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

nzinga warrior queen mckissack

As the Portuguese slave traders find their way to the city of Angola in West Africa, young Nzinga, daughter of King Kiluanji, must face up to the dangers around her and find a way to help lead her father's people through this tragic period.---from the publisher

144 pages                              978-0439112109                     Ages 9-13

Keywords:  African history, African American author, diary, queen, royalty, leadership, courage, slavery, girls and women, diversity, diverse books, Diversity:  Oppression and Resilience, 16th century, historical fiction, part of a series


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 respected seer, believes that Nzingha is destined to be the leader of Ndongo, and begins preparing her for this future. Nzingha's father fights to keep the Portuguese from taking over their homeland, yet it is Nzingha, ultimately, who acts as the go-between for her people and the Portuguese, negotiating acceptable relations in order to keep peace and power for the Mbundu.

Based on true historical events, places, people, and customs, this novel portrays the fascinating details of a remarkable young woman's strength and courage in defending her world against subterfuge, spies, and the onslaught of the Portuguese. Historical notes, photos, illustrations, maps, the Ngola family tree, and a glossary and pronunciation guide are included for a comprehensive understanding of a complex era. ---Emilie Coulter  on Amazon

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