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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  3,833 Ratings  ·  369 Reviews
In an ancient Arab nation, one woman dares to be different. Buran cannot—Buran will not—sit quietly at home and wait to be married to the man her father chooses. Determined to use her skills and earn a fortune, she instead disguises herself as a boy and travels by camel caravan to a distant city. There, she maintains her masculine disguise and establishes a successful busi ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 19th 1994 by HarperTeen (first published September 28th 1982)
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Argona
I read this book years ago when I was a young teenage girl. It was my first time reading a book about a young girl that dresses as a boy and challenges the whole world that surrounds her, from her upbringing and family to the very society around her. I have always been a big fan of fairytales and a fairytale with a strong heroine was hard to find in those days. Let’s say… I fell in love! The beginning was a little slow but as the story progressed, I couldn’t get enough.

This book isn’t perfect e
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Trin
Jun 19, 2007 Trin rated it really liked it
Reread, although the last time I read this YA novel I was actually in the intended age group. To my happy surprise, it is just as good as I remember. Based on an Iraqi legend, the novel follows Buran, one (the Elizabeth Bennet one, to be precise) of seven daughters of a poor father. To help her family get some badly needed money (and to avoid having to marry anyone unpleasant), Buran dresses up as a boy and sets off to make her fortune. Enter: one prince, and oh man, it's just so much fun. There ...more
Susan
May 05, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
وقتی گمشده شهرزاد را دیدم،یاد این افتادم و گفتم حتما اینم باید همین دوروبرها باشد!
بدون اینکه هیچ شباهت خاصی بین این دو باشد،من خیلی این دوتا را به هم مرتبط می بینم.شاید چون هردو مال یک انتشارات بودند و طرح جلد مشابهی داشتند.این را هم بارها و بارها خواندم و غرق لذت شدم.خیلی کتاب خوبی بود.هرچند بیش از حد غیرواقعی بود(مخصوصا جایی که از پسرعمویش انتقام می گیرد)ولی برای یک بچه دبستانی قطعا همان فضاهای غیرواقعی قشنگ بودند که دعوتش می کردند به دوباره و دوباره خوانی.
یک حالت فانتزی مشابه هزارویکشب داشت ک
...more
Barb in Maryland
Utterly charming fairy tale. Buran is the middle of seven daughters of a poor merchant. Buran is smart, clever and wants to do something, anything to help the family. With the reluctant agreement of her parents, she disguises herself as a boy (not too hard for a slim teen-age girl to do)and sets out from Baghdad to earn (she hopes) a fortune as a trader. She becomes a servant and then apprentice to a wily merchant. Now known as Nasir, she is a partner in a very successful business in the port ci ...more
Mika
Sep 23, 2008 Mika rated it did not like it
I’m sorry to say that the first new book I’ve read since March (aside from some great picture books I’ll review shortly) was this piece of fluff. There are no Wikipedia entries for the book or either of the two authors, which I take to be a bad sign. Actually, in hindsight, there were plenty of bad signs. But on with the review.

The story is based on an Iraqi folktale, and perhaps if either Ms. Cohen or Ms. Lovejoy were decent storytellers, I would have enjoyed the book. Broken into three parts,
...more
Julene
Jun 29, 2009 Julene rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Heather Farrell
Recommended to Julene by: Lou Anne Randall
Shelves: favorites
I love, love, love this retelling of an Iranian folktale! Coming from that culture, you might not expect to find a story about the intelligence and empowerment of women, but that is what you get, coupled with a great love story! I read it to my husband recently and he loved it too!

One warning: although it seems to be written for a fairly young audience I would be cautious about letting your pre-pubescent kids have at it since there is a description of a girls appearance that might not be approp
...more
Tennys
Feb 20, 2008 Tennys rated it it was amazing
This is an all time favorite of mine. I have read it several times. In a culture where only boys are valued, a girl uses her ingenuity to help herself and her family. This book has intrigue, adventure, and a bit of romance. I will definitely read it again and again.
Amy
Nov 16, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
I took a young adult literature class at BYU inbetween being an Elem. Ed major and becoming an English Major. I think this is the book that spurred the change and sealed the deal. Great book.
Angela
Mar 12, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13 years and up
This is a beautiful and exotic book set in the ancient cities of Baghdad and Tyre. The story is fairly fast-paced and well-written, and the characters are interesting and complex.

