Thursday, December 15, 2011
Review: Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627
Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627 by Kathryn Lasky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Daughter of Shah Jahan, who would later build the Taj Mahal, Jahanara is an Indian princess surrounded by wealth and beauty. This book, written as though it were her diary written in her early teenaged years, lets us peek into her world-- a world of gems, gold, delicious food, and no hard labor, but also a world of political maneuverings, occasional poisonings, and isolation. She and her father's wives and harem are not allowed to be seen by the outside world, and spend their lives looking out at the world through screens that shield them from the eyes of others. Since she is a princess, most people are not allowed to touch her, nor she they. The sincere voice of the princess makes history come alive a little, and may shed some light onto what life was like for royalty in India in the 1600s. Following the diary portion of the book are further historical notes, a family tree of the Moghul Dynasty, and pictures of architecture of India, as well as some paintings of the princess and her parents. Recommended for grades 6-8.
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