Donna Jo Napoli Daughter of Venice

ISBN 13: 9780385900362

Daughter of Venice

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9780385900362: Daughter of Venice
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In 1592, Donata is a noble girl living in a palazzo on the Grand Canal. Girls of her class receive no education and rarely leave the palazzo. In a noble family, only one daughter and one son will be allowed to marry; Donata, like all younger daughters, will be sent to a convent. Donata longs to be tutored like her brothers and to see the Venice she has glimpsed only on the map. What is the world beyond her balcony, beyond what she sees when she glides, veiled, in a gondola down the canal? She dresses as a boy and escapes the palazzo on the Grand Canal to see the world before she is shut away, and to try to find a way to escape her fate. Donata risks everything; she changes her life, and her family’s life, forever when she walks through the door and encounters a Venice she never knew existed.
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Review:

Award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli whisks young readers away to glittering Renaissance Venice in this first-rate historical novel about a young woman who longs to experience the wide world beyond her cloistered window. The year is 1592, and 14-year-old Donata is a pampered member of the noble Mocenigo family. But Donata is restless. Always confined to the palazzo, she is tired of learning everything second-hand from her brothers. And she is angered by the Venetian law that states only her older sister may marry. Donata knows that the only destiny that awaits her is the convent or maiden aunt-hood, neither of which are very appealing. "The mysteries of Venice are like a rainbow--and I am soon to be shut away from them." But as part of an elaborate scheme to outwit her parents, Donata decides to disguise herself as a beggar boy. Finally, she sees the real Venice, and it is both as beautiful as she had believed and more horribly raw than she could have ever imagined. Now she has no idea how she can ever reconcile what she has learned with the life she is expected to lead.

Based on one of the first acknowledged female Venetian scholars, Daughter of Venice is so rich with historical detail and intrigue that readers will quickly feel the desperation and exhilaration of Donata's daring deception. Napoli provides an authentic taste of this complex society on the brink of change and the ancient rules that still bound its women both physically and mentally. A gorgeous, bountiful book. (Ages 10 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Donna Jo Napoli is the author of Crazy Jack, The Magic Circle, Stones in Water, and many other books, and is the chairperson of the linguistics department at Swarthmore College.
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