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Cecile: Gates of Gold (Girls of Many Lands)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,081 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Twelve-year-old Cecile Revel is given a change to leave her peasant life and serve at King Louis XIV's court. She finds life within the palace gates is not as full of ease and elegance as she had imagined. Faced with a test of conscience, Cecile shows that behaving in a noble matter has little to do with one's place at birth.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Pleasant Company Publications
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I read this book when I was young; as a younger me I found it a practically mesmerizing insight into the life of royalty in times of monarchal Versaille and utterly enjoyed reading about a girl who suddenly finds herself diving into the palace's world and discovering whether and where she belongs. The story has a realistically tragic ending, or at least not an ending you would find in some fairy tale: it shows how grandeur can only last so long whether it is taken for granted or not. If Cécile w ...more
Cecile was a fast-paced, easily digested historical fiction set in the court of King Louis XIV of France (also known to history as the Sun King), also known as the Sun King. Not only did Casanova do a great job bringing it to life, she did it in a way that didn't overwhelm the reader with details, with a heroine who was both courageous and vulnerable.

While the plot was straightforward enough - Cecile is a peasant girl who becomes a servant in the Sun King's court - the background details were an
I enjoyed reading this and if you think it is a little girl's book think again. It is about this peasant girl that goes to Versailles to work as a dog keeper for the king's relative. She realizes that although there is much luxury, wearing pretty dresses and being friends with the princess and her sons, court life is very scary and difficult at times. They will find a way to blame you and frame you. I rated it 4 stars because while I enjoyed it, it got extremely depressing towards the end, inclu ...more
The book Cecile Gates of Gold by Mary Casanova is about a peasant girl who her and her father helped a woman from the court got a reward by working there but doesn't know the rules of court. She notices her very little opportunities and tries her best. While there she figures out that her dad was working as a doctor there but got banished from trying to help the patient and disagreeing with the others. when the royal parents catch a disease the doctors drain out there blood. After they find out ...more
I didn't choose this book, but I guess im lad i read it. This book was sufisticated, but their was a lot of stuff I was confused about in this book. This book was good, I could understand it but, it was like boring, in the beginning, but I like the then and now part, it was like kind of the same but different. Instead of that, I kind of liked the book. I wouldn't really be the one to read it over and over again it was alright.
Cecile, a French girl in the early 1700's goes from peasant to living in the palace of the king when her and her father help a lady of royalty known as Madame who has fallen off her horse. Madame takes Cecile with her back to the palace to take care of her dogs. Cecile thinks that living in a palace will be grand, but it turns out that living in the Gates of Gold isn't all it seems to be. Cecile uncovers interesting things about her parents' past and also witnesses tragic deaths in the royal fam ...more
Katie Nanney
I enjoyed this book. I have always been a fan of historical fiction and what it would've been like to live during a certain time period. I liked that the book made King Louis XIV and his court seem like people you could relate to. It's a great way to learn a little more about history. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a good read about historical France in the early 1700's.
Possibly my favorite in the American Girl Girls of Many Lands series, this book was not only well-written, but it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I could hardly put it down! A very good book, and a great read!
Madeline Henricksen
"Cecile: Gates of Gold" features a girl called Cecil who was a peasant and found a royal lady who had fallen off her horse. Cecile's father was a doctor, so she brought him to help the royal lady, who turns out to be a German Duchess, sister-in-law to the King of France. In return for his help, Cecile's father was granted one wish by the princess: to have Cecile become a dog caretaker in the French royal court. Cecile had to walk and feed the dogs every day. Cecile has many exciting adventures a ...more
One day Cecile is a poor peasant girl and the next she has been offered a position at a court. A servant's position, but that doesn't matter to her. It's been her dream to wear fancy dresses and always have enough to eat. The only hard part is leaving her father behind. Now she has a job taking care of Madame's dogs. Cecile soon adjusts to life at court, but she can't understand the barbaric methods the doctors use. Will she be able to stand up for what she believes in when it really matters? I ...more
This is an American Girl book recommended for pre-teen girls. It is a story set in 1711 Rileaux France and the Palace of Versailles about a 12 year old girl whose father asks the King's sister-in-law, La Duchesse d'Orléans, to accept her into the court of Louis XIV in repayment for assisting her in her injuries sustained from being thrown from her horse.

