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Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries) Hardcover – September 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Royal Diaries
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; English Language edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590819755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590819756
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The year is 57 B.C., and 12-year-old Cleopatra, Princess of the Nile, has a lot on her mind. Her father, the Pharaoh of Egypt, nearly died when a venomous adder meant for him attacked and killed his favorite servant. Now the Pharaoh has gone into hiding, hunted by his enemies, and the young princess has to keep her head--literally--as her power-hungry older sister Tryphaena threatens to grab her father's throne.

"I took the cup and raised it toward Tryphaena as if toasting her, but really I was watching the liquid, looking for oil floating on its surface, or powder sticking to the sides of the cup. If I suspected poison and tossed it into the pool, she would have her guards behead me on the spot. If it was indeed poison, one sip and I could die..."

In an elegantly written royal diary, Cleopatra VII has recorded every rich detail from this tumultuous time: her hairsbreadth escape by boat to Rome, where she and her father must plead for help; her struggle to absorb the overwhelming sights (and smells) of this new city and its "barbarian" ways; and her poise and quick thinking as she deals with the likes of General Pompey, Marc Antony, and the famous orator Cicero ("words fly from him like darts!").

Kristiana Gregory, a contributor to the excellent Dear America series, has done an admirable job ghostwriting for the princess, painting an engaging portrait of a resourceful, intelligent, compassionate young woman forged by the forces of her time. The book concludes with a helpful section of maps, portraits, a Pharaonic family tree, and 20 pages of illustrations. (Ages 8 to 12) --Paul Hughes

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Princess Cleopatra narrates major episodes from her life in a diary she keeps from age 12 to 14. She is sympathetically depicted as a delightful mixture of adolescent uncertainty and as a young woman with great maturity and insight. Born into a royal household full of intrigue and fears of assassination, she desperately wants to survive to become a responsible and just queen. She describes everyday life in the Egyptian court and her frantic flight to Rome with her father, Ptolemy XII, to seek refuge and alliance with the Romans against their enemies and her sisters, who both seek the throne. Characters are well drawn, Cleopatra's relationships with others are realistically portrayed, and historical background is well integrated into the text. This is an enjoyable story, followed by a synopsis of the queen's later years, a time line, family tree, and black-and-white reproductions of old engravings and paintings.
Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I read this book once before, a decade or more ago, and loved it.
The Black Dragonfly
Cleopatra Daughter of the Nile,is a fantastic book that tells the life of the egyptian princess as if she wrote it herself.
This is my favorite book in the Royal Diarie series and I highly suggest it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a HS parent, I seek the best in literature, either to read aloud to my children, or for their own reading pleasure. As we have been preparing for study of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, I thought I'd try this book, as Cleopatra is such a seminal figure- both for her historical aspect, as well as the vast amount of literature, music, and drama based on her person.

I was very pleased and fascinated by reading this book. The many and varied settings (Egypt, Rome, Italy) came to life for me, as I read of this small girl's attempts to prepare herself for ultimate Rule in Egypt. The author's inclusion of both a Greek philosopher and a Hebrew student in Alexandria (both very historically plausible) lent an element of connection to a worldview which was to come about- the Greco-Roman Christian- not 100 years after the events in this story. Because neither the story line, nor the facts of history, detracted from the validity (or, in some respects the inevitability) of the Christian Roman world that arose on the ashes of the Caesars, (yet including in her story Cicero, Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, and all the rest) I was propelled to finish reading this book. The author deals with the emotions of an adolescent girl, while maintaining decorum about such things, that any HS parent with moral standards could easily integrate this novel into any Greco-Roman study, for elementary on up to Jr. high. There are some graphic elements (Cleopatra's usurpacious sister's head being brought in on a shield, reminiscent of John the Baptist's via Salome!) but overall, the book is full of light- as well as intrigue, sense impressions of a culture long gone, and a good story. The fact that `it ends suddenly,' as another reviewer mentioned, is that the purpose for which the book was written is fulfilled. Cleopatra returns to her beloved Alexandria, there to begin her journey towards womanhood- and rule. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By booklvr106 on June 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Overall, this is a very good book. It was not very historical at all, so you didn't actually learn very much about Cleopatra by reading the entertaining part, but in the Epologue it told the story of the rest of her life. I think that this book should be for children from about 8-13. It was a bit youthful for me, but I think pretty much anyone would enjoy this book if they liked the style of writing. This book definitely led me to want to learn more about Cleopatra VII and I think that although this wasn't very acurate, it helped me learn a lot more about Cleopatra and her life.

