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Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Children's books by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Cactus Hotel Mummy Mysteries: Tales from North America
Written and Illustrated by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Henry Holt, 1998

"They discover a mummified body sitting in a basket with another huge basket pulled over its head. Other mummies are found with sandals, flutes, pipes, squash seeds, digging sticks, and rabbit fur blankets. And everywhere there are baskets, big and little ones, flat and round; baskets for cooking, carrying, and even a basket full of corn--a pile of dusty cobs untouched for more than a thousand years."
It's 1845, and more than a hundred elite sailors are setting sail from England to explore the Arctic. They are well stocked and have the latest technological instruments. But something goes terribly wrong. Years pass, and no word is heard. What happened to the men? Did their ships sink? Did they freeze to death? The mystery lies unsolved for well over a century.

Finally in 1981 a group of scientists exhumes the mummified bodies of three of the ships' sailors. At last the mystery can be solved.

Mummies can tell us lots of things: how a person lived, what the environment was like, information about a particular culture. Sometimes they offer clues to bizarre mysteries or they can even become mysteries themselves.


Guiberson writes an intriguing book for young readers who are just beginning to ask serious questions about how mummies have been preserved and how they are discovered. Each informative chapter is related to a specific find and the research involved in identifying the mummy. The author's pencil illustrations add a journalistic quality. An excellent bibliography of up-to-date literature adds a great resource for further reading.--American Booksellers Association Kid's Pick

For readers who like mysteries that unravel slowly, this book will be a joy. Guiberson focuses on mummies found in North America... a frozen blue bison found in Alaska... Anasazi... the Franklin Arctic Expedition. And then there was the unexpected mummy that fell out of the rafters during a filming of the Six Million Dollar Man, which turned out to be the remains of an outlaw named Elmer McCurdy.--School Library Journal

Did you know North America has its own cavalcade of mummified characters? (Guiberson) writes about half a dozen of them in this fun and factual Redfeather Chapter Book. Overflowing with great pictures, puzzles and illustrations, this eye opener examines both mummified people and animals (the chapter on Blue Babe was especially awesome).--Archaeological Institute of America

Awards & Accolades

* Parents' Choice

A Step by Step guide to A Step by Step guide to Egyptian Mummification! (external link)