It follows the adventures of Buran, the fourth of seven daughters, whose father is considered cursed since he has been deprived of sons. Such a man, who is also poor in business, cannot provide decent husbands for his daughters or a secure future for his family. Buran convinces her father to let her be the son he never
...more
Mary-Jane
Aug 25, 2015 Mary-Jane rated it really liked it
(What's this?? I'm actually writing a review of sorts?? Amazing!)

Lovely retelling of an Arabic folktale with just enough depth and theme to make it a proper story. I throughly enjoyed this and was in great need of it's fairytale ending. Buran was fANTASTIC and I adored her so. She was kick-butt (and way cooler than you) but she didn't have the cliché proud-tough-girl shell?? which was refreshing. And she knew how to keep her head and outsmart the situation. I thought it was great how she grew t
...more
Angeline
Apr 08, 2009 Angeline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enjoyable
My wonderful sister gave this book to me and told me that it was great. She was right! I really enjoyed this book. It was written in a way that pulled you in and made to forget what was going on around you. I love it when a book helps me take a break from real life.

It was fun to have such a great main character. I liked going through her growing process with her. I also really liked watching two young people that have been taught incorrect ways of looking at marriage find out that they can be be
...more
Tryn
Jan 29, 2010 Tryn rated it it was amazing
This short, romantic novel is based on a Persian legend, steeped in the traditions of the Middle East. The story both romanticizes and criticizes the cultural definition of femininity.

One theme of the novel is expressed on the last page, where Buran tells her children the story of how she and the Prince came together, because she says, “children should not think that the blessings of Allah are theirs by right or come to them simply for the asking.” No, this story teaches that a person must go o
...more
Rebekah
Mar 05, 2017 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairytale, ya
Lovely fairytale retelling with a strong female lead who disguises herself like a man to find her fortune. I especially enjoyed Buran's interactions with her father - it was very easy for me to get lost in this world.
Burgandy Ice
Nov 21, 2011 Burgandy Ice rated it it was amazing
“This novel is based on a folktale that has been part of the oral tradition of Iraq since the eleventh century of the common era.”

The quote at the back of the book is just as quiet and unassuming as this little gem.

The entire story is written as a folk tale. The customs described obviously mark a period in history when camels were the only passage through the desert and women had a limited place in society. There are enough politically incorrect ideas represented in this book that I am not surp
...more
Sierra
Feb 14, 2012 Sierra rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy fairy-tale retellings and fantasy...
Recommended to Sierra by: Annie
Here's a quick description:
This book is based on an Iraqi folktale of a daughter (4th of 7 sisters) who strives to lift her family from their state of poverty by starting up a business in a foreign city by pretending to be a man. The book is split into three different parts, the first and third from the POV of Buran while the second is from the POV of Mahmud.

My opinion:
Even though I knew that this was not at all realistic (it is practically a fairy tale after all... with a decidedly Mulan-esqu
...more
Elfdart
Jul 13, 2010 Elfdart rated it it was amazing
this story was somewhat reminiscent of the alanna series, what with the cross dressing to fulfill a dream. i’m not all that well versed in arabian culture, but from what i know of it this story seemed to be a valid representation. Buran is one of seven daughters, and of course in a patriarchal society this is not the best of luck as your daughters can’t work or (in this case) even go out into public. She was her father’s favourite and as there were no sons, her father taught her to read and writ ...more
The other John
This is the second romance novel I've read in as many weeks! What's happening to me?? Actually this book, from my daughter's schoolbooks, is an expanded version of an old Iraqi folktale. Buran is a daughter of Malik, a poor shopkeeper who has the burden of seven daughters and no sons. His brother, in contrast, is quite wealthy and has seven sons. The rich brother is a real jerk and likes to rub Malik's nose in his "affliction". (As opposed to, say, giving his ol' bro some cash or something.) Wha ...more
Zoe
Dec 12, 2009 Zoe rated it it was ok
This is a YA retelling of an Arabian folktale, about a girl who disguises herself as a boy and moves to a new city to start a business in order to support her family, who are struggling to get by with seven daughters in need of a dowry and no sons to help out. Of course, she falls in love while in disguise, and various complications ensue.

