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Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang

Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang.

Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2011
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780385739238

Review: Do like historical fiction books? If you do, then Daughter of Xanadu is the book for you. Written by Dori Jones Yang, this book is about a Mongolian girl who wants to win honor for her royal family. Can she do it? If it is possible, will she?

15-year-old Emmajin Beki wants one thing above all others: she wants to be in the military. For hundreds of years, the fierce Mongol soldiers have been feared. Emmajin longs to be riding along with all of the strong and loyal soldiers. The emperor, Khubilai Khan, is Emmajin's grandfather, and he places her in the military. Among the other soldiers, there is a merchant named Marco Polo. Emmajin adores this foreigner and falls in love with him. Everyone warns her to stay away from this strange man. The Great Khan asks Emmajin to listen to Marco and uncover the weaknesses of Marco's homeland, Venezia because the Mongols plan to take over Venezia. Emmajin faithfully does this for the Khan, but Marco realizes her deception. She explains this to him and they eventually trust each other again, but Emmajin has a choice to make. Will she stay loyal to her people or help the merchant that she loves?

Dori Jones Yang does an excellent job writing Daughter of Xanadu. It is based off of history and is quite accurate. Chinggis Khan, Tolui Khan, Mongke Khan, Khubilai Khan, Dorji Khan, Chimkin Khan, and Temur Khan are all real people that did live in the Mongolian Empire and did serve as emperors. Three of the Khan's grandchildren are fictional characters. Emmajin, her sister Drolma, and her cousin Suren, are all false. In the story, only Chinggis Khan, Tolui Khan, and Khubilai Khan have been emperors so far. Yang writes with enthusiasm and makes this book very interesting. I would highly recommend it for middle school and high school readers. This is probably one of the best books I've ever read. I rate Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang 5 out of 5 stars.

Review written by Colleen (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Daughter of Xanadu for this review.

Have you read Daughter of Xanadu? How would you rate it?

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