Review: African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa’s Royal Women by Joyce Hansen, Laurie McGaw (Illustrations)

African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa's Royal WomenAfrican Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa’s Royal Women by Joyce Hansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hansen revisits and brings to vibrant, awe-inspiring life six ground-breaking royal African women who led nations, fought wars, created new cities, and shaped the histories of their nations in innovative and courageous ways. Representing six different African regions, including Dahomey, Egypt, Ethiopia, Matamba, Toro, and Zaria, and stretching from c. 1497-1457 B.C. Egypt to present day Uganda, these princess’ lives continue to shape the narratives of African sovereignty, diplomacy, and development through exploring the cultural heritage of the continent’s riveting, gender-defying past. Crystal clear archival illustrations of historical objects and architectural landmarks are highlighted by culturally unique page borders framing each princess’ story, and each chapter in this collective biography is introduced by new, full-color interpretative portraits by illustrator Laurie McGaw. A beautiful book beautifully produced that belongs on the bookshelves of every library’s biography and/or African history collections. Sadly out of print as of this writing, there are still copies to be found via Amazon and other booksellers.

Interest level: All ages. A compelling read for independent readers ages 10 and up (G3-G6), Lexile 1010.

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