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Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015
Material: hard cover
Summary: Shahrzad is a young woman who discovers that her best friend's new husband Khalid (the caliph) has murdered her. In fact, Khalid marries a new bride every night, and the following morning she is executed. Heartbroken and angry, Shahrzad seeks revenge by offering herself as the next bride. She hopes she can get close enough to kill him. By telling Khalid stories until dawn, Shahrzad forces Khalid to delay her execution ... because he wants to hear the end of her tale. Meanwhile, Shahrzad learns that the deaths of the girls who came before her are much more complicated than she originally thought. She also begins to see Khalid as more complex than the murderous tyrant that originally fueled her anger and revenge.
This is a Young Adult retelling of the fairy tale One Thousand and One Nights
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; read yourself: 11 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: This is a compelling, Young Adult retelling of the fairy tale One Thousand and One Nights. I respected the bravery that Shahrzad showed in entering into this marriage despite the risks, and appreciated the fact that she was still human and terrified of dying. The multiple perspectives in this novel helped show the reader several different factors. There are other characters/events that contribute to the plot and show the tension in the kingdom separate from what is happening between Shahrzad and Khalid. The instant attraction and intrigue that caused Khalid to visit Shahrzad the night of their wedding a little convenient - he had not visited any of his previous brides. Even I found this to be an entertaining, interesting novel that kept me reading until the end.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Not everything is what it appears to be, which makes this a page turner! This is a story that when read aloud, could mirror the plot (i.e., Shahrzad keeping the caliph / prince interested in hearing more).
Cons: None, really.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I borrowed this book from my public library’s ebook collection and found it to be a great summer read. I would recommend this book for readers 14 and up.
Educational Themes: Contrasting and comparing the different ways a fairy tale is told engages kids to seeing a story in different ways - and opens up opportunities for them to envision the story in their own way.
Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fairy tale, young adult
Date(s) Reviewed: July 2015
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.