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Kaiulani, the People's Princess
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439129095, Hardcover)Ellen Emerson White's contribution to the fictionalized Royal Diaries series portrays the short life of Hawaiian princess Kaiulani Cleghorn. The daughter of a European merchant and a Hawaiian princess, Kaiulani was a direct heir to the Kalakaua dynasty, and third in line for the Hawaiian throne. In her diary, she details her lavish wardrobe, her pet peacocks, and her unusual friendship with the shy, sweet writer Robert Louis Stevenson. When she leaves her beloved islands to attend boarding school in 1889, Kaiulani makes the best of it, noting: "I go off not for myself, but for all of the Hawaiians I will someday lead." Sadly, that was never to be. While Kaiulani was overseas, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by American Reformers, mostly businessmen interested in cashing in on Hawaii's sugarcane and teak industries. Kaiulani immediately left Europe to plead her country's case to President Cleveland and other American dignitaries. But her efforts were in vain--Hawaii was annexed to the United States by 1898. Kaiulani died a year later at the age of 23, many believe of a broken heart. This tragic chapter in American history is relatively unknown, and while the origins of Hawaii's statehood will no doubt intrigue many young readers, it is Kaiulani's determined and hopeful voice that will stay with them long after the last page is turned. Emerson White concludes the diary with an epilogue, historical notes, a diagram of the Kalakaua family tree, six pages of photographs, and a glossary of Hawaiian words. (Ages 9 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:44 -0400)
Follows the life of Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn from 1889 to 1893 as she studies to be a better princess, even as Hawaii's monarchy, and her throne, are being undermined by American businessmen.
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