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Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490

(The Royal Diaries)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,752 ratings  ·  89 reviews
With her signature narrative grace, Edwidge Danticat brings Haiti's beautiful queen Anacaona to life. Queen Anacaona was the wife of one of her island's rulers, and a composer of songs and poems, making her popular among her people. Haiti was relatively quiet until the Spanish conquistadors discovered the island and began to settle there in 1492. The Spaniards treated the ...more
Hardcover, 187 pages
Published April 2005 by Scholastic
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,752 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Kelsey Bryant
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
This was the final Royal Diary that I needed to read. It brought an interesting culture to life and introduced me to a remarkable woman I knew nothing about.
I really wish I liked this book more. I loved the historical note and the epilogue and the brief glimpses we got into Anacaona’s character. But the first two thirds were very plodding and uneventful, and didn’t keep me interested at all. It reminded me of Lady of Palenque in that it was very didactic, but it was a lot more accessible and easy to read.

I don’t have much to say outside of the last third was the most interesting. Unfortunately, that was when the Spanish showed up and started causin
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Anacaona, Golden Flower / 0-439-49906-2

The Royal Diaries rarely disappoint, but "Anacaona" brings a new level of pleasure and depth to the series. Our heroine is realistically mature, as she navigates the waters of her unique culture and her own progress from child to young woman.

Anacaona's unique and fascinating culture is presented beautifully here. Her uncle, the ruler of their community, is one of the more admirable rulers in the series (as opposed to many of the European monarchs) and - wh
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I hate to say it, but I was rather disappointed by this "Royal Diary." I rediscovered the series in the Children's section of the library (it was next to Harry Potter,) and was intrigued by the fact that Anacaona was set in Haiti. I really liked this series when I was younger, so I thought I'd give it a try. I don't know if my expectations were too high (not really) or if I'm getting too old for this series (more likely) or what (hoping for this one,) but it just fell flat. It was really disappo ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Diane and anyone interested in history and world cultures
Recommended to Doreen by: wanted to read another book by Danticat!
I love Edwidge Danticat's writing and I love this story! It's the story of Anacaona, a woman who lived in the late 1400's in what is now Haiti. Danticat writes a fictitious journal that reveals how Anacaona's life may have been. There was no written language, so Danticat uses what is known of that time period and uses that information to produce a work of historical fiction. The book is written for youngsters, but I enjoyed reading it and learning about these early, native people.

In this matr
I was given this book at the Cumberland Regional Rainbow Gathering. I was jonesing for a book, and a nice man had this one to offer.

I enjoyed reading the book, although the whole idea of a "Royal Diaries" series rubs me the wrong way. Why not the "Peasant Diaries" or the "Common Folk Diaries"?

The idea behind this particular title is even more annoying, as the book explains that Anacaona was from a culture without a written language. There is no way this woman even kept a diary!

However, I did app
Kelsey Hanson
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was very happy when I found out that Edwidge Danticat decided to write a book for the Royal Diaries series. She is an excellent writer and her books that take place in Haiti are very well written and showcase Haitian culture and the impact that colonialism has had on the native people. This book was no exception. It is rich with culture and has an admirable historical figure as the main character. I tend to like reading about the non-European princesses in the Royal Diaries series simply becau ...more
Aug 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children
Shelves: 2006
Another princess book. I thought this one was very interesting because it's about people coming from Europe and how they treated all the native people. 04/06/2006
Meadow Frisbie
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diary
when the "pale men" reach her people's shores her and her husband, caonabo, must encourage her people to stand strong. Even in battle.
The Book Queen
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is completely unrelated to the book, but every time I see the title I always think of 'Anaconda'.
The entire Royal Diaries series is near and dear to my heart as I grew up reading most of them. Recently I discovered that there were four that were published after I moved on from the series, and I have acquired them to read for nostalgia's sake (and, as a member of the Pokemon generation, have the compulsive need to complete my set).
This novel follows the coming-of-age of Anacaona, ruler of the Taíno people at the time of the Spanish invasion. It begins just before her "hair ceremony," the tra
Heaven Ashlee
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm certain that I've read all of the Royal Diaries series as a child, but this one I remembered the least of. I was immediately drawn into the story, with the unique monthly/counting system, and the intricately explained world that has long since been forgotten and erased.

This is one of those books that, although it is meant for younger audiences, it does not shy away from heavy and intense material. I think this is some of the most brutal and stomach churning descriptions of colonization that
Rebecca Lien
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: seven-of-swords
I use this series for the Girl Scout JR badge Playing the past.  Anacaona inspires love and respect. It was an amazing read with great detail. The Author paid attention to the cultures in the book and was very attentive to the fear that the Spanish had caused on the Island of Hati.
Tarot CArd- Art of Life -Seven of Swords - "One must have chaos in oneself, to be able to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Mega Speedreader
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always been a fan of the Royal Diaries series (I’ve read the majority of them) and this one was great. I don’t know anything about Haitian history, but I love the fact that the author is Haitian herself. I’ve done more research into Anacaona and it’s positively tragic what happens to her and her people.

