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Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power by…

Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power (edition 2003)

by Milton Meltzer, Bethanne Anderson (Illustrator)

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885137,094 (3.7)1
Title:Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power
Authors:Milton Meltzer
Other authors:Bethanne Anderson (Illustrator)
Info:Dutton Juvenile (2003), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:non-fiction, royalty, history, biography/memoir, cleopatra, boudicca, read in 2012

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Ten Queens: Portraits of Women of Power by Milton Meltzer



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"Why this book about the ten queens? These are not women who were called queens because they happened to marry a king and had little or nothing to say about ruling the country. These ten were women of power."

From start to finish, I fell completely in love with this book for various reasons, but mostly because I have always been very interested in women of power, particularly queens. From the lovely pictures of each queen, to the captivating biographies and intriguing facts, the ways to incorporate this into other readings or using it alone as a lesson or project seem endless, although it would depend on the age of audience. I think this could also lead into a great discussion about other women of power in history where I could ask the class what other women possess power that are/were not necessarily queens. I will be buying this book for future use!
  ADReed | Feb 2, 2015 |
I read the section about Eleanor of Aquitaine to my kids. It was a little long for a read-aloud, but they followed it fairly well. My daughter seemed excited to learn about Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland's mom. Reading the section made me want to see "The Lion in Winter" again.

It's due back at the library soon, but I'm going to try to read another couple of sections before we return it. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | May 4, 2013 |
Milton Meltzer's Ten Queens offers brief biographies (although they may seem lengthy to the juvenile target audience) of ten queens. As an adult reader I was familiar with most of the histories, at least the brief outlines provided here, but it was still a fun read. For me, the highlight of this book was Bethane Andersen's bold and stylized oil paintings which illustrate each queen. The colours and textures are stunning and really make the subjects come alive. I can see a child being excited by the vibrant art and the stories, although they may need an adult to help explain.

The subjects are arranged chronologically and include:

Esther - 5th Century B. C.
I'm not sure I agree with having one mythical queen in a book where all the others are factual/historical. Esther is only known from her story in the Old Testament and there is no evidence that she ever existed. Still, Meltzer is very up-front about the fact that "Hardly anyone outside of Orthodox Jewry believes this ever happened." (p.9)

Cleopatra - 69 B.C. - 30 B.C.
Egypt's famous queen. Touches on her relationships with Caesar and Marc Anthony. Meltzer describes a woman of charm and charisma, and explains how she was always fighting to get her country more power and ally herself with power.

Boudicca - A.D. circa 28 - 62
England's first queen (as she's sometimes known) the warrior queen of the Iceni, who rebelled against the Roman invaders. Love Bethanne Anderson's powerful paintings of her, like living fire.

Zenobia - 3rd Century A. D.
The Syrian queen who fought with her husband in battle, both wearing armour, and who attempted to revolt against Rome after he died.

Eleanor of Aquitaine - 1122 - 1204
Mother of Richard the Lionhearted and King John. She also made her court a centre of culture and the arts, and is responsible for many ideals of chivalry and courtly love.

Isabel of Spain - 1451 - 1504
An interesting choice for the collection. Does not shy away from the horrific Inquisition promoted by Queen Isabel and her husband, which tortured and killed thousands of Jewish citizens (even those who had converted to Christianity) and Muslims.

Elizabeth I - 1533 - 1603
"Good Queen Bess" who inspired an age.

Christina of Sweden - 1626 - 1689
An intellectual and an athlete who loved hunting and was often described as "masculine." She refused to marry and abdicated the throne at twenty-eight.

Maria Theresa - 1717 - 1780
Empress of Austria, she defended her vast and complex empire from Prussia and others, while instituting reforms that improved life for the peasants.

Catherine the Great - 1729 - 1796
All-powerful Empress of Russia for thirty-five years, modernized Russia and introduced great educational reforms, bringing Enlightenment ideas to her country. ( )
  catfantastic | Nov 23, 2012 |
This book is the complement to Meltzer's "Ten Kings." It covers the life, times and reign of ten historical queens and offers a glimpse into their past.

This book would be great for any student who is interested in royalty (I myself love it). It's at an advanced reading level (and long), so it may require discussion to appeal to younger grades, but it is very informative and interesting. Also, as some rulers of the past were violent, it would be most appropriate for the older grades. It is an excellent source of information for Social Studies, specifically for cultural and world history.
  jebass | Oct 24, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525471588, Paperback)

From the courage and beauty of Esther (5th century B.C.) to the fierce battle tactics of Boudicca (A.D. c. 62) to the reforming spirit of Catherine the Great (1729-1796), here are ten essays about the personal and political natures of ten queens by an author who has been called "arguably the best writer of social history for children and adolescents ever." Most of these queens were, by today's standards, astonishingly young. Some were schooled to rule, others not. But all were ambitious, passionate, and determined to hold power. And all, in their successes and failures, ideals and compromises, assumptions and privileges, present interesting contrasts with the lives of modern women. Ten Queens was celebrated as a Booklist Editors' Choice, a Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, an International Reading Association's Teachers' Choice, and a Bank Street College Best Book, among many other citations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Presents essays about the personal and political natures of ten queens from Esther (5th century B.C.) to Catherine the Great (1729-1796).

(summary from another edition)

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