Book Squirt

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen

In an ancient Arab nation, one woman dares to be different. Buran cannot — Buran will not-sit quietly at home and wait to be married to the man her father chooses. Determined to use her skills and earn a fortune, she instead disguises herself as a boy and travels by camel caravan to a distant city. There, she maintains her masculine disguise and establishes a successful business. The city’s crown prince comes often to her shop, and soon Buran finds herself falling in love. But if she reveals to Mahmud that she is a woman, she will lose everything she has worked for.

This was a book in the Sonlight curriculum that my Mom had us doing several years ago. It was “required reading”, but nothing was really “required” for me. I was really interested in the Arabian culture at the time, so this was one of the first books I reached for when we got them.

After reading it, I can say that I’m glad I grabbed it first, because I wasn’t comfortable with Colter reading this. Indigo and Jade might be able to (when they’re older), but the boys shouldn’t. At least not until they’re a lot older.

The girl in the book, Buran, is one of six daughters. Her father is not rich, so he is going to have trouble marrying off all of the girls. Buran takes off into the world, disguised as a man, to help make money (she was the smartest of the girls, so she could do this).

Things get complicated when she meets Mahmud, the son of the Wali of Tyre. They fall in love, but it’s not that easy. Remember, she’s disguised as a man. So there’s a guy falling in love with what seems to be a guy. Then, we get a scene where Buran takes off her clothes and looks at herself in the mirror, telling herself that she’s a female, describing herself.

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Then, (thankfully!) Mahmud kinda figures out that Buran (aka Nasir, her male name,) is a female. He starts giving her all of these tests, trying to decide whether she is or not (since just asking would be rude). Eventually she flees Tyre and he chases her all over the place. It ends with them together at her father’s house, which made the romantic in me happy. But most of me was just weirded out by everything else.

My Favorite Scene

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The Verdict: 3 of 5 Stars

The fact that this is recommended by a curriculum, without a warning as to the content, concerns me. The fact that there is a woman describing her body kinda freaked me out. I was still little when I read this – my body hadn’t started changing yet. If Sonlight is going to recommend this, don’t you think they should mention something like that?

Yes, it was a cool story about a woman going out there and making smart decisions (and getting the best of her horrid uncle and cousins. lol). But it wasn’t just that.

I’ve looked at Sonlight’s website, and this book is marked as a read aloud. At least they’ve got that on there!

Okay, this post is long and goes all over the place. Sorry about that! 🙂


The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare


Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1867. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Elizabeth George Speare’s Newbery Award–winning novel portrays a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

When my Mom first handed me this book I was intrigued by the cover (which is very different from the cover above…) and the synopsis. So I started reading it and immediately connected with Kit.

Her struggles felt so real to me, and so did her small triumphs. The way she helped Prudence and befriended Hannah… it gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Her relationship with Nat doesn’t feel forced and it also gave me the warm, fuzzy feeling. (What can I say – I’m a romantic. :D)

My Favorite Scene

Okay, it’s really two parts to the same scene. 🙂

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And I would put the ending here (because it’s perfect!) but I don’t want to spoil the whole book. But trust me when I say you want to read this book, if only so you can read the awesome ending. 🙂

The Verdict: 5 of 5 Stars

This is a great historical fiction book that definitely deserved the Newbery Award!