Definitely recommend to MG readers, or anyone really, who want to get more into history & learn more about famous women from the past.
Galion Public Library Teens
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Review by A.H.: "Anacaona is a realistic fiction novel that is [about] Anacaona, an important Native American leader back in 1492. An empowering novel about growing up and never giving up. Anacaona is great for historical fiction lovers. The only problem I could find with it is it did not spend, I thought, enough time on the threat of settlers invading. Overall, a great book! 4.5 stars! Would recommend to others!"
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Culturally satisfying and easy reading delight. Similarly with other Royal Diaries books that I have read in the past, the story of Anacaona is about a young woman, one who is a person of her own right and refuses to replace her principles and beliefs be messed up with.

I highly recommend this book to young girls and to those who are not familiar with Haitian culture.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story a lot. Although it was mainly just fiction I enjoyed learning about people I knew nothing about. And learning more about an important time in western civilization. I liked how the author had a personal connection to the story. I didn’t expect it to be as good after the Mayan diary I read being so boring. The author did a good job.
This is a fascinating read. It is written in a diary format, although a few of the characters are necessary fictional because of the lack of detail regarding Haiti in the 15th century. very readable for a middle school level. not too preachy or anti white..simply factual.
Taisha Casimir
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490 was an interesting read. It was nice to learn more about my Haitian heritage and history of Haiti. I would recommend this to people to read. :)
Madeline Wilhelm
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story really puts you in the shoes of Anacona. I loved the author's writing style, and I think you will too!
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
written for Gr 5ish level, historical fiction, good building of suspense even though you know the end result, a part of history I didn't know about and now do!
Amara Luciano
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Very informative. I liked the writing as well.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-ind
Edwidge Danticat has been a favorite author of mine for many years–Breath, Eyes, Memory and Farming of Bones are beautiful, beautiful books. I recently visited Haiti on a cruise to the Caribbean, and even though I was on a “tourist beach,” I was totally struck by the absolute beauty of the island. I can’t get it out of my head, how green and lush it was. Those were the images I was imagining when I was reading Anacaona.

This book is short, written in a diary format–perfect for middle grade kids.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story of the indigenous people of Haiti, the Taínos. I really hope that I am a descendant of theirs, as a daughter of Haitian immigrants.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely not a happy book. Anacaona is in line to inherit the throne of a group that lived in the Southwestern portion of what is today's country of Haiti. As such, there is always material on what type of life she leads and the kinds of problems that she runs into. Although, in this case, it involves another group of people who wage war on her tribe (using the term somewhat loosely), and on other tribes.

What makes it far worse is the arrival of white explorers whose ability to wage w
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We were made by Baba with all the love and care he could, we are an exact replica of Anacaona at various stages of her life from the time she was an infant like Yeybona and Piragua’s Nahe to the moment of her haircutting ceremony. We share some trepidation of her haircutting, will her head fit us afterwards? We will see when that happens, we’ve been made and have no say in the matter.

Anacaona is now taller than her brother, Bohechío, she will make a fine cacica or chief when the time comes. Her
Your Common House Bat
Pretty solid book, it was a quick read for me. I liked Anacaona as a narrator and I enjoyed reading the story.
Vivian Halloran
This novel for young readers is an excellent introduction to the history of Native inhabitants in the Caribbean region. Danticat does a great job of validating her first-person narrator's visual story-telling by explaining its context within her culture. Thus, although adult readers are aware that the subtlety of thoughts and emotion conveyed in the novel could not be adequately expressed in that format, young readers or those new to the study of Caribbean fiction now have a better framework thr ...more
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Anacaona's story begins in the year 1490 when she is about sixteen years old. Her uncle is the cacique, or supreme ruler, of their province of Xaragua, located in what is now Haiti. Anacaona and her older brother, Behechio, have been raised to become the future rulers of Xaragua. But Anacaona gives up her birthright to marry Caonabo, the cacique of the nearby province of Maguana. Anacaona loves her husband and is happy in her marriage, and her joy only increases after the birth of their daughter ...more
Shannon McGee
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: royals, 2011
I have only read two of the Royal Diaries series and while I like them the future never seems to bode well for the history of royalty. Anacaona does have an unfortunate fate but her life is somewhat unknown. The author takes some liberties having the future queen fear for her future as if she some how knows what will come.

I do not know much about this history but what is this tale is based on. So I do not know how much is true. Reading this children’s book make me want to find a more involved h
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Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner. She is also the editor of The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beac ...more

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