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Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
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Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (The Royal Diaries)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,712 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
The Royal Diaries proudly presents two-time Newbery Honor author Laurence Yep, whose stunning diary of sixteen-year-old Lady of Ch'iao Kuo takes readers on a remarkable adventure to Southern China in the sixth century A.D. A born leader, Lady of Ch'iao Kuo, also known as Princess Redbird, is both courageous and keenly intelligent.
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is one of the most boring installments of The Royal Diaries. Add to that the countless grammatical errors and you have my excuse for DNF it at 20%.
fascinating and thought-provoking! might write more later

EDIT: Figured I should write more before I totally forget everything, haha.

I liked Princess Red Bird quite a lot. She's thoughtful and brave and clever and resourceful. Not only is she a scholar who enjoys reading fantastical stories, but she's also a great strategist in both war and diplomacy. On top of that, she appreciates beautiful clothes and hairstyles and accessories. Definitely my kind of girl.

The other character who made an impres
Jan 23, 2009 earthy rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, juvenile
Ficionalized autobiography of a really interesting, often overlooked Hsien leader. I knew nothing about this time period or these people, so it was great to learn more about them; however, I felt like the book ended right when things started to get interesting. I'd love to read a more in-dept book about the Lady's life and her achievements.

As a book for younger kids, the story does its job of making the reader interested in the period and the people, but the diary format doesn't work as well for
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Depending on which edition you have, this book is either subtitled Red Bird of the South or Warrior of the South. I have the special edition, so the title on my book is the latter, but the book was published under both names, in case you’re confused. I’m just using the apparently more popular title for my post.

Princess Redbird is a truly amazing woman. She’s a leader among her own people and strives to represent her people well while she’s in Chinese territory going to school. There are times sh
Kelsey Hanson
This book covers a very interesting period of history which I knew nothing about before reading the story. This book's main character is a fictionalized version of a historical figure, the Lady of Ch'iao Kao. Princes Redbird is a very intelligent, strategic young lady who is able to use her courage AND ideas to help her people. Naturally, I loved her. I will say that this book provides a rich look at the ancient Chinese culture, but isn't especially detailed when it comes to the different factio ...more
Jennifer Smith
Mar 16, 2011 Jennifer Smith rated it liked it
This is a great book for a fifth grader or so. It's historical fiction, my favorite! This is a part of The Royal Diaries series. It is a series about famous women in history - princesses in particular. These are not Disney dress in pink princesses, these are strong women who were apart of great things. In this story we learn about Lady Ch'iao Kuo. She is from Southern China. She however, was not Chinese, she was Hsien. This was a separate clan. They considered themselves Forest People. She was s ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Alivia rated it liked it
If you're looking for an adventurous and well written heroine starring story, then your in the right place. Not only does the ancient tale have historic value and details, but also tasteful wording with mysterious cliffhangers.Apart of The Royal Diaries series, this hardback features the warrior of the south, an intelligent, curious character who finds herself on a side against an evil uprising. But without giving away too much, just know that those who enjoy historical stories involving realist ...more
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it liked it
This book is part of Scholastic’s Royal Diaries series. I picked this book up at a second-hand sale my University was hosting. Having never heard of the author or the series, I was sold entirely by the cover art (which is absolutely beautiful and quite possibly the best part of the book – maybe I can just frame it?).

Overall, I found it to be an interesting read. The concepts of being forced to grow up and being responsible for many people despite having no experience kept me turning the pages. U
Kendell DeMeritt
Jan 13, 2016 Kendell DeMeritt rated it liked it
Lady of Ch’iao Kuo: Warrior of the South, is written by Laurence Yep, receiver of the John Newbery Medal, Phoenix Award, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, Jane Addams Book Award. He writes mostly for children, and Warrior of the South is directed at a younger audience of eleven to thirteen. In this book, Yep transports readers to southern China, A.D 531, a world of bright kingfisher birds and elephant weapons.

