When I was young my mom was a children's librarian and I used to spend a lot of time putting books away in the stacks. This, also, meant I found all the best books like Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. As a kid I checked this book out of the library so many times that no one else ever had a chance to read it, for one whole year I was the only person who checked it out, oops. But I loved the mystery and the almost romance, in my preteen mind it was the best book ever written.

Mara is a slave who longs to be free as she once was in Egypt forced to work as a double agent for both Queen Hatshepsut and Prince Thutmose. Able to speak Babylonian, she is placed as an interpreter for the prince's new wife Inanni. But Mara has to choose a side eventually and it can't be just her own. Mara changes from a condescending, selfish girl into a mature selfless young woman. She makes friends, falls in love and finds a family of sorts, as she finds herself. She learns to live for something greater than herself, not just her country, but her friends. There is action, mystery, plot twists, suspense, romance, bits of history, all packed into this wonderful middle school book. Highly recommended!