pharaoh that her father was wounded while building a pyramid and now lives at home, poor and unable to work, except by baking bread. It is on the boat, in the basket, that the stories Kepi's parents told her about the gods and goddesses come in handy. As she prays to each one, strange things begin to happen, and she is thrown from adventure to adventure, meeting new allies and enemies on each step. Every time Kepi finds Babu, she loses him again, and Menes changes from friendly to scary to fatherly, as he and Kepi must band together to regain what each of them has lost.

Later, Kepi sets out alone and finds a boy her own age with a similar need to speak to the pharaoh. Finally, when she and her friends are faced with grave danger, she must make a choice that leads to sad but beautiful consequences. Kepi is somewhat reminiscent of both Huck Finn and Cinderella. It's wonderful to see a girl literally at the front of the boat, navigating her own way through a world that doesn't want to help her.

This isn't just a book for kids adults will love it, too, and it would make a great classroom or family read. Donna Jo Napoli has once again recrafted a fairy tale so that it's something completely different, but still feels like home. Ancient Egypt continues to hold great appeal for young and old, and even makes the best-seller lists see Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: A Life, for example.

Award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli's newest book, suitable for elementary school readers, is set during that fascinating period, and tells the story of Kepi, a young girl living around BCE. Kepi's father, a laborer, has been wounded during the construction of a pyramid for Pharaoh Khufu. Kepi's life changes dramatically when she, along with her pet baby baboon, Babu, is kidnapped and hidden in a large basket on a boat.

Where is she being taken and what will become of them? Babu, we soon discover, is destined to be sold to priests at one of the great city temples. When she is separated from her beloved pet, Kepi decides she must go see the powerful Pharaoh to tell him about men who are getting injured building his pyramid. Surely he will help these men and their families! Kepi will need to draw on all her courage to try to reach the all-powerful Pharaoh. Napoli makes the reader feel that she, too, is travelling down the Nile, with her vivid descriptions of the wildlife--oryx, pelicans, and the dangerous hippos, crocodiles, and other animals--temples, gods, and people of the region.

This is a quick-moving adventure story well-suited for middle-grade readers. Here in California, ancient Egypt part of the sixth grade curriculum, and this would be an excellent book to recommend for children developing an interest in that period. Many of the novels about this period for young people seem to involve Cleopatra; this new book makes a welcome addition to novels about the period, offering a story about an ordinary girl who takes an extraordinary journey.

I would not want to pitch this to children as a story about fairies, since fairies do not even come into the narrative into the very end. A child expecting "Disney Fairies goes to ancient Egypt" will be very disappointed! See all 10 reviews. By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from Bookperk and other HarperCollins services. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. Specialty Booksellers Interest-specific online venues will often provide a book buying opportunity. International Customers If you are located outside the U.

About Product Details Kepi is a young girl in ancient Egypt, content to stay home with her family, helping her father, who was wounded in the construction of a pyramid for the cruel pharaoh Khufu.

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