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Education Read-aloud Recommendation

Read-aloud Recommendation: The Golden Goblet

The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw is a historical fiction novel taking place in ancient Egypt. The main protagonist is Ranofer, a young boy who desires to be a goldsmith’s apprentice but is under the oppressive thumb of his older stepbrother.

During the story, you’ll be presented with a clear picture of what life was like for people during that era, and the city of Egyptian Thebes comes to life. Setting mixes with plot in near perfection as Ranofer must show courage to stop a crime, and in the process, change his life for the better.

The author describes close friendships with skill and even minor characters have a depth that, even if not explicit in the text, you know is bubbling beneath the surface. This presents a lot of opportunities for discussion.

The book ends perfectly with a hard-fought happy ending for our heroes.

Learning and Discussion Topics:

  • Egyptian gods
  • Egyptian burial
  • Egyptian economy
  • Makeup of Pharoah’s royal court
  • Importance of the Nile River
  • Superstitions
  • Respect for elders
  • Working hard even if you don’t like the work
  • Friendship
  • Contentment in the face of suffering

Vocabulary:

  • crucible
  • ingot
  • sibilant
  • tarnished
  • sedge
  • papyrus
  • jubilant
  • pungent
  • solemn
  • solder
  • alabaster
  • foliage
  • meandering
  • scrutinize
  • monotony
  • agile
  • imbecile
  • scheme
  • wafting
  • frantic
  • gilded
  • aghast
  • scrawny
  • spangled
  • parched
  • transfixed
  • bewildered
  • thronged
  • obliterated
  • timbre
  • veritable
  • sublime
  • consort
  • radiant
  • looming
  • urchin

When I post discussion topics and vocabulary, it is not an attempt to redeem your reading time. Spending time reading to your kids is never a waste of time even if you all just sit back and enjoy the story.

But if you want to get more mileage out of the book, or you are looking for a book to touch on some of these topics in an engaging way, these can be helpful.

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