SALADIN by Diane Stanley


Noble Prince of Islam
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12
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Stanley, in her usual style (Michelangelo, 2000, etc.), gives a brief, lavishly illustrated account of this famous Muslim leader who united his people against the Christian Crusaders of the 12th century. Saladin was a Kurd who joined the army of the Turkish Sultan Nur al-Din at the age of 14. Propelled quickly to a powerful position through courage, charisma, and chance, he was a popular leader who was well known even to the Christians for being merciful. The story that Stanley tells is one almost entirely of battles and plays for power (as, one would assume, the records of the time allow us). Though it will appeal to the young reader who already enjoys battle stories, her somewhat dry text may lose more generally interested readers. Each page of text is illustrated with a border and faces a full-page painting. Stanley’s richly colorful scenes are decorated with Persian-influenced patterns, making this inviting to page through. (Curiously, everyone in her illustrations has the same relatively pale tone of skin.) A short author’s note and postscript frame the story in its historical context. A glossary and bibliography of adult titles conclude the work. Though this will leave readers with some questions (Stanley provides no references for some of the more interesting tidbits that they may be curious about), it brings this hero to light for a young audience, who may only be familiar with this period from the Christian history. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-17135-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002


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