My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I usually try to post about a picture book on Friday’s for my blog, but this one is not so much a picture book as it is a story book with illustrations. I really enjoyed reading this and I think that I would have enjoyed it when I was younger too. I’d put somewhere around 1st grade and up. Younger ones might get a little freaked out. I can totally see myself being completely fascinated by this story in elementary school, especially at that age when every kid is obsessed with mummies. Ballywhinney Girl is not about Egyptian mummies, of course.
It’s the story of a young girl in Ireland named Maeve who discovers a mummified girl about her own age in a peat bog with her grandfather. The experts tell her the girl lived a thousand years ago. Maeve is curious about this girl and imagines what she was like. She is also understandably upset by the discovery of the mummy, who is named “Ballywhinney Girl” after the place she was found, and seems to be sorting through her feelings about a this girl who could have been just like her. The illustrations are gentle and comforting, even when depicting the mummy, and makes the story of a dead girl less scary.
There is also information at the end about peat bog mummies which is very interesting. It mentions that the Ballywhinney Girl herself is fictional, but many such mummies have been found over the years.