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To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses
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To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Princesses live in splendid palaces with servants to grant their every wish....or do they? Here the stories of twelve real princesses reveal what life behind the palace walls is really like. "This night I think to die," declares Elizabeth Tudor as she shivers in the Tower of London in 1554. Her half sister, Queen Mary, sees her as a rival to the throne. But Elizabeth survi ...more
Hardcover, 62 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although this is a children's book I really enjoyed reading it. They covered quite a few Royal Princesses from Hawaii to England to India and others. Each Princess was a few pages long and was an easy, informative read
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
A few months ago I read a BYU magazine article on a mother who taught her daughter about real princesses using art history books she had from college. She didn't want her daughter thinking the Disney version was how real princesses lived. I have been trying to find a book that would do that same sort of thing, because they are obsessed with princesses and I would love for them to know what it means to be a real princess in the context of various countries histories. This book was wonderful. It f ...more
Chacha Centeno
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Princesses don’t live only in fairy tales. These twelve real princesses are presented with breathtakingly beautiful portraits of their families. From Queen Elizabeth to the brave Ka’iulani, the Hawaiian princess who stood up in a foreign land to speak for the welfare of her people, to Gayatri “Ayesha” Devi, the first maharani to run for parliament--they were more than just beautiful girls—they were strong in character and compassionate towards their people.
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, children
This book has beautiful illustrations.
This is a children's book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it myself. It has beautiful art, photos and informative time lines. There are short bios on the; 'Rival Sisters', Queen Mary (1516-58) & Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603) Tudor. 'The Empress's Daughter', Austria/France, Marie Antoinette (1755-93). 'I Will Be Good' England, Queen Victoria (1819-1901). 'The Island Rose', Hawai'i, Princess Ka'iulani (1875-99). 'The Tsar's Daughter's', Russia, Olga (1895-1918), Tatiana (1897-1918), Marie (1899-1918, ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok


Age group: Upper Elementary

genre: Informational Text

Summary: This text is an informational text that supplies much information on what princesses did, wore, looked like, etc. There seems to be endless information that students to research at their age appropriate level about princesses and that era.

Classroom use: I would use this during centers as a supplementary book for a certain time period or interest. I would also want this available in my classroom library so students could look
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read pieces of this. I liked the idea of reading about real princesses to my one princess-obsessed daughter, but this was not not it. You could tell they tried to make it interesting by adding details to make it read like a story, but overall it was just too long and dull for my 6 and 7 year old girls attention spans. It's too bad because their lives were very interesting. Or this book might just work better for a little older children.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
MCPLD Youth Department
To be a princess may not be all that a person would hope it to be. The author records the lives of several princesses and tells about their lives. There are beautiful portraits and period artifacts as well a photos to supplement the story.
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, sisters
Short bios of a dozen princesses from India to Hawai'i, England to Russia. Many beautiful photos accompany the text.
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at what it's like to be a REAL princess, not a fairy tale, "happily ever after" princess.
a book about a little girls dream to be a princess and how she needs to act and behave
Apr 18, 2009 rated it liked it
More for the 4th or 5th grader than the youngster, this book is a nice compilation of a bunch of biographies!
Alyssa Greatbanks
This was a pretty good book. It gave a lot of information, but didn't spend much time on any one princess.
Leigh Regan  Hauserman
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I normally don't do non-ficiton, but I love princesses. I loved learning about the lives of royalties. I didn't learn anything this interesting in school.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I love history, and this is the perfect book to learn about real historical princesses. My favorite story is that of Queen Elizabeth 1.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, bios-mems
I great way to show little girls that being a princess wasn't always the fairytale they believe it to be. Wonderful history lesson.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very insightful book about different princesses with openings that are like stories. Wonderful book!
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
We are using this as our history cirriculum this year. We are all loving it!
My 8yo daughter told her friends that her favorite subject in school is "Princesses." :-)
Caitlin Richards
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Being able to create books about history is a dream job for me since I’ve always been enthralled by history. When I was growing up in Georgetown, Ontario, our house was just around the corner from the town library. And I haunted its children’s section—reading sometimes four or five books a week. Historical fiction titles by writers like Geoffrey Trease and Rosemary Sutcliffe were particular favour ...more