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

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

by Jane Kurtz, Jean-Paul Tibbles (Illustrator)
 
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?

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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in Ethiopia in 1846, this installment in the publisher's Girls of Many Lands series centers on Saba, a girl who lives in rural poverty with her grandmother. But when Saba and her brother, Mesfin, are kidnapped and taken to the emperor's compound, they discover their royal blood; their other grandmother's brother currently reigns. Saba's parents, in order to protect their children from the constant fighting for the throne, had hidden them long ago. Now Saba has been separated from Mesfin, and as she slowly begins unraveling the politics-the current emperor, her great-uncle, is a puppet and his wife, a "hyena," will stop at nothing to maintain control-she fears for her brother's fate. She also dreads the marriage the empress is arranging for her. The author blends fiction and history: while Saba is made up, Empress Menen was an actual person. Readers may have trouble piecing together the complicated power struggles, but they may well be captivated by the glimpse into Saba's world and the aphoristic language ("Strength meant that if you fell off your horse, you walked"). As in other books in the series, this concludes with a glossary and short history lesson; fortunately, the author works many details about Saba's culture directly into the novel itself. Readers will likely root for Saba as she carves out her own daring adventure. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) FYI: Other new titles in the Girls of Many Lands series are Leyla: The Black Tulip by Alev Lytle Croutier, which takes its heroine to Istanbul in 1720; and Kathleen: The Celtic Knot by Siobh n Parkinson, set in 1937 Dublin. Nine-inch dolls of each heroine are also available. (Leyla $15.95 ISBN-1-58485-831-1; $7.95 paper -749-8; Kathleen $15.95 -830-3; $7.95 -748-X; Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584858294
Publisher:
American Girl Publishing
Publication date:
09/15/2003
Series:
Girls of Many Lands Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.09(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

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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