Njinga "The Warrior Queen"

Overview


Njinga, the Warrior Queen, fought fiercely to keep her people from slavery. Yet she engaged in slave trading herself, performed human sacrifices and--some believed--even murdered her nephew, feasting on his heart. Was Njinga a terrifying tyrant or a freedom fighter?

Gorgeous illustrations and a smart, evocative story bring to life a dastardly dame who did whatever it took to win and protect her kingdom.

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Overview


Njinga, the Warrior Queen, fought fiercely to keep her people from slavery. Yet she engaged in slave trading herself, performed human sacrifices and--some believed--even murdered her nephew, feasting on his heart. Was Njinga a terrifying tyrant or a freedom fighter?

Gorgeous illustrations and a smart, evocative story bring to life a dastardly dame who did whatever it took to win and protect her kingdom.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—book focuses on the Queen of Matamba, born around 1583 into the royal household of Ndongo in central West Africa. Njinga grew up watching her father hold back Portuguese invaders and resolved to do anything to preserve the independence of her people, even allying briefly with the Portuguese and, eventually, joining forces with the flesh-eating Imbangala. The text highlights Njinga's admirable pride, determination, and strength without skating over the murkier parts of her legacy, such as the mysterious deaths of her brother and nephew. Visually, the book is pleasingly designed, with African prints forming the backdrop for colorful photos, maps, and illustrations. In some spots, however, the design makes sidebar information look like part of the main text, which disrupts the flow. In at least one such case, confusion is the result: a statement about Njinga being accused of eating her nephew's heart after joining the Imbangala appears four pages before that alliance is covered in the main text.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Janie Havemeyer has worked as a museum educator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, an elementary school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a social studies curriculum designer. For the past six years, she has been working as a literacy tutor. She writes narrative, nonfiction picture books for children, and is busy thinking about the next eccentric character whose story she wants to tell.
Janie is the author of Catherine de’ Medici “The Black Queen,” and Njinga "The Warrior Queen," both in The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames.

Peter Malone has illustrated over twenty children’s books for such publishers as Chronicle, Knopf, Putnam, Running Press, and Scholastic. In addition to creating gorgeous illustrations, he wrote the book, Close to the Wind, about the use of the Beaufort scale for measuring wind force at sea. School Library Journal called it “informative and utterly charming.” He lives in Bath, England, with his wife, a restorer of paintings, and their two grown daughters.

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