Charis Cotter Kids Who Rule

ISBN 13: 9781554510610

Kids Who Rule

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9781554510610: Kids Who Rule
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Every kid dreams of becoming royalty. But being a child monarch is not all glory and bossing people around. Behold Kids Who Rule and discover the startling realities of five junior rulers from history. Boy king Tutankhamun was crowned pharaoh of Egypt at age nine. Groomed to lead armies, his homework involved firing arrows from a moving chariot. Mary Queen of Scots became royalty at only six days old. She grew up fleeing bad-tempered King Henry VIII who saw her as a child bride for his son. Other child monarchs profiled include Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 to 1689), Puyi, Last Emperor of China (1906 to 1967), and the current Dalai Lama of Tibet (1935 to present). Each chapter focuses on a different ruler by offering a dramatic episode from their regal childhood, eye-opening elements of their country’s history, and an End of the Story” section on how their life played out. Complete with photos of art and artifacts from each era and intriguing sidebars, Kids Who Rule is a crowning achievement of non-fiction storytelling.

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About the Author:

Charis Cotter is an editor and the author of an award-winning history book on her hometown of Toronto. This is her first book for young readers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

What would it be like to be a king or a queen, to live in a palace, to rule a country -- while you were still a kid? How would it feel to sit on a throne and wear a crown? What if your mother, your teachers, and your sisters and brothers all had to bow down every time they came into your presence? And what if you were very, very rich, and had a host of servants to do your bidding?

It might not be quite as much fun as it sounds. This book tells the true stories of five children who became rulers when they were very young. The oldest is a nine-year-old Egyptian pharaoh, born over 3,000 years ago. The most recent is a two-year-old boy chosen to be the Dalai Lama of Tibet, an isolated country high in the mountains of Central Asia. Another is a little girl who became queen of Scotland when she was only six days old.

For these young monarchs, being a king or queen was not all crowns and glory and bossing people around. A regent or advisor ran the country while the children were growing up, and made sure that they learned everything they needed to know to be good rulers. As well as lessons every day in reading, writing, history, and languages, the kids had to learn about government, religion, and diplomacy (which means talking very politely to foreign dignitaries so that you get what you want from them). These young rulers had to grow up fast and take on responsibilities other kids don't have to worry about, like signing treaties, talking to army generals, taking part in very long ceremonies, and giving speeches.

From the beginning of history, kings and queens have stood apart from ordinary people. Many cultures believe their monarchs rule by a divine right that is given to them by the gods. Some kings are considered almost gods themselves. Kings and queens have a duty to protect and guide their people: their lives don't completely belong to themselves.

None of the rulers in this book had an ordinary childhood. Queen Christina of Sweden was made to sleep for a year under the heart of her dead father, which hung in a box above her bed. Then she was brought up like a boy because her father wanted her to be a king, not a queen: she walked, talked, swore, and dressed like a boy until she was in her teens.

Mary Queen of Scots was a queen on the run for the first five years of her life, while the King of England, Henry VIII, did his best to kidnap her. Then she went to live in the French court and saw her mother only once in the next 12 years. Mary had to watch what she ate: a servant once tried to poison her dessert.

King Tutankhamun of Egypt changed his name before he was nine and married his sister. He learned how to shoot arrows while driving a chariot, which required extremely good handeye coordination. He also had to watch his back: his guardian, Ay, wanted to be king himself.

Henry Puyi of China had perhaps the most bizarre childhood, living without his parents in the middle of a Forbidden City, cut off from the rest of the world. Servants followed him around with tea, jackets, and a chamber pot. When he was hungry, a banquet was spread before him, but he wasn't allowed to eat it.

The Dalai Lama was chosen to be king and spiritual leader of Tibet by monks following their dreams and visions of the country's next ruler. He too lived without his parents in a huge palace, where he made friends with mice and played games with his servants. He had to take on his role as ruler early, when he was only 15, because his country needed his leadership after it was invaded by the Communist Chinese.

There have been many children who became kings or queens before they grew up. All too often war, disease, and sometimes even murder claimed the lives of their parents. Because females often couldn't inherit the throne, history records many more boy kings than girl queens.

The two girls in this book, Queen Mary and Queen Christina, lived within 100 years of each other, at a time in Europe when women were just starting to occupy positions of authority.

The child rulers in this book were chosen because their stories are so fascinating. They all led extraordinary lives, struggling to find their place in a world where they had surprisingly little power. They are separated by time and place: Northern Europe in the seventeenth century was very different from China in the twentieth. But they were all faced with the same challenge: to grow up fast and lead their people. Never given a choice, they were all destined to become kids who rule.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781554510627: Kids Who Rule: The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs

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ISBN 10:  1554510627 ISBN 13:  9781554510627
Publisher: Annick Press, 2007
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