Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (The Royal Diaries)

 
3.0
 
5.0 (1)
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Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (The Royal Diaries)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 01, 2000
ISBN
0439078059
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King Enrique of Spain sees his 14-year-old sister, Princess Isabel, as a pawn to be used to strengthen his rule over the kingdom. He tries to marry her off to any patron who would benefit his political cause. Luckily, Isabel manages to escape each unfavorable suitor, avert danger from warring forces in the land, and find the one man whom she actually wants to marry.

Editor reviews

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The Royal Diaries from Scholastic
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0

While I don't think Scholastic has ever actively advertised themselves as the publishing company that aims to make it fun to learn, they truly could. The Royal Diaries series is another in their long line of entertaining historically accurate reading material.


Isabel's story makes up just one of the diaries. Others include Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile and Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles.


For those of you out there that think history is dry, dusty and boring---think again! Isabel's story is one of political intrigue, the power of the strong and the meek, love and loyalty.


The author, Carolyn Meyer says it herself: "It [history] always seemed to be about dates and battles and generals and treaties, and I cared more about what people are and what they wore and what they did all day." So, that's what she writes about.


The story is based on fact (in fact, the last part of the book covers the "dry" historical facts and provides pictures and dates) but it is ultimately a fictional account. The development of Isabel's personality from a meek, mousy young thing to a strong-minded queen is where the strength of the story lies.


She lives in some fear or her brother Enrique, the King. He controls her destiny completely...at least, until she discovers her own mind. Halfway through the novel, Isabel notes in her diary: "I am becoming very clever at saying maybe in a way that could be taken for yes when I really mean no." Her power comes from learning how to play the political games that she must learn to play to be queen.


Like the Dear America series (also by Scholastic), I recommend that this book be used as a teaching tool. It lets students put a face and a personality to characters that they get only a glimpse of through normal studies. And, best of all, they get to see what that historical personage might have been like at their age.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
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The Royal Diaries : Isabel;Jewel of Castilla
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I think girls would read this book and all the others in the Royal Diaries.I think they enjoy history and would also as they get older to inspire them to love history.
Good Points
I loved this book when I was young and still have the book in my bookshelves.I love this book because it helped me learn history and what was like to be a princess in that era when Queen Isabel was a teenager.And was trying to play her own political game.
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