Book About Old Man Falling In Love With Young Girl Historical Fiction Set In Ancient Sumer – Secret Of The Scribe By Jennifer Johnson Garrity

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Historical Fiction Set In Ancient Sumer – Secret Of The Scribe By Jennifer Johnson Garrity

I have always liked to supplement my studies of history with historical fiction. Studying Greece and Rome, the Renaissance and Reformation, or the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, I found many picture books and novels. But ancient Sumer? The closest I could get was the story of Gilgamesh, but that’s an epic, not a novel, and not nearly as appealing to eight-to-twelve-year-old girls!

In fact, both girls and boys will be delighted The writer’s secret, the first historical novel about ancient Sumer that I have seen. Author Jennifer Johnson Garritt takes the reader back 5,000 years to the time of Abraham and the bustling city of Ur. Told in the first person, it is the story of a young girl, Tabni, who grows up comfortably as a slave to a Sumerian queen, until a great misfortune forces her to escape the palace at night and go into the world alone.

Don’t we love Boxcar kids and My side of the mountain, where brave heroes must resourcefully live on their own? This universally appealing theme emerges The writer’s secret also. As the young writer Tabni weaves her narrative, the reader travels by boat along the wide Euphrates River to the Sumerian trading center of Ur, where we experience both the grandeur of the glittering ziggurat and the smell of the narrow back alleys.

Tabni’s story attracts us. We feel her sadness and hunger as she finds herself homeless in a new world. We discover her courage and bravery as she hatches a daring plan while living alone in secret. And we enjoy Tabni’s fear of retribution from the many gods she desperately tries to appease.

In true “historical novel” fashion, The Secret of the Scribe teaches the reader about life and customs in Ur, how people lived, ate, dressed, worked, and worshiped in this ancient civilization. Scattered throughout the book, italicized words refer to a glossary of unfamiliar terms, making it easy for teachers or homeschooling parents to incorporate vocabulary into Sumerian learning.

The writer’s secret it would also make a great springboard for arts and crafts. The book introduces students to Sumerian crafts such as weaving, metalwork, jewelry making, and ceramics, opening up a wide variety of opportunities for companion projects. Tabni, who has studied calligraphy, writes on clay tablets, proposing a project that links the art to the study of Sumerian cuneiform.

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