Leyla: The Black Tulip (Girls of Many Lands Series)

Leyla: The Black Tulip (Girls of Many Lands Series)

4.8 5
by Alev Lytle Croutier, Kazuhiko Sano
     
 

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Life in the Topkapi Palace harem follows its own rules and rhythms, and twelve-year-old newcomer Leyla has much to learn about this hidden world of women. When she reveals her skills as a gardener, Leyla is assigned to work with the Mistress of the Flowers. In the harem gardens, Leyla secretly plants the tulip bulbs she has brought from her home in the Caucasus… See more details below

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Overview

Life in the Topkapi Palace harem follows its own rules and rhythms, and twelve-year-old newcomer Leyla has much to learn about this hidden world of women. When she reveals her skills as a gardener, Leyla is assigned to work with the Mistress of the Flowers. In the harem gardens, Leyla secretly plants the tulip bulbs she has brought from her home in the Caucasus Mountains -- a reminder of the life she's left behind. If the bulbs are discovered, will there be trouble?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Leyla's family has fallen on hard times and sold nearly all their belongings to survive. Her father, Aslan, went to war to be a war painter and hasn't returned. As her family's situation gets worse, foreigners offer Leyla's family money in exchange for sending her to Istanbul for a marriage. Leyla's mother refuses, but Leyla decides she must go to help her family. Leyla arrives in Istanbul only to find that she is to be a slave. Later, a man named Sumbul Aga buys Leyla and takes her to his Topkapi Palace. Leyla is sent to work in the Palace's harem gardens because of her gift for gardening; she also becomes a painting teacher for a princess and her brother. While painting, Leyla hears a familiar voice. It is her father! They meet at once, and he explains that he has been granted amnesty by Sumbul Aga and is to return home. Leyla and her father say goodbye, and she awaits seeing her family. This is an excellent young adult novel about sacrifices and making the best of less-than-ideal situations. One of the "Girls of Many Lands" series published by the Pleasant Company, which also publishes the very popular "American Girl" series, this novel allows readers to learn about other lands and cultures. 2003, Pleasant Company Publications, Ages 9 to 12.
— Amy Aldridge
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A lush adventure tale set in 1720. Another winter is settling in the Caucasus, and Laleena's artist father is missing. In his absence, the girl helps support her family by growing what food she can. She practices her own artwork and discovers that she has a way with growing rare and highly prized tulips. Nevertheless, it is not enough. To keep her family from starving, she enters a marriage deal, but finds herself instead in the hold of a slave ship bound for Istanbul. Fortunately, she is sold into the harem of the ruling Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. At Topkapi Palace, she is given a new identity as Leyla and apprenticed to the Mistress of the Flowers. Evocative descriptions abound: of the history of the tulips, of the riches and demands of harem life, and of the strange demeanor of the eunuchs who guard the women. Leyla cannot avoid courting trouble-she commits the unforgivable Muslim sin of drawing reproductions of nature; the perfect work of Allah is not to be reproduced by human hands. But her creative skills soon gain the beneficent attentions of one of the Sultan's wives and a young prince. Leyla's adventures may stretch credibility, but the friendships and intrigues, and the glimpses of court manners, customs, and history make Black Tulip an entertaining, informative, and vivid read.-Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584858317
Publisher:
American Girl Publishing
Publication date:
09/15/2003
Series:
Girls of Many Lands Series
Pages:
196
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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