Vicky Alvear Shecter wrote Cleopatra Rules! The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen. Now she writes a fictional story about her daughter, Cleopatra VIII Selene . Cleopatra and her three brothers are the royal children of the Great Cleopatra VII. Cleopatra Selene and her twin brother Alexandros Helios and their baby brother Ptolemy Philadelphos are the children of Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius. Egypt is about to be invaded by the Romans. After both of her parents commit suicide, Cleopatra Selene and her brothers are taken captive by Octavianus, the nephew of Julius Caesar. They face many dangers while being reared in Caesar’s house. The wife of Caesar is rumored to be a brewer of deadly poisons and the slaves are everywhere as spies. Cleopatra tries to follow what her mother would have wanted and desperately wants to return to Egypt as the queen she was destined to be. A love triangle springs up between Cleopatra, Juba, who was taken captive as a baby when his royal family was killed, and Marcellus the nephew of Caesar. Which will get her back to Egypt? There is rich detail in describing her home in Egypt and Rome. While this is historic fiction (with many facts at the end), it reads like the novel Luxe. I enjoyed this book very much. It is fascinating to wonder what it would be like to be the only daughter of such an historic icon.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Talk about the differences between Juba & Marcellus. Which would they choose? What did she have to give up to choose either one?
Talk the Goddess Isis and the mummification process.
Who did you think was more dangerous, Octavia or Livia?
Talk about Cleopatra’s bravery.
Read some of the facts out loud from the back of the book and discuss.
Discuss the propaganda used to discredit Cleopatra’s mother Cleopatra VII.