Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile (The Royal Diaries)

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9781400102433: Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile (The Royal Diaries)
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Established "Dear America" author Kristiana Gregory kicks off "The Royal Diaries" with the captivating story of a young Cleopatra's life. While her father is in hiding after attempts on his life, twelve-year-old Cleopatra records in her diary how she fears for her own safety and hopes to survive to become Queen of Egypt some day.

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Review:

The year is 57 B.C., and 12-year-old Cleopatra, Princess of the Nile, has a lot on her mind. Her father, the Pharaoh of Egypt, nearly died when a venomous adder meant for him attacked and killed his favorite servant. Now the Pharaoh has gone into hiding, hunted by his enemies, and the young princess has to keep her head--literally--as her power-hungry older sister Tryphaena threatens to grab her father's throne.

"I took the cup and raised it toward Tryphaena as if toasting her, but really I was watching the liquid, looking for oil floating on its surface, or powder sticking to the sides of the cup. If I suspected poison and tossed it into the pool, she would have her guards behead me on the spot. If it was indeed poison, one sip and I could die..."

In an elegantly written royal diary, Cleopatra VII has recorded every rich detail from this tumultuous time: her hairsbreadth escape by boat to Rome, where she and her father must plead for help; her struggle to absorb the overwhelming sights (and smells) of this new city and its "barbarian" ways; and her poise and quick thinking as she deals with the likes of General Pompey, Marc Antony, and the famous orator Cicero ("words fly from him like darts!").

Kristiana Gregory, a contributor to the excellent Dear America series, has done an admirable job ghostwriting for the princess, painting an engaging portrait of a resourceful, intelligent, compassionate young woman forged by the forces of her time. The book concludes with a helpful section of maps, portraits, a Pharaonic family tree, and 20 pages of illustrations. (Ages 8 to 12) --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

Kristiana Gregory has written numerous books for middle-grade readers, including Orphan Runaways, Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express, The Stowaway, and three titles in the Dear America series: The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, and The Great Railroad Race: The Diary of Libby West.

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