This page contains all the info you need about my new book, The Ancient Egypt Sleepover, an adventure story for children aged 8+. You can find out the story behind the book, read reviews and related links, and find out about my Egypt-themed school visits.
You can buy the book in any of the usual ways, including on Amazon, but if you would like a signed and personalized first edition (for the normal cover price of £6.00), please drop me a line at email@example.com
Mo has won a very special prize, an Ancient Egypt Sleepover in the British Museum. But he has no clue how dangerous it will be. With a mystery to solve, codes to crack and priceless treasure to save, one thing is for sure: Mo will not be getting any sleep tonight!
The Story Behind the Book
My dreams of Ancient Egypt began at a young age. I grew up hearing stories about my nine-greats-grandfather Carsten Niebuhr, a mapmaker on the 1792 Danish expedition to Arabia Felix. Niebuhr spent a year in and around Cairo, exploring ancient ruins and transcribing the hieroglyphic inscriptions on tombs and obelisks. He never understood the mysterious symbols but his notebooks provided raw material for scholars who would later crack the hieroglyphic code. As a romantically inclined eight-year-old, I dreamed of one day roaming in deserts, exploring Nubian cities and studying ancient codes by flickering lamplight.
Thirty-five years later, the opportunity arose to visit Egypt as a jobbing author, thanks to Authors Abroad. I was invited to Cairo American College for a four-day programme of talks and creative writing workshops. Time did not allow for a trip to the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt, so like my ancestor the mapmaker I stayed put in Cairo and saw what I could there. I walked around the pyramids and goggled at the sphinx, my inner eight-year-old delirious with pleasure.
I returned from Cairo to London obsessed with all things ancient and Egyptian. I learned to read hieroglyphs and began to haunt the British Museum like a very tall, notebook-wielding spectre. I discovered that the museum occasionally hosts sleepovers in its Ancient Egyptian sculpture gallery, a thrilling opportunity for children and an absolute gift to an author of adventure fiction.
The idea dawned slowly. What if the Grand Egyptian Museum loaned the tomb treasures of King Tutankhamun to the British Museum for a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, and what if they held a special sleepover to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, and what if the sleepover went suddenly and disastrously wrong?
I wrote The Ancient Egypt Sleepover with the needs of Key Stage 2 teachers in mind. It consists of twenty-one short chapters, perfect for reading together in class over the course of one month. The story contains no ancient curses or marauding mummies. Instead, there are hieroglyphic codes, nuggets of Ancient Egyptian trivia, and references to real artefacts in the British Museum, which pupils can research for themselves. My hope is that this book will provide you with a fun and useful resource as you study Ancient Egypt. And it goes without saying that if you would like me to visit your classes and stoke their enthusiasm for this amazing topic, I would love to come.
- Here are some bits of writing for KS2 classes, where I discuss the statues, mummies and treasures that feature in The Ancient Egypt Sleepover
- Here is a piece I wrote about the cover inspiration for The Ancient Egypt Sleepover
- Here is an interview with Authors Abroad, where I talk about Egypt, #NaNoWriMo and mini-alligators
I can see The Ancient Egypt Sleepover being a brilliant book to use in the classroom when learning about Ancient EgyptScott Evans, the Reader Teacher
What a wonderful book. It reminded me of the film The Night at the Museum but it is even better! Full of facts about Ancient Egypt, this book is not only educational but funny, clever and full of mystery, and is perfect for any budding detectives out there, especially those who love museums and anything to do with Egypt/EgyptiansEmma Suffield, Little Blog of Library Treasures
History comes alive! The Ancient Egypt Sleepover is educational and utterly engaging. Perfect for Key Stage 2 classes studying Ancient EgyptDan Harknett, Year 5 teacher
Exciting, funny and clever. I read it in one gulpCaroline Lawrence, author of The Roman Mysteries