Secrets Of The Sphinx (Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))

by James Cross Giblin

Hardcover, 2004


Checked out
Due Mar 20, 2020

Local notes

932 Gib



Scholastic Press (2004), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 48 pages


Discusses some of Egypt's most famous artifacts and monuments, including the pyramids, the Rosetta Stone, and, especially, the Great Sphinx, presenting research and speculation about their origins and their future.

Physical description

48 p.; 11.29 inches


0590098470 / 9780590098472



User reviews

LibraryThing member kdebros
This book has beautiful drawings and good information, but seems like a book that was awarded because adults liked it, not necessarily because kids like it. It's very wordy for a picture book and not as engrossing as I'd hoped.
LibraryThing member dcarlino6
This was a good book. with water color illustrations
LibraryThing member NancyStorm
Excellent illustrations help explain theories about the ancient Egyptian monuments. Great book containing facts and theories to help research projects in Social Studies for ages 8 and up.
LibraryThing member cshaw
This is a fascinating book which explores who built the Sphinx and why and how it was built. Various theories are explored about its origins. Information about the Rosetta Stone and the pyramids are included. The artwork for this book is fabulous, including a great portrait of the Sphinx as it was originally built and a map of the area. I especially enjoyed the illustrations and the weaving in of information about Atlantis and the Rosetta Stone.… (more)
LibraryThing member annashapiro
Part man, part beast, total mystery: the Sphinx who stands guard over the pyramids in Egypt. The book begins by alluring the reader in, telling of the ancient mystery. Then we take a trip back to ancient times to learn a bit about the Egyptian people. We learn about papyrus and cuneiform, hieroglyphs and a number of other key vocabulary words & ideas. I loved the chapter 'Life After Death', which explains the mummification process and the beliefs that changed over time with this great culture. Next the book ruminates on who and how the limestone pyramids could have been built. Many human remains from that period show signs of hard labor - arthritis, bone fractures, and many deaths before the age of 35. I also liked the chapter about Prince Thutmose, who reinstated the great Sphinx after it apparently spoke to him, proclaiming him leader, and requesting of him some repair & upkeep. The book also touches on the Rosetta Stone, Cleopatra, Atlantis, and Edgar Cayce. This book has tons of great information presented thoughtfully and with wonderful, straightforward illustrations.… (more)
LibraryThing member Collene_Kuznicki
The author clearly shows great reverence for the sphinx as an important monument that needs to be preserved. His standpoint is biased in favor of Egyptian government officials who are against digging or probing around the monument to discover supposed “hidden chambers”, and the author attempts with his research to debunk any legendary connections between the sphinx and the lost city of Atlantis. I understand that the author wants to be factual and logical, and not promote further speculation. To be honest, though, I would be more interested to read legends about the sphinx (whether true or not) then details about current efforts to restore and preserve the stonework. I was also hoping for more theories about why the sphinx was built and its role in Egyptian religious life. This book focuses more on the day to day life of the workers who built the sphinx, how it was constructed, and forces that have eroded it over the years. This book would be very useful for a research paper about the sphinx, probably for the middle school aged student. The text is too formal in style for students below fifth grade, in my opinion. Personally, I would be more interested in exploring some of the other texts that the author cites in his “Source Notes and Bibliography”, which deal more with the legends behind the sphinx. I appreciate the fact that he clearly cites all his sources with notes about each one, because that helps the reader to determine which sources to explore for further research. I also did enjoy the author’s fanciful recounting of the legend behind the sphinx in the classic Greek drama Oedipus, the King, and how this sphinx differs greatly in character from the Egyptian sphinx. It helps readers to understand how the Great Sphinx has inspired literature and drama throughout time.… (more)
LibraryThing member CharlesHollis
Like most people who are (or were) children, Ancient Egypt is a fascinating subject to study. These early humans formed one of the first advanced civilizations on the planet. In that regard, they are somewhat familiar. However, in so many other ways they are utterly alien to us. In this last regard, the Sphinx is no exception.
The book goes into far more detail than I would have imagined, given its size. I thought this would be an elementary picture book about the statue itself. I found myself pleasantly surprised what the book delved into amazing detail about the beginnings of Ancient Egypt, its society, its culture, the challenges in learning its language, later Egypt, as well as the Sphinx itself and the efforts directed towards its restoration.
When picking up this book, I thought that a teacher might only be able to spend a day on it, but this could have a whole section dedicated to it. It is still best for Elementary and Middle School students.
… (more)
LibraryThing member silly_tine
This is a really well written book about Ancient Egypt that drew me right in. It covers everything you can think of regarding the Sphinx. The Muslims who tried to deter the Egyptians from continuing the worship the Sphinx and the labor involved in making it. A really, wonderful book. Read it!
LibraryThing member ymelodie
A well done non fiction book exposing students to some of the wonderful wonders of the world. Beautiful illustrations.




(13 ratings; 3.9)
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