1 Shaktibar

Forbidden City Book Essay Introduction

In this Chinese import, readers become tourists as each page turn provides views into labyrinthine courtyards and palaces once reserved for imperial China’s emperors.

For almost 600 years, the Forbidden City was home to emperors and their entourages during the Ming and Qing dynasties from 1421 to 1912. Today it stands as the world’s largest enclosed palace and museum, visited by millions of tourists. If readers can’t visit Beijing, this gives an intriguing alternative. On the table of contents, a bird’s-eye-view plan offers a helpful guide to where historical events took place. Through gray-toned, detailed illustrations on multipage spreads, the sections of the Forbidden City unfold, literally, into readers’ hands. While the history covered is complex, there are elements throughout that make it accessible. Tourists and historical Chinese figures alike (and one curious cat) populate the pages, some with thought bubbles expressing facts and observations. A roll call of emperors showcases how each one was famous or infamous. However, most stories of everyday life, while interesting, can be quite dense. The type size is small. These sections are better suited for upper middle grades and older. But all ages will enjoy sifting through grand architectural renderings, especially with the enclosed magnifying glass.

An impressive introduction to the Forbidden City. (author’s note) (Nonfiction. 11 & up)

Seventeen-year-old Alex Jackson comes home from school to find that his father, a CBC news cameraman, wants to take him to China's capital, Beijing.  Once there, Alex finds himself on his own in Tian An Men Square as desperate students fight the Chinese army for their freedom.  Separated from his father and carrying illegal videotapes, Alex must trust the students to helpSeventeen-year-old Alex Jackson comes home from school to find that his father, a CBC news cameraman, wants to take him to China's capital, Beijing.  Once there, Alex finds himself on his own in Tian An Men Square as desperate students fight the Chinese army for their freedom.  Separated from his father and carrying illegal videotapes, Alex must trust the students to help him escape.

Closely based on eyewitness accounts of the massacre in Beijing, Forbidden City is a powerful and frightening story.


From the Trade Paperback edition....more

Paperback, 208 pages

Published January 10th 1996 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1990)

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *