Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam

Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam

by Diane Stanley
     
 

Forty years before the boy was born, a horde of bloodthirsty barbarians thundered out of the west and conquered his native land. They had succeeded because his people, ever at war with one another, had not fought together to defend their cities. In time the boy was destined to become the very leader that was needed, a man with the courage and vision to unite his

Overview

Forty years before the boy was born, a horde of bloodthirsty barbarians thundered out of the west and conquered his native land. They had succeeded because his people, ever at war with one another, had not fought together to defend their cities. In time the boy was destined to become the very leader that was needed, a man with the courage and vision to unite his people and face the most fearsome and brilliant warrior of the age.

The time was the twelfth century; the barbarian horde was the armies of the First Crusade; the great warrior was Richard the Lionhearted; and the leader was Saladin. This is more than the other side of a familiar Western story, the Crusades. It is the tale of an extraordinary man, remarkable for his generous and chivalrous ways, a warrior who longed for peace. Courageous in battle and merciful in victory, he would be revered even by his enemies as the "marvel of his time."

In her vibrant narrative and magnificently detailed illustrations inspired by the Islamic art of the time, Diane Stanley presents a hero whose compassion, piety, tolerance, and wisdom made him a model for his time — and for ours.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist (Starred Review)
“Alive with pattern and brilliant with streaks of illumination, the art is some of Stanley’s finest.”
Horn Book Magazine
“Stanley has selected an unusual subject and presented him with clarity and style.”
New York Times Book Review
“This compact, strikingly illustrated biography is a terrific starting point for young readers.”
Riverbank Review
“[Stanley] uses color and line to create interest and to teach the eye what to see. ”
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Meeting the high standards set by her previous picture-book biographies, Stanley (Michelangelo; Joan of Arc) here focuses on the 12th-century ruler known as "the Muslim saint-king" who was "praised even by his enemies as `the marvel of his time' " and crystallizes many of the issues still at the root of conflicts today. Stanley begins with a concise overview of the First Crusade, then hypothesizes about the impact of the Franks' murderous conquest of Jerusalem on the young Saladin, a devout Muslim (after listing Jerusalem's importance to the "three great religions," the boy poses a question: "Couldn't everyone just share it?"). The author outlines religious practices, the political history of the Middle East and of Western Europe, and the vexed military campaigns for Jerusalem, once again demonstrating her trademark ability to research and then distill complex topics in terms accessible to middle-graders. She painstakingly builds readers' sense of Saladin's integrity and skilled leadership. For example, when his army was poised for certain victory over the Christians holding Jerusalem, he wrote to a knight proposing generous conditions for their surrender: "I believe that Jerusalem is the House of God, as you also believe. And I will not willingly lay siege to the House of God or put it to the assault." Stanley's precise, detailed artwork pays homage to period architecture. She evokes the colors of Persian miniatures (and medieval stained glass) as her paintings incorporate the complex patterning associated with Islamic art. Portraits of Saladin at home, sitting in front of gorgeously tiled walls with his family, arrayed in sumptuous robes, are particularly effective in conveying the richness of the subject's world. Readers are certain to be intrigued. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Learning about this important figure in Middle Eastern history sheds light on the region's current unrest. The book also includes a useful glossary, a bibliography, and helpful author's notes. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688171353
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including Saving Sky, which ALA Booklist, in a starred review, called "beautifully written" and noted that "parallels to our contemporary times appear on every page. . . . The young people manifest a courage few can emulate"; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editor's Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Saughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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