While pulling materials for 6th grade teachers on Ancient Egypt, I was adding a few modern day Egypt books to the cart when I realized I had a student intently studying these titles. He is an Egyptian citizen studying at my school while his father works at a local university and he is one of our many Arabic speaking students. Arabic has now passed Spanish as the next most-spoken language at my school (after English).
He sadly shook his head and said, "Why is everything old? Why don’t people learn about Egypt now? Egypt is a beautiful country. None of these books make anyone want to see my country today."
I explained that this was a history lesson, but it did make me take a second look at my country books. How many of those books inspire readers to travel there, to seek more information, or to understand some of the culture? Not very many. I pulled most of the titles and asked this student to scan through and find the best parts of the books on Egypt. He was happy to show me photographs of places where he had been and to talk about the feeling of living in Egypt as compared to Nashville, Tennessee.
I cannot wait to show him the Tommy Bomani Teen Warrior books from Abdo that I just received during fall break. Part of Abdo’s Magic Wagon and the Calico Chapter Books, this set involves an Egyptian teen that has inherited powers from an ancient Egyptian God.
Will my student embrace this series? Will he believe it incorporates too much history from the past? We shall see. I’ll let you know his opinion.