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Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen
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Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Good. Evil. Dangerous. Glamorous. Will the real Cleopatra please stand up? Almost everything we know about the last queen of Egypt came from her enemies—the Romans. Now it's time to meet the "real" Cleopatra, a ruler more complex, brilliant, and powerful than we ever knew. Cleopatra didn't just rock the boat when she became queen at seventeen. She rocked the world with bri ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Boyds Mills Press
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Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayCleopatra VII by Kristiana GregoryMemoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret GeorgeCleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Books about Cleopatra
21st out of 45 books — 103 voters
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley SnyderThe Red Pyramid by Rick RiordanMummies Made in Egypt by AlikiEgyptology by Emily SandsMummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne
Books for young people about Ancient Egypt
29th out of 116 books — 27 voters

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Community Reviews

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4.5 Stars

This was such a beautiful book! I was really impressed. The layout and photos of this non-fiction book for young readers were very nicely put together. The cover is absolutely stunning and the image is on the book too, not just the dust jacket.

I have always admired Cleopatra and I knew some of the facts, but Shecter opened my eyes about some things. I knew Cleopatra was misunderstood by most and her image of the sexy seductress wasn't all there was to her. But I always thought it was Ho
Karen Ball
"Queen Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, was in fact a brilliant, complex, powerful ruler. For twenty years she kept the world's greatest superpower from taking over her country -- a good trick when you realize it was during the time that Rome swallowed up countries faster than most teens use up text minutes."
Julius Caesar is a "player", Cleopatra's siblings are "a nest of squirming, hissing reality-show stars", Mark Antony is a "Roman Redneck" and Octavian is a "snot-nosed, knobbly-kne
Lisa Campbell
Lisa Campbell
This book follows the rise and fall of the greatest queen of antiquity. From her fight for the throne against her bloodthirsty siblings to her alliances with Rome, Cleopatra only wanted one thing—stability and independence for her country. She was a brilliant and enigmatic leader who used her extensive education to form alliances with some of the most powerful men in the world. Cleopatra launched a PR campaign that would have made any Washington politician proud. With Caesa
Some reviewers have back-handedly show distain for the author's use of modern-day teen vernacular in this biography of Cleopatra. I was a bit (just a little bit) put off by the slangy language at first. But I got over it quick -- it's good the try a new approach to hooking young people. It's a refreshing history of Egypt's last pharoah. Shecter also challenges the reader to critically consider the source of historical information. She points out that the common western image of Cleopatra--passed ...more
Carrie Hankins-titus
Annotation: Cleopatra Rules! is the biography of Cleopatra VII, the last of Egyptian pharaohs. This biography tells a story that is much different that the popular depictions of Cleopatra throughout Hollywood history.

Book Review: Did you know that Cleopatra was actually Greek? No? This is something you learn along with many other interesting details about Egypt’s last pharaoh and teen ruler. V. A. Shecter does a great job of giving us an upbeat and updated version of Cleopatra’s story. She tells
Shecter, V.A. (2010). Cleopatra rules!: The amazing life of the original teen queen. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

*2011 Society of School Librarians International Honor


Age range:11-14, Grades: 6-9

When I think of Cleopatra, I picture Elizabeth Taylor playing a gorgeous queen who had men wrapped around her finger. Other than that, I did not know anything about the "real" Cleopatra. This modern biography uses slang and vernacular language that young teens can relate to and understa
Such an odd book! The hi/lo style - pop-culture metaphors, slang, irreverent references - is belied by uncompromising vocabulary. The brief chapters and copious sidebars frame historical narrative that FEELS oversimplified... but is fully backed up by endnotes and an extremely respectable bibliography.

As I skated through descriptions of Marc Antony as "a Roman redneck" and Julius Caesar as "a player," I found myself caught up, as always, in the fascinating story, the machinations of Caesar Augus
If you thought you knew Cleopatra, think again! Vicky Shecter takes us on a journey though the life of Cleopatra, with a great sense of humor and a simple relate ability to modern day life. We start the journey when Cleopatra is a teenager and her father is Pharaoh Ptolemy XII, a time of great unrest in Egypt. Then through her co-reign with her younger brother Ptolemy XIII where she had to consolidate as much power as she could with advisors who did not like her and Rome on her doorstep. Th
Cindy Hudson
Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen by Vicky Alvear Shecter is sure to be a hit with anyone who is interested in learning more about the real story of Cleopatra, her life, and the times she lived in. This nonfiction book combines modern references with ancient facts while questioning the motives of the Roman historians who wrote much of what has come down through history of this most famous Queen of Egypt..

