Gr. 5-8. In present-day Angola, the African queen Nzingha is a cultural hero for her resistance to the Portuguese colonizers and slave traders during her nearly 40-year rule in the early seventeenth century. The history is compelling, but forcing it into the Royal Diaries series format, with Nzingha as a 13-year-old telling her story in journal entries, makes for an awkward, confusing narrative. In fact, the historical note says that the events fictionalized here took place when Nzingha was 40 and not when she was 13. It's the facts that will grab kids' interest: the history (including the horrifying glimpse of the European slave trade that shipped people away forever to the tobacco and sugarcane plantations of Brazil) and also the biographical facts about the extraordinary warrior queen who fought back. More than the diary, readers will pore over the second half of the book, which includes a readable epilogue, historical notes, a glossary, and a family tree, as well as a set of archival drawings and photos.
Original title: Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Historical Fiction→ Fictional Biographies