Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coventry, Susan The Queen’s Daughter

Coventry, Susan The Queen’s Daughter
Henry Holt/Macmillan children's pub group 2010 373p 16.99
978-0-8050-8992-9 hs Historical VG
This is the fictionalized biography of Joan, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, King of England. Joan of England is the youngest daughter of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Growing up as a child she listened to her mother when she said that a queen must always know everything about her kingdom’s enemies, resources, and to make her husband “welcome in her bed, give him heirs, but not be fool enough to love him”.
Most of her life was full of discord. Her mother and father fought constantly. Her brothers, Henry, Richard (The Lionhearted), Geoffrey, and John were constantly at war with their father as they switched their loyalties between France and England. The practicalities of war did not mean a calm life for Joan. She spent her time divided between her father’s anger and being imprisoned with her mother.
At a very young age she was married of to be the Queen Consort of Sicily, which lasted only a short time before her husband died. During this time she once again saw the anger and difficulties of court politics. Her favorite brother, Richard, took her with him on a Crusade to the Holy Lands. Later he married her off to Lord Raymond, The Count of Toulouse.

The author has written an easy to read novel that could be enjoyed by young readers. The reason that I am not recommending it for Books of Note is because there are some glaring omissions for a historical novel. Readers of historical novels want to have some insight into the time period. They rely upon the author to provide the following: diagrams and maps, photos or wood block prints, glossaries, bibliographies, genealogical table, epilogues, and author notes which explains to the reader what the author did or did not do with the facts in the story. I would suggest that she get a copy of Gillespie, John T. Historical Fiction For Young Readers (Grades 4-8).Westport,Conn: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. "Introduction and Criteria of Historical Fiction".
This is a very written book that would make an excellent addition to any secondary school library. McNeil, Linda
Kings and Queens-fction

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