Gregory, Kristiana. Cleopatra VII, Daughter of the Nile. Scholastic, 1999. ISBN 0-590-81975-5. $10.95. 218 pp. A 5-9 FI Reviewed by Sandra L. Tidwell Cleopatra: Daughter of the Nile, part of the Royal Diaries Series, covers Cleopatra's life from 3 Januarius 57 B.C. to 12 Junius 55 B.C. In this short period of time, Gregory educates us about the family, friends, pets, and feelings of Cleopatra, one of six children of Ptolemy II of Egypt. The diary accounts begins when Cleopatra is twelve and her father has left Alexandria because his life has been threatened by another political faction. When Cleopatra learns that her sister, Tryphaena, is leading the upheaval, Cleopatra fears for her own life, unites with her father, and together they go to Rome to ask for armies to regain Ptolemy's throne. Once Ptolemy and Cleopatra are gone, Tryphaena names herself Queen of Egypt. Cleopatra and her father spend the next two winters in Rome waiting for troops to be formed and trained for the Alexandrian attack. Here Cleopatra meets General Pompey, Marc Antony, and the famous orator Cicero. Little is known about Cleopatra's life between the ages of twelve and fourteen, but Gregory has researched many of the existing sources and produced a believable, readable, and educational approach to Cleopatra's younger years. The reader will learn that Cleopatra was fluent in many languages and was very instrumental in eliciting the Roman support Ptolemy needed. The diary reflects her tender feelings for her friends Olympus and Theophilus, her God Isis, and her servants Neva and Puzo, who are in love, and her aversion to the brutal, unfeeling nature of her older sister and the barbarian culture in which she lives. The last forty pages of the book contain an Epilogue, Historical Note, The Ptolemy Family Tree, descriptions of other important historical people of the time period, and reproductions of engravings, drawings and maps to further acquaint the reader with the life and times of Cleopatra.
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