Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Seven Daughters and Seven Sons” as Want to Read:
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  3,301 ratings  ·  333 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 bu ...more
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published September 28th 1982 by Atheneum Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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
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,
Jun 29, 2009 Julene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
(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
Sep 01, 2008 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Burgandy Ice
“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
Mar 05, 2012 Sierra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2008 Arwen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This is one of my favorite books, a story of success against the odds and romance. I have read it at least four times now. The book is set in the ancient Middle East, in the cities of Baghdad and Tyre. It is based on an ancient Iraqi folktale. The author describes the culture and setting so well that you feel are present for Buran's struggles. In the end, it is obvious who is more fortunate, the father with sons or the father with daughters.

The story is wonderful, a smart and courageous girl mak
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
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
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
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
This is a beautiful book! I love the happy ending!
This story comes from an 11th-century Iraqian folktale and deals with one clever girl’s rise from adversity and poverty to becoming one of the richest women of her generation. Artfully weaving historical fact with rich local color, Seven Daughters and Seven Sons is a terrific addition to stories about strong-willed, powerful and intelligent women.

Stories about women who don men’s clothing in order to succeed in a man’s world are rife throughout fiction (think of Disney’s Mulan, Victor, Victoria
May 17, 2015 Hope rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12 year olds and up
Recommended to Hope by: my mother
In the book "Seven Daughters and Seven Sons" ,by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy, the author wants to show how a girl in a culture where women can't do the same things men can do proves that she can. She lives in a poor family and they have no sons, her uncle will not marry his sons to her fathers daughters so she comes up with this plan to make her own money and start her own life. Her mother does not want her to do this but her father is supportive. She dresses up as a boy and goes away to th ...more
Riley Herbert
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons is an enjoyable book, containing plenty of details, unexpected events, and, in my opinion, an excellent style of writing. The authors, Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy, do a good job of getting their point across, and not just telling the reader the story, but showing the story to the reader through words. Buran, the main character, is a very clever, strategic, independent, and intelligent girl who uses her knowledge of people and the world around her to her advan ...more
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
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.
This book is so different from what I normally read, but my goodness it was refreshing. I loved the history weaved into the tale, and the language mixed into the story. This story is gorgeous. Its the story of a girl who takes her fate into her hands, succeeds, and yet also realizes that even with all of that, money means nothing next to love. The romance was beautiful. This whole story is beautiful. I love the lessons she learns as a woman in the Fatmid era, both in society and personally. I'm ...more
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!
Harrison Schwartz
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons is about a girl named Buran. It takes place during the Middle Ages, in Iraq. Buran is the daughter of a man who has... seven daughters! Her uncle is a cruel, wealthy merchant who has... seven sons! Buran dresses up as a man to set up shop and become wealthy, but she falls in love with another man! Will she give up her secret? Or will she ignore her desire for a man none other than the Prince of Tyre?

This book reminded me a lot of Mulan. A girl dresses up as a man t
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...
I first read this in seventh grade, and just FINALLY found it again after years of trying to find it. I haven't read it in a long time, so obviously my view of it is probably flawed, but I remember it being a brilliant story about a smart, fearless woman I could hold up as a role model.

Also, it didn't shy around the topics of nakedness or sex (although, of course, there is nothing graphic), and that was awesome at a time when I felt super awkward about my own body and the new and alien concept
Penny Johnson
Hearing part of the narrative in Buran's words, then Mahmud's words, then Buran's again reminded me of an old happily-married couple both telling a story to their eager grandchildren. After being together for so many years, Grandma and Grandpa can practically finish each others' sentences as they relate their own love story.

Buran's story is a romantic one, but it is also a satisfying tale of revenge, as she entices each cousin in turn to brand himself. "The father of sons lived to rue the day th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Shadow Spinner
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile
  • Daughter of the Mountains
  • The Great and Terrible Quest
  • Teresa of Calcutta: Serving the Poorest of the Poor
  • The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
  • The Sherwood Ring
  • The Master Puppeteer
  • The Iron Peacock
  • The House of Sixty Fathers
  • A Murder for Her Majesty
  • Mystery of the Roman Ransom
  • All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
  • Star of Light
  • Homesick: My Own Story
  • The Kite Fighters
  • Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
  • Toliver's Secret
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...
Molly's Pilgrim Canterbury Tales Unicorns in the Rain The Carp in the Bathtub Thank You, Jackie Robinson

Share This Book

“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.”
More quotes…