Scholastic Inc. (2000), Edition: First Printing, 136 pages. $10.95.
Presents the diary of thirteen-year-old Nzingha, a sixteenth-century West African princess who loves to hunt and hopes to lead her kingdom one day against the invasion of the Portuguese slave traders.
136 p.; 7.72 inches
0439112109 / 9780439112109
LibraryThing member mattlhm
Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, by Patricia McKissack, is based loosely on a real-life African princess who would indeed come to lead other warriors against the presence of Portuguese slave traders in the 17th century. This story takes place while she is in her teens and coming of age, and it's written in a first person, diary style that has Nzingha reporting the events happening around her. The relationship she shares with two sisters and a demure mother stands out as charming in its description, but the course of the story more strongly favors her aptitude towards the political planning her people must embrace against a beckoning enemy, the Portuguese. Everything is written in plain language to engage the story's middle school target audience, but this proves at times a deficit. Aphorisms are thrown into Nzingha's narrative along the lines of "It's better to be happy than sad" and "The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing." Such well-worn adages come off more as mere platitudes than careful wording that could enhance the story. A rich gallery of photographs and pictures at the back of the book provides a solid historical reference to the story and puts a face on this vital segment of African history. This book could augment the multi-cultural section of a middle school library and also be used in an eighth grade study of the European slave trade in 16th-17th century Africa.
LibraryThing member Beammey
Personally, I felt like this was one of the better, stronger books in the series. Pretty much all of this was new to me and I loved learning about Nzingha. She was a strong, fierce warrior and she should be more known and not forgotten. I'm so glad I got to read this book. I would recommend this to anyone, but it is obviously for younger readers. Still, 5 out of 5 stars.
LibraryThing member rebecca191
I had high hopes for this book, since I love The Royal Diaries series. I am sorry to say I was dissapointed. I never managed to get a feel for the characters, as they were never fully developed, remaining one-dimensional throughout the story. The line between good and evil was just too generally defined - Africans good, white people bad. Real life doesn't work that way. And when I completed the story, I felt like something was missing, that I hadn't read the whole book - it cut off so abruptly, at 86 pages, and the historical note and pictures seemed there just to make it look longer. I can't believe that such a short, unsubstational book is going to be $10.95. I expected better from this previously high-quality series. I hoped for more since the topic really sounded interesting and unique as well...
LibraryThing member SRaval
I loved the adventures and all of the bravery Nzinga held in her diary of part of her life. The detail made the setting, time and movements so clear in my head.
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