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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of Egyptian things, so I was sure I'd like this book. It painted a picture of a real teenage princess with friends, foes, joy, and troubles. In other words, Cleopatra seemed like a living human as relevant as our own times. She learned at an early age that some people she loved and admired were untrustworthy. She had to rely on herself and pursue her goal of becoming a good ruler. But at times, the book was a little boring and gory. It's difficult to conceive how a supposedly fair ruler could kill his/her family. Still, you should read this story, especially if you like learning about ancient Egypt.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book was a fictional diary of Cleopatra from when she was twelve to fourteen, from 57-55 B.C. It gave an interesting portrait of life during this time in Egypt and Rome and I highly reccomend it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "melidadaan" on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the best Royal Diary yet. I'm 13 and I love it! It keeps you interested right from the beginning, something that the other books did not do. (And I don't even like Egyptian stuff!)
It begins with Cleopatra musing about what will happen if her father (Ptolemy XII, who is in hiding) does not return and her older sister Tryphaena becomes queen. Then, Cleopatra could be killed, because she knows that Tryphaena hates her.
Soon, Cleopatra's loyal friend Olympus warns her of the danger that will come upon both father and daughter if they stay in Alexandria (their "hometown"), because already, Tryphaena is planning to kill them. When her father secretly returns, the two set off for Rome. While they are there, Cleopatra meets Marc Antony, and while she does not like him she keeps having a longing to see more of him.
And then comes the news that Tryphaena is dead - and now another sister, Berenice, has taken the throne. Will the king and Cleopatra be safe?
Even though there is some really gory stuff in this book, it's excellent. Two thumbs way, way up!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Animorph on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This Book tells the Story of Cleopatra-When she's about 12 years old!It's set-up like a diary,almost everyday there is an entry about what happened that day,about her sisters,and her friends....It tells of her feellings toward Ceaser and Rome,Where she visits later.......At the end of the story there are several pages about Cleopatras life,and there are some pictures of her and life in Ancient Egypt........
I highly recomend this book,I really enjoyed it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HeatherHH on October 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was an enjoyable fictional diary of Cleopatra as a young girl, mostly taking place during the time that she and her father were in Rome for several years appealing for help in restoring her father to the throne. She's an intriguing character, with her gift for languages, desire to be a good ruler over her people, and her (fictional) friendships with a Greek and a Hebrew in Alexandria, as well as the interactions with Marc Antony. One important thing to remember, of course, is that this is fiction. The author's historical note at the back was appreciated, and it's pointed out that Cleopatra may not have met Marc Antony until years later as a queen. In all, this book provided an interesting peek into both Egypt in Cleopatra's time and the Roman Empire.

There is some violence described. This is a time period in which political intrigues often involved assassination. The deaths of her two older sisters are described, not excessively graphically, but the description of a severed head on a shield with blood dripping from it, may well disturb some.

In reading books like this, I'm always careful to explain to my 8-year-old son the religious beliefs portrayed and how they conflict with what the Bible teaches. I have to say that I did really like the part where the Hebrew friend wrote to Cleopatra essentially that the reason her prayers to Isis weren't being answered was that she was worshipping idols, the work of men's hands. However, the book in no way portrays Cleopatra to have been Jewish in her beliefs, because she wasn't.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Kristiana Gregory has published more than 30 children's books with Scholastic, Harcourt and Holiday House, and has now ventured into self-publishing with her memoir LONGHAND: ONE WRITER'S JOURNEY.

She grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, two blocks from the beach and she always loved to make up stories. Her first rejection letter at age eleven was for a poem she wrote in class when she was supposed to be doing a math assignment. She's had a myriad of odd jobs: telephone operator, lifeguard, camp counselor, reporter, book reviewer & columnist for the LA Times.

Kristiana's award-winning novels include JENNY OF THE TETONS, which earned the SCBWI Golden Kite Award. Set in 1876, it tells the story of the Shoshone Indian and her fur-trapper husband, Beaver Dick Leigh. Jenny Lake and Leigh Lake in Wyoming are named after this couple.

STALKED: DANGER AND FURY, ELLIS ISLAND 1912 won the 2012 Gold Medal for Young Adult Mystery from Literary Classics and is hailed as "historical fiction with a thrilling twist." KIRKUS says it "will thrill YA readers ... with insightful details about the immigration process and New York tenements in the early 1900s."

Her most recent title with Scholastic's Dear America series is CANNONS AT DAWN, a sequel to the best-selling THE WINTER OF RED SNOW, which was made into a movie for the HBO Family Channel. Her Royal Diary, CLEOPATRA VII: DAUGHTER OF THE NILE, was also an HBO movie. Several of her titles are now available on Kindle including "Curiously Odd Stories: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2" with the celebrated 'Paper Monument', a futuristic book-banning with horrific consequences.

New re-releases in e-books & paperback on Amazon:




*BRONTE'S BOOK CLUB. Set in a town by the sea, five girls read Scott O'Dell's ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, finding parallels in their lives and that of the main character, Karana, the Chumash Indian who lived alone on San Nicholas Island during the 1800s.

*NUGGET: THE WILDEST, MOST HEARTBREAKIN'EST MINING TOWN IN THE WEST (formerly titled "My Darlin' Clementine."). This riveting historical mystery set in an Idaho mining camp of 1866, was Idaho's choice for the 2010 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Library of Congress.

Kristiana and her husband have two adult sons, and live in Idaho with their two golden retrievers. In her spare time she loves to swim, hike, watch clouds, do yoga, read & hang out with friends. She loves to travel, but loves being home more.

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