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

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,138 ratings  ·  68 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, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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earthy
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...more
Linda
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...more
Carrie Slager
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...more
Jennifer Smith
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
Alivia
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
Cara
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...more
Gigi Anderson
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
Cindy
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...more
Grace Sophia
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...more
Anna  Gibson
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
Kcatty
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...more
Ana Mardoll
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...more
Tessa
This book is an exciting book about- oh, wait, I don't want to spoil it!!! Oh, fine. You can have a hint. This book is a great book about a princess who tries to fit in, but later learns how to just be herself. She is not your regular princess. She is a princess who - I don't know how to say this - she just knows her way around the woods, let's say. She is a strong girl, who tries be the best she can be, but figures out she is unique in her own special way.





TD
Age 10
Rebecca
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
Kristian
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
Alex Murphy
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...more
Leslie
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
Maribel
This book made me want to learn about Southern China and more about Princess Redbird.
Lady Knight
Wow! Easily one of my favorite in the "Princess Diaries" series. Princess Redbird is very likeable, highly intelligent and the her tale makes for an awesome story!

Caught between the world of the Chinese and that of the Hsien (where she is from), Redbird is accepted by both and yet neither. But her unique skill set and her intelligence is the key to the survival of both worlds when the vicious Dog Heads rise and begin attacking.

Amazing story! I won't bother giving any more away. This is one you...more
Rachel (Sfogs)
All the things you never knew, suddenly become clearer to you...
1.)Lady of Ch'iao Kuo was NOT Chinese but Hsien, a tribe that lived in the forests in what is now southern China.
2.)They had facial tattoos similar to those of the New Zealand Maori, Moko (the male one).
3.) They were at home in a forest which the Chinese deeply feared, and which the Chinese would later cut down, as they took over the south.

....Good book
Sonya Wanvig
Although I've had many Chinese friends, I knew nothing about the history of China. It is fascinating how the Eastern world evolved totally different from the West. I love these books mostly because they are about real young women who were of the ruling class. This woman lived 1500 yrs ago but we know alot bc the Chinese kept excellent records. I am now planning on reading more about the history of China.
Heidi
Stepping away from familiar princesses with this one, and further back in history, too. I knew nothing of Redbird/Ch'iao Kuo, and still know no more than is in this book. I want to know more, though, and that means that this book has done its job.

(I've made sure this one is on the "Chinese literature" display in the library.)

Now, just where does one find ancient Chinese history in English...?
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Maria
Cover Story: On Point
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 1.5
Talky Talk: War and Peace
Bonus Factors: Cool Teacher, Dynastic China
Relationship Status: A Whole New World

Read the full book report here.
eLLen
I loved this book. It is rare to read about China's medieval period and history from a woman warrior's perspective. I appreciate the author's historical note as it helped me understand how the northern and southern Chinese have come to be the people they are today. I wish I could find more historical fiction or fact based historical accounts such as this book.
Renae
This is probably the meatiest of the Scholastic series I've read, including the Dear America titles. Finally, an author that really does justice to his subject.

I have tried to read this one a few times and gotten bogged down in it, but today was different. Once you get past the first 30 pages, it picks up and you really get a strong character and vivid story.
Melissa
Read aloud with Alexa... I knew very little about this time period and loved learning about it through the eyes of this princess. It was the first time that Alexa really understood how few people in the history of the world have had the privilege of learning to read or write. I am
Grateful that there are meek, courageous heroines for her in literature!
Jenny
Princess Redbird lives in two worlds, in one she is a princess of the Hsien tribe of the Great Forest, in the other she attends Chinese school and is part of Master Chen's family. The Dog Faces are raiding once more, and Princess Redbird must find the strength to bridge two cultures to forge an alliance against the Dog Faces for peace.
Ashley
An absolutely fascinating character, though perhaps not best told in diary format. At times she would write that an attack was coming or she'd heard a warning signal - realistically no one's going to take the time to write that note. Within the format though, it was done the best it could be. I really enjoyed this one!
Patrice
Because history likes to focus on the mid-northern Chinese civilization as it was advanced for that stretch of human history, I knew very little about the tribal civilization in the jungles to the south. This was a great learning opportunity, plus I liked Chi'iao. She was clever and plucky.
Tim
I'm already 25 pages into this book and its radically different just by the dynasty. I like the experience of things being not set in the Three Kingdoms era, especially from a women's perspective which was rare in the previous dynasties.
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14199
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
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