I think the purpose behind the writing of this book is the want to educate the people on some
May 27, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing
When I pick up this book, I have never heard of the Lady of Ch'iao Kuo. Never heard of her, though I picked it up because I'm a huge history lover/nerd and I wanted to learn about this time in A.D. 531, a time where Confucius and wars and everything else that happened during this period. But I've never heard of Lady of Ch'iao Kuo until now.

So this book is her diary and the first part talks about her short time living at her school in China with Master Chen and his family, and how she's learning
Emily Whelchel
Mar 06, 2016 Emily Whelchel rated it it was ok
What I Liked
Ancient China fascinates me after reading this story. I never realized there were different "tribes" of Chinese - and that Redbird's tribe tattooed their faces. This was certainly a learning experience.

Yu's character was by far my favorite. I enjoyed reading of Redbird's experience in the wealthy Chinese family household.

What I Didn't Like
This story moves slowly. Like snail's pace slowly. I enjoy a good action novel, but somehow the action and war tales of this one run dry.

I found m
Sarah Crawford
Feb 26, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This diary is about a young Princess in Southern China. It's a China different than today's, though, as it's not a unified country at all. There is Northern China, which had been unified but sort of fell apart, and then there's Southern China which consists basically of groups of various feuding clans.

The girl's Chinese name is Princess Redbird. She has some education under a Chinese master, Master Chen, who is a scholar and who takes a liking to her. She is able to speak some Chinese plus her
Gigi Anderson
Jul 13, 2014 Gigi Anderson rated it it was amazing
I find it hilarious that even in China the south is somehow lesser because they farm and raise animals. I could really relate to this princess because she almost didn't seem like a princess. She was tough, didn't care about status and was more comfortable with her people than with the nobles of China. I also liked that fact that she loved to read and it helped her more than anything else. I have to say she might be my favorite princess in the entire royal diary series which is something consider ...more
May 07, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it
Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Warrior of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (The Royal Diaries)
by Laurence Yep
Cindy Xu

Throughout historical times, women were known to be inferior to men but Lady of Ch'iao Kuo were an inspiration to all. She was a princess of a noble civilization in the time of A.D. 531. Her father was a powerful man and she played a great role of keeping order in the regions. She learned ways of different culture and experience through times of war and misery. This book adapts into th
Grace Sophia
Jun 30, 2013 Grace Sophia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I first found this book in a school library at age nine when I was looking for something nice and fat to read. I picked this up, having liked (a lot) the meager supply of other books in this series our little library contained, and was astonished by its size. Nearly twice as big as the other books, and 400-some pages. It fitting into my requirements nicely, I checked it out.

Writing in a different style than I was used to, but that fit in well with the story, Laurence Yep painted a lovely pictur
Anna  Gibson
Aug 02, 2011 Anna Gibson rated it it was amazing
The Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Warrior of the South is a surprisingly action-packed entry into the Royal Diaries series. Although some of the royals featured in the royal diaries series are what someone might expect a royal girl to be - a princess whose life consists of wearing fantastic dresses and being married off as a political alliance - The Lady of Ch'iao Kuo is anything but a dainty girl in silk slippers. Her status as the princess of a forest dwelling warrior nation contrasts with the role expe ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Kcatty rated it really liked it
Shelves: r-done, to-get, diaries
So when I was in elementary school I stumbled across this series, starting with Eleanor of Aquitaine, and lapped each book up in turn.
(For some reason, though, they're all marked as having been read in 2006 or 2007. I don't know why.)
Now, most of the other books are lighthearted and whimsical. The closest one to sad is Anastasia, but that's more because you know what's coming than because of what happens in the written story.
But this book...
Leave it to a two-time Newbery Honor author to scar a b
Ana Mardoll
Feb 24, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Lady of Ch'iao Kuo, Warrior of the South / 0-439-16483-4

This Special Edition of the Princess Diaries series lives up to its name; it is easily the best of the fascinating series, and also the longest - topping 275 gripping pages. Set in sixth century China, this book is everything you don't expect it to be.

