Mara Daughter of the Nile Review

      Mara Daughter of the Nile was written over fifty years ago.  It tells the tale of Mara, a slave girl, in ancient Egypt who is purchased because of her ability to read and speak multiple languages.  While this may seem like a strange skill that a slaveholder would value in a slave, it is needed for the task picked out for Mara.  Mara’s new owners want her to spy on political enemies.  This dangerous role becomes even more perilous when through an unforeseen event, Mara finds herself playing the role of a double agent for two opposing political enemies! 
      I was required to read this book back in middle school, and I hated it.  I understood absolutely nothing.  As a result this book ended up collecting dust in my family’s attic.  Eventually, one rainy day I decide to read it again.  As it turns out, I learned the lesson that just because a book is appropriate for younger children doesn't mean they will understand or glean the meaning of the story. 
      Reading Mara Daughter of the Nile as a high school student was a completely different experience.  I was able to understand the political drama woven into the story.  I was intrigued by Mara’s plans to keep her identity as a double agent a secret.  Everything in this book was well written and Mara is clearly out of her league and struggling to see what the right thing to do is. The actions Mara takes even the smallest ones have huge impact on the story. Whenever a new character appeared you had no idea what their true motivation was. The stakes dangerously high in this tale and I was truly concerned about what was going to happen in the end because there was no way of telling until it was all over.

Overall Rating: A+
Content: There is some violence and frightening scenes; however, as I stated in this review younger children will not get much out of the story.  14+


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