Biographies for kids to read: Marie Antoinette

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The Royal Diaries: Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles by Kathryn Lasky, is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended biographies for kids to read. Melissa Gaynor explains why:

What You Need to Know:

• In diary format, Marie Antoinette describes her life before her marriage to Louis XVI and what it was like for her to leave her home in Austria and move to the Court in France.
• The bride and groom are only 14 and 15 at the time of their wedding.
• Some words and concepts are consistent with the time period (1769-1771) in which the story takes place.
• Marie Antoinette must determine how to deal with the King’s mistress.
• As was common during the era, two characters close to Marie Antoinette die of sudden illnesses.
• Although the story is fiction, it is based on fact and most of the characters were real people.
• The family tree/pictures in the back of the book are helpful in keeping track of the many people and relationships.

Summary:

While this is definitely a thoughtful account of two years in Marie Antoinette’s life, it is also a story about growing up and family relationships. Antonia, as she is known before her wedding, lives in Austria where her mother, the Empress, is grooming her to become the next Queen of France. She spends much of her day working with various tutors to prepare for this role. Her siblings have also been trained to marry into the right family, in order to maintain and expand the Empire. Despite the fact that Antonia is an 18th century royal, many of her problems are consistent with issues that girls still face today.”

Have your children read The Royal Diaries: Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles? What did they think of the book?

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