Princess Redbird is the oldest daughter of the ruler of one of the many tribes in the Great Forest, on the boundaries of the Chinese empire. Though she is Hsien, and therefore considered barba
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Princess Red Bird is the daughter of the king of all the Hsien people in Southern China, in the year A.D. 531. As a princess, Red Bird has many responsibilities to her people. For the past few years, her parents have sent her to be educated in a Chinese colonial town. She has learned to read and speak in Chinese, and to serve as an interpreter between her people and the Chinese officials. Red Bird is only sixteen, but she has had to grow up fast, and when war erupts, her life changes even more. ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is one of the most underrated Royal Diaries books, in my opinion. Princess Redbird is smart, compelling, and just as confused by the world as any other fifteen year old, despite being a 15 year old warrior princess who lived in 6th century China.

This book is pretty mature compared to a lot of other books in the series. It deals a lot with war and politics, and the Princess is often right there in the middle of the action, or at least involved in discussions about what to do. My b
Jan 12, 2014 Kristian rated it liked it
A fun addition to the Royal Diaries, this may be about an historical figure not many have hear about. That's alright; I actually like those the best. You learn more and have the your world view widened. THough not much is historically known about the Lady of Ch'iao Kno, Leaunce Yep makes her and her world come alive in an engaging way. The battles and solutions I think must be mostly of the author's own invention and are very clever. If The Lady sometimes seems a little too perfect, well, I am j ...more
Kelsey Caffey
Nov 25, 2015 Kelsey Caffey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Students, teachers, and anyone who loves history
This book was excellent! I've been reading this series to see what books would work well in my future classroom library and this book has definitely made the cut! Even though its length (around 300 pages) can be daunting for the average elementary school student, it's nevertheless an exciting tale about a princess from an indigenous tribe in Southern China who must find a way to help save her people (the Hsien) and the Chinese from being wiped out by enemy tribes. There were times when this book ...more
Alex Murphy
Jul 31, 2012 Alex Murphy rated it liked it
Shelves: inventory
I have always loved these books. A peak at history through the eyes of the teens who lived it. How girls and teens were treated in these settings has always interested me, as well as the outfits and food. I think these glimpses into the past are perfect for someone who isn't a super history buff but is interested in learning more.

Set in Southern China this book is about a teen who goes to live with the Chinese colonists so that her tribe has someone who understands the culture and language. She
Feb 26, 2014 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Loved the diary form. I have always stayed away from these type of series, but found this one entertain. I loved the historical references at the end. Great book for girls that need to read books with strong female characters
Fatema Mun
Jun 12, 2016 Fatema Mun added it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Fatema by: librarian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
Great story, and a nice nudge out of my "comfort zone" of American History. (Hey, it was my major. What can I say?) Would have been 4 stars, but wow, I expect better editing from Scholastic.
Just wanted to point out that the book I checked out from the library is a tad different on the cover: the picture and name is the same except mine says 'Warrior of the South' instead 'Red Bird of the South'. Also it says 'Southern China, A.D. 531' instead of 'Southern China, A.D.'
I just realized it does say it's a Special Edition, so that explains the difference.

**Finished Reading**
Amazing book! Definitely my favorite so far of the series. I felt very engaged and drawn to the book as soon as I
Feb 03, 2015 Musiquedevie rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written, fascinating story on the Hsien tribe and the Lady of Ch'iao Kuo. Laurence Yep did an excellent job of bring this story to life with his vibrant way of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel with the brilliant characters, the story line and powerful ending. This is definitely my number one pick for the 'Royal Diaries' collection!
Gail Morris
Jun 23, 2015 Gail Morris rated it it was amazing
I was surprised by how much I ended up liking this book; I did not want the story to end.
Feb 02, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
In interesting peek into a turbulent time period I had no idea existed.
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Born June 14, 1948 in San Francisco, California, Yep was the son of Thomas Gim Yep and Franche Lee Yep. Franche Lee, her family's youngest child, was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia where her family owned a Chinese laundry. Yep's father, Thomas, was born in China and came to America at the age of ten where he lived, not in Chinatown, but with an Irish friend in a white neighborhood. After ...more
More about Laurence Yep...

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