Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (Royal Diaries #6)” as Want to Read:
Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (Royal Diaries #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (The Royal Diaries)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,906 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In 1595, Nzingha is the strong, intelligent daughter of the Ngola (leader) of the Mbundu people of Ndongo (in modern-day Angola), loyal to her people and willing to fight for them. Unfortunately, because she is a girl, her brother is the favored child, in training to become the next Ngola, even though he is whiny, stupid, and slow (according to Nzingha). But Ajala, a respe ...more
Hardcover, 136 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Scholastic
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nzingha, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê I do not have access to the book to see the text, but I'm going to take a guess and say because he drew the maps?

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much, I read it very fast like for couple of hours only or so, but I am sure I will keep it in my bookshelf, in case I'll have children I want them to know about the life of this remarkable woman.

I am not Angolan but curently I live in Luanda, and the busiest street here is named Gingha (or, Nzingha). I took me sometime to understand that Nzingha was an Angolan queen, who fought for her kingdom against colonialist (portuguese) and slavery. I was amazed to hear that story f
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was really excited to read this book since it's not common to find YA historical books set in Africa.

The book started off well enough, but it was far too short for the story it wanted to tell. Like, ridiculously short. Stories can be told in few pages, and well, but this didn't work at all. I enjoyed reading more about the actual history about Nzingha than the made up history in the diary.

(view spoiler)
This book introduces the reader to Queen Nzingha, but ends after her early life. I was expecting the diary entries to cover more of her later life which was the period when this queen accomplished most in her conflict with the Portuguese. Still, it is a useful introduction.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting to read about such a fascinating woman. Nzingha is a strong, intelligent leader. This particular story also offers insight into the history of the invading Portuguese and the slave trade they ran from Africa to Brazil. Chilling to read about that.

The brief history of Nzingha portrayed here is interesting—she was an amazing leader who lived into her 80’s leading her armies to battle with her life-long loyal sisters and denouncing the slave trade—but I wanted more about her later life.
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
Nzingha, Warrior Queen of Matamba, by Patrick Mckissasck, is just one of the many book series, in The Royal Diaries. Nzingha is a princess, who lives in Angola; Africa in 1595, her only wish is to hunt with her father, before she marries. She is only thirteen, but is very mature for her age. This book was written based on a true person, some of the characters names are false, but their existence is true. The book is mostly her life and written as a journal of what is going on in her life. It is ...more
Jocelyne Jam
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Some good info in here about Nzingha and her life in the 1590s in Africa. It was interesting to read about her culture and how African "royalty" is formed under the chief, the Ngola. However, it didn't bother me so much that I didn't like this book overall, because it's so extremely short. It also reveals a twist that is then taken back almost immediately. This one's good for the cultural and historical info, but lacking for a compelling story in the fiction department.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Maria
Cover Story: Anogla's Next Top Model
BFF Charm: Eventually
Swoonworthy Scale: 1
Talky Talk: Brevity is the Soul of Wit
Bonus Factor: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Colonial African History
Anti-Bonus Factor: Smallville Syndrome
Relationship Status: Comrades-in-Arms

Read the full book report here.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I borrowed this from the library becuase of fond memories of reading other books from this series a number of yours ago as a tween. This book lvied up to those memories and was a fun ascape back into those years, and I recommend it to anyone just arriving at them. The only thing I'd say, is that the book and it's epilogue made a focus of Nzingha being against slavery, when in fact, she was merely against slavery as practised by europeans, not that of her own people. And as commendable as her lif ...more
Kelsey Hanson
Nzingha is an incredibly intriguing leader. She is best known for the account where she was insulted by the Protugese by not being provided a chair. She didn't let that stop her. She just had a servant bend over as a chair so she could look the governor in the eye and get the respect she deserved. Her story is just COOL! She was pretty bad ass! She was a great leader and warrior, the people loved her and she was able to resist the Portugese slave drive. The one big disappointment was how short t ...more
This was my least favorite Royal Diaries book so far. The story ended so abruptly; it seemed like the author just got tired of writing the book so she stopped.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is probably my least favorite of the "royal diaries series" simply because the life of Nizingha is much more interesting than they make it out to be in this book. Nizingha is the daughter of the leader of the Mbundu people of Ndongo in modern day Angola. She's a fierce warrior, but because she's female and the daughter of the second wife of the King, her brother is more highly favored than her. My problem with this "diary" is the fact that it only contains one major exciting event, while th ...more
Young Adult Historical Vault
An interesting and well-crafted book, but would have benefited greatly from being maybe 50 pages longer. There simply aren't enough pages to get through everything brought up! It's an interesting time period with an interesting protagonist and interesting plot, and there's a real lack of fiction in this era/place, but could have been so much better if there was MORE.

For my full review including spoilers, check out Young Adult Historical Vault.
Boo! I was excited to read historical fiction about people that are not white but this is really just a pathetic attempt. The story itself is a mere 90 pages, the rest is historical notes and photos.

My biggest issue is that the author just barely brushes up against the idea that the slavery the people of Angola practice is different than the chattel slavery of the Portuguese but this is never really explained, not even in the notes.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
I loved these books as an adolescent, I collected them all, I read and re-read them. I went on to be a history major and librarian and I think that it is in no small part due to books like these that made history feel alive to young women in a way that many/most of the books at the time did not.
Montana Crossman
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good series for middle-school aged students. historical Fiction which is not entirely accurate, but could be a gateway to a fascination with a person or time period.
A.K. Klemm
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We enjoyed adding this piece of historical fiction to our studies of the 1600's, the development of the new worlds, and the slave trades.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: royal-diaries
This was another interesting Royal Diaries book. I knew nothing about this remarkable woman.
Dumlesi Ndam
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A poignant tale. The responsibility factor naturally falls on Nzingha.
Carlyn Brody
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Nzinga is a part of a book series by Scholastic called The Royal Diaries, which are fictional diaries of real princesses and noble women from history. The Royal Diaries series features famous noble women from around the world, from Marie Antoinette to Jahanara of India.

