What I’m Doing
Scrunchies and braids and middle grade – oh, my! Over the next 20 months, I’ll be indulging my inner princess and reliving one of my favorite series: The Royal Diaries, from Scholastic Press.
Why I’m Doing It
I’ve always been a nut for nostalgia. Get me talking about anything from American Girl Dolls to Country Mouse and City Mouse to Twister and I won’t stop. The Royal Diaries series was a favorite of mine – I constantly read and reread these pieces of historical fiction as a child. I wanted to be these princesses. I wanted to write books like these. I’d copy the entries down into my own diary as if my life was just like theirs.
These are the books that got my hooked on historical fiction. I learned from these books. I learned about cultures of royalty all across the world. I learned from Marie Antoinette what “dauphin” means. I learned from Eleanor that drinking unclean water can lead to serious health problems (after I spent two weeks trying to tell my mom that I thought I had a worm in my brain until she told me that was unlikely, as I lived in suburban New Jersey). I learned about young women who struck out on their own – whether because they chose to or because circumstance demanded it.
And I’m interested to see how it feels now. I don’t think I read all 20 as a kid (though I’m sure I read at least 14). So, I’ll be reading each one and keeping my own (not so royal) diary as I go along. Thinking about how they reflect upon my life – then and now. And sharing what I feel with you! Part reread, part review, part journal entry.
Also, I like a long project. I like the feel of something to return to month after month. It’ll be interesting to see if or how my life has changed at the end of this project.
How I’m Doing It
Over the next 20 months, I’m going to read (at least) one diary a month, starting chronologically. Below is my schedule but I’ll be updating it as I go! If you want to read along with me, I’m so happy to have you. (They’re kind of hard to find, but I was able to get the missing books from my collection used via Amazon! You just have to get crafty – make sure you browse all of the used options & you’ll definitely find some cheap ones) . Click on the princess’ name to learn a bit more about them!
- March 2019: Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. by Kristiana Gregory (1999) [buy here]
- April 2019: Lady of Ch’iao Kuo: Warrior of the South, Southern China, 531 A.D. by Laurence Yep (2001) [buy here]
- May 2019: Sŏndŏk: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, 595 A.D. by Sheri Holman (2002) [buy here]
- June 2019: Lady of Palenque: Flower of Bacal, Mesoamerica, A.D. 749 by Anna Kirwan (2004) [buy here]
- July 2019: Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136 by Kristiana Gregory (2002) [buy here]
- August 2019: Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 by Carolyn Meyer (2000) [buy here]
- September 2019: Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 by Edwidge Danticat (2005) [buy here]
- October 2019: Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 by Kathryn Lasky (1999) [buy here]
- November 2019: Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France, 1553 by Kathryn Lasky (2002) [buy here]
- December 2019: Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 by Patricia McKissack (2000) [buy here]
- January 2020: Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627 by Kathryn Lasky (2002) [buy here]
- February 2020: Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638 by Carolyn Meyer (2003) [buy here]
- March 2020: Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts-Rhode Island, 1653 by Patricia Clark Smith (2003) [buy here]
- April 2020: Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743 by Kristiana Gregory (2005) [buy here]
- May 2020: Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France 1769 by Kathryn Lasky (2000) [buy here]
- June 2020: Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829 by Anna Kirwan (2001) [buy here]
- July 2020: Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria-Hungary, 1853 by Barry Denenberg (2003) [buy here]
- August 2020: Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858 by Kathryn Lasky (2004) [buy here]
- September 2020: Kaiulani: The People’s Princess, Hawaii, 1889 by Ellen Emerson White (2001) [buy here]
- October 2020: Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 by Carolyn Meyer (2000) [buy here]