The book starts by asking readers three questions: Was the last q
Nabeeha R.
Cleopatra Rules
Vicky Alvear Shecter
128 Pages
September 20-28

Cleopatra Rules is about Cleopatra's life as a ruler. It tells you about how she came to be a ruler, what she did as a queen, things that happened in her life, and how shes dies. It is also nice because it tells you about the Romans and the Egyptians. It's very informational and it explains most things in history in a easy to understand way.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It told me a lot about Cleopatra's life as a q
I absolutely loved this book! This history of Cleopatra is a reader friendly retelling through the author, Vicky Alvear Shecter's use of modern English. Shecter uses commonly known phrases and metaphors to illustrate and interest readers in Cleopatra's life. Shecter does a good job with explaining and analyzing the events that influenced Cleopatra's actions. Moreover, Shecter provides a good description of Cleopatra's life both before and during her reign. Interestingly enough, informative tidbi ...more
This book offers a portrayal of Cleopatra written for kids, since a different point of view. As it is mentioned in the introduction of the book “…for the first time, modern scholars and historians are looking at events from the queen’s point of view.” It gives us the image of a capable and powerful ruler. Ascending to the throne at the age of 17, Cleopatra used all her charisma and intelligence to keep her in power and in control of her kingdom. Till now the image we used to have of her it was t ...more
Glenda Peterman
Most of what we have learned about Cleopatra was written by the Romans, but they hated her! Based on new research, the fascinating life of the last queen of Egypt Cleopatra is presented in a new perspective. Cleopatra was a powerful woman who was just misunderstood. Written in contemporary language, this biography describes Cleopatra’s life, childhood through death, in relatable comparisons for young adults. At a young age, Cleopatra knew she wanted to be a ruler and was very strategic in gainin ...more
Arapahoe Teens
Catherine's Response:
This was a fascinating read. I appreciated the different take on a figure in history that is so often vilified. I also loved all of the insets that offered random facts about Egyptian culture and history. Shecter’s writing style offers an alternative to the often dry history books that are largely available but her constant pop culture references get to be a bit much at times. That being said, I do think young people will appreciate the way she makes this ancient culture so
I love history, I minored in European (1900's), but even with that interest, it's not enough to get me through "serious texts". In more recent years, I've become more interested in learning about others cultures or time periods I hadn't previously studied. But I still can't get through "grown up" texts. I really like this one for giving what seems to be a clear view of this famous girl. I do agree with other reviewers on disliking some of the language, not so much the casual engaging vernacular, ...more
Amy Taylor
Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen by Vicky Alvear Shecter
I really enjoyed this book. I am probably a bit biased because I love that period in history and am fascinated by the Ancient Romans. Therefore I really enjoyed the subject matter but I also enjoyed the style and presentation. It is told in a very informal style that mixes pop culture and ancient history in a humorous way. The layout is a little text bookish - but I liked the asides. I felt like I was getting “ex
Angelina Justice
This book had the potential to be great, but falls flat. The format in which facts and pictures were presented would have caught and kept the attention of all ages groups. But the writing tone made it hard to enjoy. It is supposed to be for teens but is written in a tone and style that is more appropriate for upper elementary. Yet the stereotypes and attempted humor are more suited for adults, making it a poor choice for that age group.

Here are some of the stereotypes that got me steamed:

Pg 56 "
Cathy Hall
Just finished reading Cleopatra Rules! and loved every minute of it. Since I studied Greek and Roman history, I knew the story from that perspective. But here, I found that Cleopatra was much more of a woman of substance than I'd believed, much less could have imagined.