I started collecting the books when I was a teenager. I’ve always loved reading books about strong women and I love reading the history of royal women. Although I heard that some of the books are not quite historically accurate w
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read this right after watching Black Panther and wanting to stick it to the white man (I’m white). I very much enjoyed it and want to learn more about her life African history as a whole. Sorely unrecorded
Fairley Lloyd
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I’m not used to reading a story in diary form, and I was a bit turned-off when I saw it like that. However, once I started reading, I didn’t mind as much and found myself enjoying it. The diary format for me actually added realism to the story, as if Nzingha was still alive and was writing this (or had written it but it had happened recently). It did, as many say good historical fictions do, took me back in time.

Nzingha herself was a very interesting person; while I don’t re
A week or so ago, I had this realization that I loved these books when I was younger. I remember keeping my copy on Marie Antoinette close and rather on display so everyone could see my beautiful princess book. There was total distress when pencil marks or dirt got on it in any way. (And the gold edges? I adored it all. Looking back, I was kinda obnoxious about the whole thing). So, when I visited my local library, I made sure to see if they had this series on hand. Ended up leaving with 3, and ...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Nzingha, Warrior Queen / 0-439-11210-9

The only thing frustrating about the Royal Diary and Dear America series is that most of the books are still only available in hardcover... and at a hardcover price. "Nzingha" is definitely a good addition to the Royal Diary series, but at approximately 90 pages for the entire novel, it feels almost criminally short. Of course, this tends to happen most with the novels constructed for historical figures whose childhood details are largely lost to history, bu
Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Now here is a woman who absolutely deserves a book in The Royal Diaries! And the sad part? I had no idea she even existed until I read it a few weeks ago.

By all accounts, Nzingha was a very strong leader in her later life and we see hints of that in her ‘diary’ as a girl of thirteen. She’s also not perfect, something everyone can relate to, making a false accusation in front of the whole court, which turns out to be baseless. Unlike a lot of the princesses in The Royal Diaries, Nzingha grows wis
Kaitlin Harrington
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really great book something that I have never event thought of reading was so unbelievably perfect.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
It was nice, I really liked it, it was different from those other historical-fiction diary books that I read in some way. I'm not sure how, but I do know that I read liked it and did a book report on it and got 120% WOO!! Thanks Spedwards. >:DDD Those two will always be my favorite teachers (along with Mrs. White).

It's Angola 1595, centered around Nzinja, princess of the Mbundu people. She is willing to fight for her people, to do anything; but alas, she has one of those dreaded things that a
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a young girl who lived in Africa near the end of the 1500's. Nzingha was a member of the Mbundu kingdom of Ndongo. She was growing in in a time where the slave trade was just getting under way, and the Portuguese were making inroads into their territory.

This is again a culture clash type of story. She has to decide whether or not the Portuguese priest who has become known to their tribe is to be trusted or not. She has to watch for enemies within as well as enemies without h
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: written-by-women
2.5 stars. I love that the Royal Diaries series features several lesser-known, but no less interesting, princesses, but I wish this "diary" had fully delivered. The actual narrative finishes at a mere 86 pages, which I think makes it the shortest in the whole series. And Nzingha's life, even her early years, was so fascinating! There is an issue with hardly anything being known about her life, along with western reports on it being warped by stereotypes and prejudice, but I felt like this was on ...more
Chloe S
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really *wanted* to like this book.... Historical fiction, check; strong female protagonist, check; tale from an underrepresented part of history (the West African kingdoms) that is *not* about surviving slavery, double-check--the thing is, though, that not much happened in the story. It was more of a biographical sketch than anything else. The book is part of a series of stories about teen female royalty, so maybe that was the root of my problem. I'm not talking about the "princess" branding ( ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 1653
  • Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595
  • Lady of Palenque : Flower of Bacal, Mesoamerica, A.D. 749
  • Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven, Japan, 1858
  • Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490
  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889 (Royal Diaries #7)
  • Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853
  • Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
  • Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743
  • Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalía de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (Dear America)
  • I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 (Dear America)
  • The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl (Dear America)
  • Land of the Buffalo Bones: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, An English Girl in Minnesota (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
Patricia C. McKissack was the Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of The Dark-Thirty and Porch Lies an ALA Notable Book. She collaborated with Jerry Pinkney on Goin' Someplace Special (Coretta Scott King Award winner) and Mirandy and Brother Wind (Coretta Scott King Award winner and Caldecott Honor Book).
More about Patricia C. McKissack

Other books in the series

The Royal Diaries (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 (Royal Diaries #1)
  • Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C. (Royal Diaries #2)
  • Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (Royal Diaries #3)
  • Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria - France, 1769 (Royal Diaries #4)
  • Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (Royal Diaries #5)
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889 (Royal Diaries #7)
  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
  • Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
  • Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country
  • Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595

Young Adult Deals

  • A History of Glitter and Blood
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1)
    $7.99 $0.99
  • This Is the Story of You
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Steeplejack (Steeplejack #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Don't Get Caught
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • So B. It
    $6.74 $1.99
  • The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Cloaked in Red
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Fire and Bone (Otherborn, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks, #3)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Black and Green (The Ghost Bird, #11)
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Last Girl (The Dominion Trilogy, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Girls on Fire
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Before Goodbye
    $1.99 $0.99
  • Fireblood (Whispers from Mirrowen, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • By Your Side
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Pants Project
    $9.99 $2.99