This historical adventure, set in (can you guess?) ancient Egypt, has enough action to satisfy the boys, and enough romance to keep the girls’ attention.
Mara: Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw tells the story of Mara, a slave girl who ends up acting as a double spy in the court of the famous pharaoh-queen Hatshepsut and her equally-famous half-brother Thutmose. This clever girl plays both sides fairly well, but slowly falls in love with one of her handlers until she’s suddenly discovered.
Readers learn a lot about life in ancient Egypt, both for slaves and for royalty, and the intrigue, spying and politics involved in life at the royal palace (which is probably true at any palace). This book also includes lessons on loyalty, compassion, and patriotism, among others.
My older two children read this book on their own and enjoyed it. Once I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down!