Saba: Under the Hyena's Foot (Girls of Many Lands Series)

Overview

When twelve-year-old Saba and her older brother are kidnapped and taken from their rural home to the royal palace at Gondar, Saba finally learns about her long-lost parents -- and her own royal past. With Ethiopia's rulers in the midst of a fierce struggle for control of the throne, what can the King of Kings -- Emperor Yohannes III -- possibly want with her?

After being kidnapped and brought to the emperor's palace in Gondar, Ethiopia, twelve-year-old Saba discovers...

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2003 Trade paperback New. Clean and tight-unused copy-Excellent! ! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 207 p. Contains: Illustrations. Girls of Many Lands (Paperback). ... Audience: Children/juvenile. Read more Show Less

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Overview

When twelve-year-old Saba and her older brother are kidnapped and taken from their rural home to the royal palace at Gondar, Saba finally learns about her long-lost parents -- and her own royal past. With Ethiopia's rulers in the midst of a fierce struggle for control of the throne, what can the King of Kings -- Emperor Yohannes III -- possibly want with her?

After being kidnapped and brought to the emperor's palace in Gondar, Ethiopia, twelve-year-old Saba discovers that she and her brother are part of the emperor's desperate attempt to consolidate political power in the mid-1840's.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The creator of the popular American Girl series of dolls and books is now going abroad, with stories of pre-teen girls in different countries and historical periods. Saba is a Christian girl in Ethiopia in 1846; the country is wracked by much of the same tribal infighting that afflicts Ethiopia today. Jane Kurtz mixes Ethiopian history with the fictional story of Saba, who is kidnapped with her beloved brother and taken to live in a royal castle. Kurtz grew up in Ethiopia and her appreciation for its cultures and traditions is evident on every page. The story is full of wise sayings. "When spiders unite, they can tie up a lion" becomes especially significant to the story line. The book is not just another series title pumped out in a hurry, but a carefully written, often exciting narrative filled with warmth, drama, and suspense. Revealing moments are perfectly described, as when Saba is learning the alphabet and history of Ethiopia: "All these names and dates. What would make them stick to a person?" As Saba moves from her poor home in the woods to the luxury of the castle, she appreciates her fine cotton clothing but finds the bed too soft and realizes what she really must cling to: "Wat (stew) and injera (bread) in my hand. My brother by my side." Saba's story teaches lessons of character without being pedantic. There is a glossary and a pronunciation guide as well as a short but excellent section with numerous color photos on "Then and Now—A Girl's Life in Ethiopia." Other books in the series feature stories of girls in 16th century England, 18th century France, Turkey, China, Yup'ik Alaska, right up to 20th century Ireland and India. The series is "Girls of Many Lands." 2003,Pleasant Company Publications,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Kurtz admirably offers readers the story of a young girl first and the historical details and political intrigue of Ethiopia in 1846 second. Saba is a simple country girl, living with her brother and overly protective grandmother. Suspense builds as the children disobediently venture out of their home. Kidnapped and taken to a faraway palace, Saba is confused, but by paying close attention to details, she is able to make sense of events. Her lack of understanding of the ways of the court gradually turns into an awareness of a severe, albeit camouflaged, threat to herself and her brother. Politics is at the heart of the story and complicated family relationships at the heart of the dilemma. Kurtz keeps the pages turning as she reveals Saba and her brother's place in the emperor's line. A descendant of the biblical Queen of Sheba, clever and resourceful Saba is determined to save not just herself, but her brother as well. It's gratifying that a title this well written and culturally sensitive is now available since there are so few good novels about Africa, and especially Ethiopia, that provide a sense of the rich history in that part of the world.-Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584857471
  • Publisher: American Girl Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/15/2003
  • Series: Girls of Many Lands Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Kurtz
Jane Kurtz

Amy June Bates has illustrated many books for children, including Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight by Kathleen Krull, The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest and You Can Do It! by Tony Dungy. She graduated from Brigham Young University and now lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children. Illustrating books has always been her dream.

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Table of Contents

Saba's Family Tree x
1 Fear and Disaster 1
2 A Fierce Longing 11
3 Fire in the Night 23
4 Call of the Honey Bird 27
5 Lion Creatures 41
6 Escape 53
7 The Giants' Compound 57
8 In the Walking Dream 69
9 Angel Voices 85
10 Hope of the Great 92
11 Needles and Cloves, Dates and Silks 103
12 At the Top of Fasil Gemb 114
13 The Hyena's Foot 122
14 Wax and Gold 129
15 Horror 138
16 The Kosso Seller's Son 143
17 Spiders Unite 153
18 Caught Between Saytan's Teeth 162
19 Song of the Dawn Singers 172
20 Riding the Soulless Horse 177
Then and Now 197
Glossary of Amharic Words 204
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2005

    Great book but left hanging

    Saba was a great book, but Jane Kurtz left you hanging there at the ending. I love how Saba and her brother Mesfin, were taken away from their home and taken to Gondar to reveil their past. Saba finds out about her long-lost parents. Saba makes an ugly mistake on her first day and feels confused. When Mesfin dissapears she at first believed that he was studying to be the king of kings. She finds out that he was trapped somewhere and its up to her to find out where. She makes a new friend and goes on a journey that might change her life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2003

    Surprisingly Good

    I didn't have good expectations for this book. Out of the three upcoming books for September, 2003, I was eagerly awaiting for the release of Leyla: The Black Tulip. However, when I saw a listing to buy Saba on half.com, I bought it just because I enjoy the Girls of Many Lands and why not spend 5 or 6 dollars on one of the ones coming out in September when it was available in June. So I bought it and when I got it I didn't start it right away. About a week after getting it, I had little to read that wasn't like a 1,000 pages. So I picked up Saba and in just a few short hours I finished it. I loved it! It seemed like I was only reading for 2 minutes when I was already halfway through! The story chronicles a 12-year-old Ethiopian girl named Saba. She and her brother, Mesfin, live in the wooded areas of Ethiopia with their grandmother. When the story opens, certain odd happenings give the small family quite a scare. Mysterious fires, mysterious sounds, and the strange callings of a bird that leads one to honey. However, when Saba hears one of these strange sounds and turns hurriedly, scared, she breaks the large pot the family owns and her grandmother must go into town to buy a new one. As predicted, Saba and Mesfin are not permitted to go. Yet, Saba has never been able to go anywhere. She is secluded, and is tired of it. So, thinking that it will help her grandmother, Saba, with Mesfin, goes out into the woods to follow the bird to the honey, only to find out it wasn't a bird calling, but captors. Saba and Mesfin are stolen from their home and journey for days on end until they find themselves in the huge and beautiful city of Gondar. But what surprised them even more is that Saba and Mesfin are taken to the royal palace compunds! Saba is pampered and presented to the king, goes to banquets, and mingles among upper class people, but when Mesfin disappears and a startling massacre takes place in the palace courtyard, Saba flees the palace for refuge, only to return with a companion who helps her in her search for her brother, and someone she always presumed was dead...her father. This story was truly a remarkable one in the Girls of Many Lands series. It was very real, very factual, and very adventerous. I loved it very much, and now I am eager for Leyla more, seeing as how good this one was! This book is also kind of like a mystery. Saba always knew her one grandfather was in the army but she never knew that her father was royal and that the same empress that Saba had an audience with poisoned her mother so that she could marry Saba's father. A very good read!

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