Books in the Middle: Reading for Middle School

Our focus is on books middle school students might like to read and topics pertaining to books for these students, and we are giving recommendations. Teachers, librarians and middle school students are the contributors to this blog. Enjoy!

So you THINK you want to be King? February 27, 2013

Hah! Seriously, after reading Kids Who Rule: The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs by Charis Cotter, you will think twice about how grand it would have been to be king. Just think of all the people who are constantly trying to take you down. This book looks at five kids who were rulers. Now, some you have heard of, like King Tut, but others were new to me like Queen Christina of Sweden, and the last Emperor of China, Puyi.

What all of these rulers had in common was they were forced by birth to take a throne that was either ready for them, or they had to wait till they were a bit older to try to take over. Puyi, the last Emperor was a virtual prisoner in his Forbidden City and raised by women who wanted to keep him so sheltered he didn’t even understand the outside world until he was a teenager. Even after that, he was used as a pawn in wars and ended up being viewed as a traitor to his people. Queen Christina had to be voted on by groups of people in Sweden whether they felt she was fit to rule as a queen, and when they did, she was only able to take the throne when she was older after years of rigorous training in warfare as well as diplomacy. These kids were busy with all they had to learn, or were busy trying to avoid being assassinated.

Really makes you think about how being a King or Queen proably wasn’t all it seems cracked up to be!

Recommended for grade 6 and up.


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