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review 2019-08-07 01:36
Review: Eleanor by Kristiana Gregory
Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136 - Kristiana Gregory

Title: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine
Author: Kristiana Gregory
Series: Royal Diaries
Format: hardcover
Length: N/A
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old Eleanor lives in a palace in Poitier, France, with her father, Count William of Aquitaine, and her younger sister, Petronilla. Mischievous and daring, Eleanor's daily exploits are a constant source of frustration to her grandmother and ladies-in-waiting, who are the girls' caretakers. Eleanor's life is turned upside-down, however, as her father goes off to fight in the invasion of Normandy, and her safety, as well as that of her sister's, is at risk from his enemies. Then, at age fifteen, Eleanor is forced into a new role when her father dies and she is betrothed to sixteen-year-old Prince Louis VII of France. When Louis' father, King Louis VI, dies suddenly, Louis VII becomes King - and young Eleanor is now Queen of France!


Favourite character: Petra
Least favourite character: N/A


Mini-review: At the back of the book in the historical notes (which I love btw) it mentioned that Eleanor was spoiled, but I didn't see that. Except for the fact that she slaps about three people in the book, including her sister, there is no indication that she's spoiled. And I guess because it's from her point of view, maybe we wouldn't see that, but I feel like it should've been more implied than just slaps.

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review 2014-10-31 21:25
The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777
Dear America: The Winter of Red Snow - Kristiana Gregory

Eleven-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart records the despair and hope of the difficult winter between 1777-1778--when she witnessed George Washington readying his young soldiers on the frozen fields of Valley Forge. (source)

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text 2014-10-31 19:37
October Round Up
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
Olivia - Ian Falconer
No, David! - David Shannon
Can We Save the Tiger? - Martin Jenkins,Vicky White
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature - Joyce Sidman,Beth Krommes
Wild Born - Brandon Mull
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives - Steven Levy
Yankee Doodle - Steven Kellogg
Dear America: The Winter of Red Snow - Kristiana Gregory
Time Enough for Drums - Ann Rinaldi

So, I have been horribly inactive on here lately because life has just gotten the best of me this month. I'll be posting a personal update later to get into the reasons for that, but long story short - the only reading I've had time for has been for school. And I haven't had time to post reviews for those books (again, because I have NO TIME). So I will be posting reviews later today because, for once, I actually have a bit of free time today to interact with all of you! 


One of the many good sides about going to grad school for a degree in library science is that, even though you have no life and have to read a lot, you have to read a lot of really good books. You also have to read a lot of scholarly articles, but seriously, I read picture books like every day - so fun! So these 10 books aren't even all of the books I've been reading, but they're the main ones that I have been assigned for school, so I chose to highlight them for this month's wrap up. 


Of these books, I think I'd have to say that my favorite was either Olivia or Yankee Doodle. I would consider both to be classic children's books - I actually read Yankee Doodle frequently with my mom when I was a kid, along with many of Steven Kellogg's other works. He's the best! As for Olivia, that book didn't come out until after I'd moved on from picture books to chapter books, but I think Olivia is ADORABLE and she's totally one of my favorite children's book characters now. 


My least favorite book was probably In the Plex. It's about Google and it's actually pretty interesting, especially if you're into techie things, but, well, I'm not, plus I had to write a paper on the book so that kind of turned me off from it a bit. But I've definitely read far worse!


Overall, I had a pretty good selection of books this month! I do wish that I had more time for fun reading - I didn't finish a single book that I selected on my own this month, which is super depressing  - but I have to say that if I have to be reading books that others choose for me, these ones have been pretty darn good. 


What books have you read this month? Have you read any of my selections? 

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review 2011-09-28 00:00
Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries) - Kristiana Gregory Disclaimer: The last time I read this book was in middle school, so my review will be spotty and more nostalgic than any review should be. Oh well.

I avidly read the Royal Diaries series during my middle school years. Like most young girls, I was fascinated with princesses and--maybe not so much like most young girls--deeply interested in the power politics of royalty. Princesses, more often than not, tend to be the pawns of such political games, so it was always very thrilling to read a story in which the princess overcomes her opponents!

While Cleopatra was not always my favorite female monarch, I love this book not only because it satiated my taste for court intrigue, but also because it allowed me a glimpse of the wealth and decay of Egypt.

Here are scenes that still stand out in my mind today:

(1) Cleopatra's older sister, next in line to lead the realm, is luxuriating in a steaming tub of water that is heated by slaves working in an underground furnace. Amid the perfumed haze of oils and other bath luxuries, she orders Cleopatra to drink a goblet of may-or-may-not-be poisoned wine.

(2) Cleopatra and her sisters get first dibs at a caravan full of trade items arriving from all over the world. These include jars of scented oils, shimmering scarves that float when you toss them into the air, and ropes of pearls. Cleopatra takes a hold of something--I think it was a necklace--and the vindictive older sister snatches it away and presses a knife to Cleopatra's throat.

(3) Away somewhere in Roman-occupied territory, the Romans viciously taunt Cleopatra's father in their own language, and he--dependent on Roman aid yet unable to speak their language--nods and smiles nervously. Cleopatra, who happens to speak a bazillion languages, shows them up. Yeah, bitches.

As I've said before, I haven't read the book in ages, so my memory could be making up a few details. If those three scenes are completely accurate, I would be very surprised.

And yes, I know the book is not historically accurate, and yes, Cleopatra may or may not have been as likable in real life versus in this book. I am also aware that court politics is incredibly complex and blah blah blah, tyvm. But as a kid, I didn't care (and I still kind of don't): I picked up this book to read a good story, not to write a report on Ancient Egypt. Besides, the world the author portrayed was gorgeous, and most importantly it left a lingering sweetness in my mind for anything Ancient Egypt.

This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read as a kid. Highly recommended for the younger audience.
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review 2011-01-15 00:00
Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (Dear America Series) - Kristiana Gregory Love these kind of books. Wish I had these kind of books when I was growing up. Ah well not to old to read them now! This was about the Gold Rush in California and one family's perspective. I liked it.
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