The love story was actually the worst part by far; it's extremely simplistic and just generally disappointing (possible spoilers: I particularly didn't like th
...more
Anajoy-rusticgirl
I thought it was a very good book up until the third part, and then it was still good but they added a paragraph in there, where you ask yourself why? It didn't need to be said. As girls you know your anatomy but boys don't need to read about that...and even as girls it didn't need to be explained. I didn't want to know about Buran's shape or body! Overall it was a good book...but that little paragraph ruined the rest of the book for me.
Christina
Jun 03, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it
Loved the romance in this story, it was so unconventional, yet very believable. The heroine is one of those strong female characters you can't help but root for and the hero is very alpha male and handsome while also having a soft spot for Buran. Cute romance and I recommend!
Lisa
Aug 15, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
This is the perfect read for a young adult who needs a push to like reading. I love to promote these books because I have seen how they can change a young person's attitude toward reading. Fun story and intriguing conflict...
Ahmad Sharabiani
Seven daughters & seven sons, 1982, Barbara Cohen
عنوان: هفت پسر، هفت دختر : رمان نوجوانان؛ نوشته: باربارا کوهن (کهن)؛ بهیه لاوجوی؛ مترجم: حسین ابراهیمی (الوند)؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، پیدایش، 1377، در 264 ص، شابک: ایکس - 964605577؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20

Sarah Harrison
Mar 22, 2016 Sarah Harrison rated it it was amazing
The storyline surprised me, I was not expecting how good it would be, but it was SO GREAT. I highly recommend this book
Catherine Johns
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons is based on an old Iraqi folktale from the 11th century and it is brilliantly constructed to engage the reader from the first moment to the last.

Buran is a young girl growing up in Bagdad (Iraq) the middle of seven daughters to a slightly overbearing mother and a intelligent but often timid father. When the family's limited resources are ruined when her father falls ill Buran reveals a plan to her mother and father that she has been formulating for years: that she
...more
Candy Dalton
Mar 20, 2017 Candy Dalton rated it really liked it
Very well written and fascinating story.
helen ✨
Mar 10, 2017 helen ✨ rated it it was amazing
for english class!! a very well written short book that was cute and enjoyable with an underlying moral - it is based on a fairy tale / folk tale after all
Lissette
Jan 20, 2015 Lissette rated it it was amazing
Buran, a poor girl in a family that has seven daughters and no sons, dreams of being able to help her struggling family. Her much more successful uncle, with his seven sons, often visits to brag about how his family is so blessed, how successful he has been, and how rich he will become as his sons go off into the world to make fortunes of their own. When Buran's father suggests that one of those sons marries one of his daughters, the uncle scorns and ridicules him, and Buran realizes how little ...more
Angela
Mar 06, 2017 Angela rated it really liked it
The Horn Book calls it "Highly Romantic" and it is. I read the story aloud to my children and it is a beautiful story. Both of them (boy and girl) really enjoyed it but there were so many parts that I had to skip. Just beware that some of the content may be inappropriate for children.
Doreen
Jul 02, 2009 Doreen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie
Apr 05, 2011 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13 and up
Recommended to Natalie by: Annette Richards
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
Once upon a time in the city of Baghdad there lived to brothers. One of these brothers was wealthy and had seven sons, the other was poor and had seven daughters. The father of sons would gloat over his brother's misfortune, but the father of daughters was happy. His daughters were beautiful, clever and good, and he considered himself blessed. However, he fears for his daughter's futures when he becomes ill. What will happen to them if there is no man to support them?
It is this fear that causes
...more
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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.
More about Barbara Cohen...

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“Listen to me, Amin," I said slowly. "Listen to me very carefully. Nothing is the same. Nothing will ever be the same again. There lives on this earth a woman who can be my friend and my lover. Do you understand that? Do you understand what a marvelous thing that is?"

"A friend is a friend," Uthman interrupted, "and a woman is a woman. You can't have them in one person. The whole world knows that."

"If that's what the whole world knows, ...then the whole world is wrong. I believed the whole world, and I lost her.”
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