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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons Paperback – October 19, 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A tale replete with adventure and humor." --"Language Art""Highly romantic.""The Horn Book"Riveting."--"Booklist

About the Author

Barbara Cohen (1932-1992) was the author of several acclaimed picture books and novels for young readers, including The Carp in the Bathtub, Yussel's Prayer: A Yom Kippur Story, Thank You, Jackie Robinson, and King of the Seventh Grade.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st Beech Tree ed edition (October 19, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688135633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688135638
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Buran and her six sisters were born to a poor merchant who never makes enough money to take his family out of poverty. His brother, however, is a very rich merchant. He has six sons and he often comes to his brother's house or shop with one of his sons just for the purpose of gloating. Buran has been far more educated than any other girl because her father wanted someone to play chess with him and talk and write with him and because she is the one who wants to learn, he teaches her many things.

After one of her uncle's visits, which made her father particularly unhappy, Buran puts forward an idea which she has been thinking for a while. She asks her father to make an investment with the tiny amount of money he has saved up. She asks him to invest in her. She wants to dress as a boy and go to the coast to make much money as a merchant. Her mother thinks this is a bad idea because girls are not supposed to make money, but her father gives her free rein.

On her way to the coast in a caravan, she wants to save money, so she travels as a servant. Her master is cruel to her during the days, but at night, he teaches her the way of a merchant. When she finally gets to the city, she pays off the merchant who taught her everything she knows extremely quickly, and then proceeds to make enough money to live extremely richly, and send enough money back to her family so they can live very richly. While there she makes a new friend, but fears that if she reveals her true identity to him, he would hate her. When he comes close to figuring it out on his own, she runs away. During her journey home, she doubles her riches, as well as playing a clever trick on her cousins. If I include any more, I'll give away the entire plot, and you won't have to read the book.
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Format: Paperback
I assigned this book to my daughter as reading for her history curriculum because it was based in the Middle East during the middle ages. Fortunately, I read the book first and was able to stop her before she reached the suggestive language that was contained at the end of Part II and the beginning of Part III. In the end of Part II, the prince talked about the way he was feeling about Buran (who was disguised as Nasir). In the beginning of Part III, Buran describes how she felt about the prince, including how it felt to be behind him on horseback. In addition, (s)he describes in detail how her body looked when she was naked.

This book was recommended for my 11 year old child, I strongly disagree! If you are considering this book for a school-age child, I would suggest either finding another book or reading the center section (end of Pt II, beginning of Pt III to your child, leaving out the suggestive details), after you have read it first, of course.

Other than this, this book did a good job describing how people lived, married, and traded in this time period in the middle east as well as the role of women in this setting.
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Format: Paperback
This book was recommended by a teenage friend and I found myself inhaling it!
Taken from a traditional Iraqui folktale, we meet Buran, the fourth daughter out of seven of a poor merchant. Her braggart uncle has seven sons: which he lords over Buran's family constantly.
Buran, a favorite of her father, hatches an idea to dress like a man and open a store in a larger city, Tyre. After a near-tragedy in the family, he agrees. Off she goes and along the way learns lessons about perseverence, determination, and good business from an unlikely source. Buran is tenacious in seeking out her goal: to provide for her family. Her strong nature and unselfish manner makes her an interesting character for girls -- for those interested in a little romance and wonder how Muslim girls go about getting their prince...the story conveniently switches to his story in the second section of the book.
Mahmud is a merchant prince who longs for a friend. Though he has two close friends, they both want from him and Mahmud wants a friend who asks for nothing. He finds it in a young clever merchant named Narsi. Mahmud and Narsi enjoy walks and backgammon -- in one another they find common ground. However, their unusual friendship attracts jealousy from Mahmud's previous friends and Mahmud is tricked in testing Narsi for being a boy or a girl. Narsi disappears before the third test which would be impossible for her to hide her sex...and it distresses Mahmud who realizes too late he was set up and that his heart desire -- his life desire -- has just slipped away.
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Format: Paperback
I haven't got a whole lot of good to say about this book, unlike most of the reviewers here. The only reason I gave it two stars is that it was interesting and at times funny. In fact, I liked the first of the three sections pretty well. It is defiantly for a younger audience (I'm 17), it was not VERY well written, but tolerable, and certain things worked out a little too nicely to be believed, but what kid was going to catch that? By the time I was done, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't want any young kid reading this book. There are too many sexual references. First there's the prince, who has the second section, who says, "I thought I was content with the slave girls I called for whenever the mood struck me." Granted, the child is not going to pick up on what that means, but need the author have even put that in there? Later, at a feast, he mentions letting his favorite slave girl go to someone else. Again, just enough to make the curious child wonder what he's talking about. The part that I really object too is in the third part, where the story has returned to the main character, Buran, when she gives a very detailed description of her naked body as she examines it. Plus there was the part where she finds her male cousin working as a prostitute. It is not said in so many words, of course, but quite clearly shown. These where not the only problems I found. The prince's section is more badly written than the rest. Also, the point of the story is that in order to make money for her family, Buran disguises herself as a man and goes into the trade business. The prince meets her, befriends her, and then ends up suspecting that she is a woman, mainly because of the feelings he's having. This seemed very unbelievable to me, and a little awkward.Read more ›
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