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Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli

Daughter of Venice

by Donna Jo Napoli

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Donata is the daughter of a rich merchant of Venice in the 1500's. She wants to see more of Venice and have more freedom, so she pretends to be a boy and goes out each day to work as a scribe. This book makes you feel as though you are really there. It has great characters and is impossible to put down.
Review by: Nana

This is a fantastic book. Trace back to the year 1592 and experience the feelings of a young Venician girl. History lovers MUST read this book!
Review by: shevi

I recommend this book as a amazing read!! it truly was facinating!!!!!!!!
Review by: sarah

it is very adventurous and fun to read!
Review by: Audrey

I read the book Daughter Of Venice. It is about a girl, named Donata who has a huge family with tweleve children including herself. She has an identical twin sister named Laura. Donata wants to see the world beyond her balcony veiw but, she, being in a noble family, can't go out alone. She dresses up as a boy and goes out side her home. She only planned to go out once but, because she hurts her foot and needs shoes she doesn't have money to pay for she gets a lone from a printer but has to pay him back. She has to work in his printing shop for a month to pay him back. Her twin sister covers for her the whole month. Her father falls for it and rewards Donata with marrage instead of Laura. Donata knows that Laura should marry, so she gets Noe to teach her latin so she can write a note that says she converted to a Jew. Her family finds out about her going outside and backs her out of the marriage and puts Laura in her place. Donata is not sent to a convent but, becomes the tutor of her brouther's children. I really enjoyed this book because it shows a girl who wants to do things she is not allowed to do and actually puts her ideas to work. This book is exciting, adventurous, interesting, and a great example of Italian life.

The book was amazing, the time might be different but the book itself was very modern. Wherever there are teenagers there are teen angst. its highly recommened
Review by: Savion Cohen

Daughter of Venice is about a young girl, Donata, who is tired of barely having any rights like the ones her brothers have. She can't go outside without being escorted, she can't have an education, and most importantly, she can't get married. After discovering that she will have to be sent to a convent, she decides to disguise herself as a boy and go out into the Venice she barely knew.
This book is awesome!
Review by: ginger

THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! About a young girl who wants more rights.
Review by: grace

this was a fascinating book about a teenage venetian girl doesn't want to go to a convent and sets out for adventure. I recommend this to middle age book lovers. ( )
  bplteen | Apr 23, 2012 |
Although this is young adult fiction, I found the story very engaging. The main character is plucky and intelligent, and there are numerous details about Venetian life in the 1500s which bring the story alive and add to the interest -- details about clothing, food, class/social structure, daily activities, wool spinning, the legal process and architecture, among other topics. A quick, fascinating read. Recommended. ( )
  cattriona | Sep 24, 2010 |
Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli is a fabulous book for the young adult who loves historical fiction. The first aspect of this book that was impressive was that Donna Jo Napoli is a researcher. She completed a lot of research prior to writing this story that takes place in Venice in the 1500s. In addition to the realism, the story of Donata is believable and instantly engages the reader. Donata's mother is lecturing on being a perfectly lady. Donata wants education and adventure, both of which are not in her mother's definition of being a perfect lady. The story continues and picks up as Donata secretly escapes her palace to explore and learn about her city, Venice and its people and what they do. There is a lot of risk in what Donata ends up doing, by the thrill of really living, the major theme, is worth whatever consequences that may ensue if she is caught. This is definitely an engaging story with a fair amount of suspense. ( )
1 vote srssrs | Oct 4, 2009 |
Molly Humphrey
EDCI 4120/5120

Napoli, D.J. (2002). Daughter of Venice. New York: Random House.

Grade Levels: 6-9
Category: Historical Fiction
Read Alouds: pp. 1-24 (Morning Light & Morning Light); 34-45 (Midday Meal); 54-68 (Clothes & The Exchange); 81-99 (Questions & Tolerance); 115-126 (Letters); 138-162 (Lessons & Good-bye); 222-240 (Finishing Work & Prayer);264-271 (A Future)

Summary: Donata is a curious 14-year old in Medieval Venice, where curiosity and intelligence in a girl is not only not valued, but discouraged. Donata comes from a large aristocratic family where the traditions to keep the family wealth mean that only one sibling of each gender can typically get married. When marriages and the older children's futures are decided by Donata's father, it quickly becomes apparent that both she and her twin sister Laura will enter convents, but Donata's rebellious side kicks in and she makes plans to go outside her palazzo walls dressed as a boy to see the city where she lives. Her adventures make her only more curious and she manages to have permission from her father to listen to her brother's tutor and learns to read and write. But, Donata's adventures hold consequences when her unexpected marriage is announced by her father for the good works actually done by Laura. Donata takes action, accusing herself of heresy, thereby allowing her sister to marry. While Donata's decision has consequences, it also brings about a bright future when she is allowed to pursue an education.

Themes: The major themes of this novel include perseverance and sacrifice. Donata pursues an education and rebels against her family in order to do so and she also gives up the man she loves and a future in marriage so that her sister can have the chance at life. This novel allows students to explore the restrictions placed on women, even among the more privileged. This novel brings a personalized narrative to one girl's struggle for the future she wants. This would be a great addition to a gender study in a high school classroom. This book, along with others depicting women's efforts for independence and suffrage can show students women's achievements.

Discussion Questions:
Why must Donata venture in the city dressed as a boy? What are the consequences?
How is Donata's depiction of Venice and its attitude toward religion different from other perspectives of the Medieval period?
What does it mean for Donata to continue her education?

Reader Response: I enjoyed this novel, though none of the information in it was knew to me after having taken a women in history class. I like the personalized account Napoli brings to her novels, even though of the two I have read, I never felt that personal connection with the main characters. I think this novel would allow students of either gender to better appreciate the kinds of steps women had to go to in order to gain access to the world.
  mollyhu | Aug 2, 2008 |
Interesting, since I knew nothing about Venice in this time period and the book was a wealth of information. A lot of "telling," in addition to the lavish "showing." ( )
  shifrack00 | Aug 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440229286, Mass Market Paperback)

Award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli whisks young readers away to glittering Renaissance Venice in this first-rate historical novel about a young woman who longs to experience the wide world beyond her cloistered window. The year is 1592, and 14-year-old Donata is a pampered member of the noble Mocenigo family. But Donata is restless. Always confined to the palazzo, she is tired of learning everything second-hand from her brothers. And she is angered by the Venetian law that states only her older sister may marry. Donata knows that the only destiny that awaits her is the convent or maiden aunt-hood, neither of which are very appealing. "The mysteries of Venice are like a rainbow--and I am soon to be shut away from them." But as part of an elaborate scheme to outwit her parents, Donata decides to disguise herself as a beggar boy. Finally, she sees the real Venice, and it is both as beautiful as she had believed and more horribly raw than she could have ever imagined. Now she has no idea how she can ever reconcile what she has learned with the life she is expected to lead.

Based on one of the first acknowledged female Venetian scholars, Daughter of Venice is so rich with historical detail and intrigue that readers will quickly feel the desperation and exhilaration of Donata's daring deception. Napoli provides an authentic taste of this complex society on the brink of change and the ancient rules that still bound its women both physically and mentally. A gorgeous, bountiful book. (Ages 10 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Frustrated with the restrictions her gender imposes on her life, fourteen-year-old Donata, disguised as a boy, sneaks out of her noble family's house to roam the streets of late sixteenth-century Venice and then must confront the repercussions of her actions.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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