My cousin suggested a book to me when I was 13 and handed me his copy, which right there, told me it was going to be good.

 It was different than any other book I’d read outside of a classroom, and wasn’t one I would’ve chosen on my own. The cover intrigued me but didn’t surprise me, since I already knew how much how much my cousin liked anything having to do with Egypt.

 And this was a very different story – a true story about the woman who ruled Egypt not as Queen – but as Pharaoh!

The historical fiction book that landed in my hands that day made a profound impact on me, whether I realized it at the time or not. (I now believe it was his influence with that one single book that created my passion to write historical fiction myself.) After the last page had been turned, I thought about fibbing to my cousin, reporting that I hadn’t finished it yet – just so I keep it a bit longer and read it again. But instead, I forked it over and thought about that book for several years to come.

In fact, I searched for my own copy in thrift stores and at yard sales until I finally – some 30 years later - heard about a local bookstore with an online book locator. Wasting no time, I stood at the counter with title in hand. Come to find out, the book was no longer being printed and the book store could only locate two copies in all of the US. Mine would be shipped in from Oregon.

Waiting the two weeks that eventually turned into three was difficult; I made certain that while I waited for the arrival of my new book, my other projects were either finished or at a place that I could easily put them ”on hold” until I was able to read (or re-read) my new prized possession.

Finally the day arrived and Child of the Morning (written by Pauline Gedge) arrived!

Imagine my delight some years down the line, when my husband announced that he was taking us to see the King Tut exhibit from National Geographic!

To intensify my inner history nerd, one of the displays featured none other than Hatshepsut – the woman Pharaoh  from my favorite book! The most amazing thing happened three seconds after my eyes hit that statue: my daughter, now highly educated and recently graduated from high school, poked me in the shoulder and asked, “Hey, Mom! Isn’t that the same lady from the book I had to read in school?” She then proceeded to turn to her friend that came to the exhibit with us and began to give a detailed explanation of the story herself. *Insert tears of happy satisfaction here*

Re-read this masterpiece I have done. And yes, I did make Child of the Morning  a part of the Required Reading List for my home-schooled daughter, complete with oral reviews and worksheets … and yes, it was just so I could benefit from it a little bit more, just for myself.

A selfish reason to make my child read one of my own favorite books, but what the heck. At least I can admit it.

 

Robyn