In the few short months she spends at court she receives several pieces of bad news and bad luck......but it works out well for her in the end.
Cecile is the daughter of a man who cures people in the villages around his house. when Cecile finds a young women lying on the ground, she rushes to get her father. He is able to cure her and her on her feet. She then is very thankful for helping her and offers him anything he would like. he asks for Cecile to go to live with in court life. She decides to give her the job to take care of her six dogs at court. Life at court isn't easy, she must overcome her fear of others, make sure she knows t ...more
Reviewed for Heartland School.
Oct 10, 2014 Juju added it
Shelves: w3-0m3
it is spectacular
It was good.
Kristine Pratt
Cecile is a girl given an opportunity to serve in the courts of King Louis XIV - as the tender of the dogs of one of the noblewomen of the court.

This book offers a unique look at this time period, and life in the courts through the eyes of a common girl who has a lot of common sense and a quick wit. I wish there were more books about Cecile to tell us what happens to her afterwards. I guess that's best left to the imagination of the reader.
I liked how it was about a time before Louis XVI but still an important time in France's history. Learned a little about the royal family.
lives in france, and her dad is a docter and gets sick, cecile gets a job to train dogs (how much I LOVE DOGS) and leaves her dad for a week to wach them... the she gets breaking news her dad......(dies!) and has to live in the palice parentles... but there is a mistery to her father before, How he married her mom and why and where but was he also a threat?????
This book teaches about France, as well as old medical traditions. You can talk with student about some of the things they used to do, what they believed would cure people (such as bleeding, leeches, etc.). You can even use this discussion as a bridge to another discussion on scientific advancement, what we know now as opposed to what we know then.
It's a pretty good book. Nicely paced until the end, lovely characters, good plot. The end just came a bit too abruptly, like the author was trying to cram it in using less pages (most likely the editors fault :P). Good read though!! I like the little blips of historical infomation A.G. puts at the end of "their" books.
Dec 29, 2011 Molly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grace Ann
I thought it was a very good story. Cecile is a strong character. The story also doesn't end in a predictable happy ending.
The whole story is reliably true to the time period and very exciting to read. You really root for Cecile as she tries to stay afloat at the French court at the young age of 12.
I want to write a book similar to this one. Not the same story line, but about someone's life that's really interesting. People should read this book! It's so interesting and you learn about France!
The research is very strong in this novel, which is what the author said when she talked about it. I was sorry to have Cecile's story end, because I felt like the way the character had more to say.
I enjoyed this young reader story about Louis XIV's court at Verseille. The characters are quite well done and the story progresses well. Neat way to get kids involved with history.
Dec 28, 2010 Posie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Posie by: Awatts
I read this for school, and surprisingly enjoyed it very much. It provided details of life in France during h early 1700's, and the heroine, Cecile, was very relatable. I recommend it!
Mary Casanova has done a set of books "Girls of Many Lands." They give you an idea of what life would have been like to live the lives they did. I think Bex might like it.
Shelley Chastagner
Good story line and interesting characters. A small view into the life of french royalty under King Louis the XIV. The authors notes at the end of the book were a bonus.
Seeing as I recently visited Versailles it was fun to read about what it would have been like to live and work there. But beyond that, the novel was just okay.
May 07, 2010 Libby rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Libby by: Quinlyn
I enjoyed reading Gates Of Gold. It was nicely written, and I learnt some new stuff about the French Revolution. It wasn't amazing, but I liked it!
I loved it as I do all of the many different kinds of American Girl books. They are just the most enjoyable reading material for me:)
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Mary Casanova is an award-winning children's author of novels and picture books. Many of her books stem from her life on the Minnesota-Canadian border; yet some of her stories have taken her as far away as France, Norway, and Belize for research. Whatever the setting for her books, Casanova writes stories that matter--and stories that kids can't put down.

Her book awards include: American Library A
More about Mary Casanova...

Other Books in the Series

Girls of Many Lands (8 books)
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  • Leyla: The Black Tulip
  • Saba: Under the Hyena's Foot (Girls of Many Lands, Ethiopia)
  • Spring Pearl: The Last Flower (Girls of Many Lands, China)
  • Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway
  • Kathleen: The Celtic Knot
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