Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Royal Diaries, Elizabeth I

In writing the review of this book, I will remind you that The Royal Diaries, Elizabeth I is a children's book in a children's series, and I am not a child. However that has not hindered me from enjoying some books as much as a child in the target age range would. This book is written for ages 9 - 12. I think that my eight year old daughter might like some of the books in this series, and I would also like to explore some more of them. This book didn't really capture me until I read the back part of the book, the glimpse into history, which I did about halfway through. For some reason, that gave it more context and interest for me. Yes, I know the basic history about Henry VIII, but this helped, so I think it might actually be beneficial, especially for a child, to explore this section before reading the fictional diary.

I did enjoy the interesting details of the sixteenth century that were included from a child's view, such as dealing with fleas and nits and bathing only every few weeks. The descriptions of children's pastimes, including play and school, was also informative. I also think that many children could relate to her desire to please and be loved by her father, Henry VIII, and her turmoil in being part of a blended family.

The short journal entries of the diary format was also interesting, but I'm not sure if that made it more fast paced or if it just afforded me more opportunities to place my bookmark.

For fiction that also teaches history through the eyes of a child of the age, I would recommend the American Girl's Historical Collection of stories. Amanda and I both really love all of Kit's Depression era stories, but Addy's (Civil War), Kirsten's (prairie settler), Felicity's (Colonial), Molly's (World War II) and Josefina's (Spanish America) are good reads, too. We haven't gotten to the others yet.

Read other reviews each Saturday, or link your own, at Semicolon.

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Fall Reading Challenge: three finished, making progress on five others, six still in the wings (and, um, two started that aren't even in the challenge).

6 comments:

Susanne said...

I always wondered aobut that series. Niether of my girls wanted to read any of them. Good review!

Carrie said...

Thanks for the post on this one! I've seen the series, but haven't picked them up. Of course, I've just the American Girls series (and loved them)! The Royal Diaries will be interesting to check out.

Heather said...

I agree about this series. They are mostly dull actually. I too didn't get anything out of it till I read the back story and isn't that supposed to be the other way around. It seems to me that the intent was to make the history at the back interesting. The American Girls series are wonderful, all of them. My daughter has read all the regular doll based books and I went on and read all the "Girls of Many Lands" books. All excellent and gave me somethng to hang history on.

Sookie said...

When I was around eight years old, I read this book-and loved it!
It made me more interested in that period of history and soon I was reading even more books about Elizabeth I. I'm not sure if I went back today and read it again that I'd really like it. So maybe it's just a kid thing. However, I read the rest of the series when I was eight too-and didn't really care for it that much. Elizabeth I really was just my favorite...

Anonymous said...

I read most of this series in middle school and they feed my love for history. I'm now a senior in college, studying college. I can look back and see flaws in historical fiction, but I still enjoy them - thanks to books such as this one.

Anonymous said...

I read most of this series in middle school and they feed my love for history. I'm now a senior in college, studying college. I can look back and see flaws in historical fiction, but I still enjoy them - thanks to books such as this one.