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10 Kings and Queens Who Changed the World

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History is not created in a vacuum, and no leader comes to power without influences from the past and an impact on the future. In this look at ten royals, beginning with Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt and ending with Catherine the Great, each leader’s biography is linked with another based on influences, events, and geography. By uncovering these unique and often overlooked connections, history emerges as a chain of patterns and relationships, and readers will understand how these ten leaders shaped the course of ...

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Overview

History is not created in a vacuum, and no leader comes to power without influences from the past and an impact on the future. In this look at ten royals, beginning with Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt and ending with Catherine the Great, each leader’s biography is linked with another based on influences, events, and geography. By uncovering these unique and often overlooked connections, history emerges as a chain of patterns and relationships, and readers will understand how these ten leaders shaped the course of human civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

School Library Journal

This addition to the series provides succinct and captivating biographies of 10 sovereigns, primarily men from Western culture, from early times through the end of the 18th century. . . . [T]his book is refreshing in that multiple biographies and a historical context are provided in one volume. For those libraries that need to enhance their world history or biography collections, this is a solid choice that will likely appeal to reluctant readers.

Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
With its dynamic and exciting color illustrations, this look at famous rulers has great eye appeal, but the text is not quite as enticing. The royals included here are Hatshepsut, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Henry VIII, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent, Elizabeth I, Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, and Catherine the Great. Four to six pages are devoted to each, though that includes many large illustrations and a few maps, along with boxed facts. The biographies each begin with a decisive or thrilling moment in the life of the ruler ("November 1730. Guards burst into a cell in the fortress of Kustrin and wakened its prisoner at 5 A.M.") and then relate the story of the life in a straightforward, relatively dry manner, though readers without background knowledge may be hampered. For example, it would be helpful to understand the power of the Catholic Church in the 16th century to grasp why Henry VIII's break with it was so significant. And why these rulers and not others? No explanation is given, and no sources or resources for further research either, though there is a glossary and an index. Boxed "Life Links" make connections between each ruler and the next one in the book, though these often seem like a stretch. At the end, there are paragraphs about "other famous kings and queens": William the Conqueror, Tamerlane, Peter the Great, and Queen Victoria. Others in this "10 series" include 10 Explorers Who Changed the World and 10 Leaders Who Changed the World. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
VOYA - Melissa Moore
Gifford creates an attractive collection of biographical summaries of the lives of ten kings and queens throughout history. Several personalities—Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Henry the VIII, Catherine the Great, and Louis XIV—are expected in such a collection, but the author also includes the lesser-known rulers Suleiman the Magnificent and Hatshepsut to make for an interesting compilation. Highly readable entries average five pages in length and give an overview of the person's life, focusing on the struggles each faced and the contributions these men and women made to history. Cousens's full-color illustrations and inset text boxes give the feel of a graphic novel and draw in the reader. Even reluctant readers and those who do not normally gravitate toward history would be tempted to pick up this book. This reviewer had trouble deciphering what criteria were used to select the ten rulers, even with the "Life Links" feature connecting each biography with another ruler included in the volume. No resources are provided for those who would like to pursue additional reading. Other books in this series include 10 Explorers Who Changed the World and 10 Leaders Who Changed the World. This volume is a solid, economical choice for school and public libraries who need to plump up their world history holdings. Reviewer: Melissa Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–This addition to the series provides succinct and captivating biographies of 10 sovereigns, primarily men from Western culture, from early times through the end of the 18th century. The author chronicles their formative years, their reigns, and their legacies. Cousens’s eye-catching graphic art establishes a visual reference for the setting in which the featured ruler lived, and it evenly matches the dramatic events and themes highlighted. With life links that connect one leader with the next, maps that detail the area of the monarch’s reign, text bubbles with additional information, and a pictorial time line, the book lends itself well to browsing. One noticeable omission is a bibliography or a recommended book list. While the “Graphic Biographies” (Rosen) and the “You Wouldn’t Want to…” series (Watts) cover some of the people or time periods featured here, this book is refreshing in that multiple biographies and a historical context are provided in one volume. For those libraries that need to enhance their world history or biography collections, this is a solid choice that will likely appeal to reluctant readers.–Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753462522
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Gifford is the award-winning author of hundreds of articles and more than 100 books.

Dan Cousens’ graphic work has been featured in magazines and books.

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