So, yes, it's written for a young audience, and I'm sure kids eat this up (Vicky's style is very kid-friendly and oh, so funny), but honestly, I learned tons about Cleopatra, the world of Egpyt, and the political landscape of that
Recommended for gr. 6-10. This is a very “hip” biography of Cleopatra, as the title might suggest. The language is very contemporary (full of statements like “Antony scurried out of Armenia faster than a Rollerblader careening downhill”). I found it a little forced, but students will probably enjoy it. The book appears to be very well researched - there are extensive endnotes to each chapter. Photographs on nearly every page include historical busts and statues, modern and historical paintings a ...more
Cleopatra Rules!
By Vicky Alvear Shecter
102 pages

The main purpose this book is to tell how Cleopatra really was. To some she is a lying, cheating, and good-for-nothing teenager who had no care for the people of Egypt. In truth, the people of Egypt was all she cared about. Her country came first. Her father had left Egypt poor and hungry and Cleopatra improved it greatly in the time she was Queen. But it still was pretty bad. She has had affairs with many Romans and she is a traitor to
Donna Casas
Cleopatra was the last ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra was not the Diva shat she has been portrayed to be. Cleopatra was a brilliant politician who was way ahead of her time. Her only goal was to strengthen Egypt. Her people loved and revered her. Many leaders opposed a women leader. Although she was of Roman decent, leaders of Rome desperately wanted her dead. Anthony loved her and wanted Egypt and Rome to work together. Octavian wanted to destroy them both and he did. Cleopatra and Anthony were loya ...more
Valerie Candelaria
I hadn't been reading my textbook and needed to review fairly quickly. This author did a great job just breaking down the most important facts I needed to be caught up on my reading for my Ancient Art History class. Thanks!
A colorful and entertaining overview of the last pharaoh, Cleopatra Rules! is the intersection of biography and fashion magazine. I appreciate Shecter's attempt to write a biography specifically for teens, but I felt that this book was a little long on speculation and a little short on citation. Most of the scholarly references are dumped into a six page chapter of endnotes at the end of the book, but the text does not give any indication that they exist--in other words, you can read the whole b ...more
I somehow thought this was going to be a fiction book....but it's not. It's more of a nonfiction account setting straight some of the historical inaccuracies about Cleopatra. Most of our understanding of her comes from the Roman historians' accounts...and they were the victors so of course history is written to be less than flattering about Cleopatra.

This book tries to set the record straight.

I don't like the abundance of cliches...a couple here or there would have been OK. But every page was fu
Ann Marie
This was a fascinating little book to me. I have always wondered about Cleopatra as all of the information we have is from the Romans. This book looks at things from the Eastern perspective where everything wasn't destroyed by the Romans. She was the only pharoh in 250 years who learned and could speak Egyptian. The Easterners thought she was a chaste woman because she only had two men in her life - Ceaser and Mark Anthony. She was extremely intelligent and well educated and her goal was a stron ...more
This is a super personable biography of Cleopatra. It's written in a very friendly and appealing readable tone. I do think that some modern day slang and tech references were out of place and will make this book feel dated more quickly then it would have otherwise and I also think the notes section could have been set up a little better. I would have liked to read these notes at the end of each chapter but I didn't realize they were even there and read them out of place at the end. I really like ...more
I picked this book up thinking it would be a light, fun, and interesting read. I'm so glad I did because it ended up being loads more informational than I could've ever expected. I never expected to learn so much and to me, that's exciting. There are countless books out there that basically reiterate the same facts over and over but this one was fresh, fun, and full of unknown facts. Even if history isn't your favourite thing, this book might just hold your attention enough that you'll find your ...more
A very interesting biography of Cleopatra written for teens. I learned all kinds of stuff! I really liked the way that the author re-wrote the traditional depiction of Cleopatra as seductress and drew attention to the ways and reasons that she had been misrepresented throughout history. The tone of the book was really engaging and very funny, but sometimes I thought there were a few too many puns and pop-culture references.
Kelly Rae
This book did a good job at telling the story of Cleopatra. The only problem I had with this book were the cheesey sayings the author used in an attempt to be "young." For example, "...when Rome swallowed up countries faster than most teens use up text minutes." I can stand a couple here and there, but there was a super cheesey line in almost every paragraph.
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Vicky Alvear Shecter wishes she had a time machine to go back to the glory days of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Until she can find one, she writes about the famous and fabulous lives of the ancients and their gods instead. She is also a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University.
More about Vicky Alvear Shecter...
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