Thursday, January 24, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

Hale, Shannon. 2007. BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1599900513 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-9]

Based on a tale from Brothers Grimm, BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is an exciting read about a maid, a lady, two suitors, mistaken identities, disguises, love, and war. Dashti, our narrator, is a maid to the Lady Saren. The two, when the book opens, are being locked away in a dark tower because of the lady's refusal to marry the man her father has chosen: Khasar. Her other suitor, Khan Tegus, has been rejected by her father. The pair will remain locked away in the tower--under guard--for seven years. There is a cellar in the tower with what her father deems enough food for two to last seven years. But what the father didn't count on his girl's greediness or the hunger of the rats. Now it is up to Dashti to find a way for them both to survive.

BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS is a tale of courage and determination. Dashti is everything a heroine should be. Her diary—her narrative—is a tale that will not easily be forgotten because it is so thoroughly satisfying.

Choose a passage from the novel and get creative. Children can write and perform a monologue (or pair up with a friend and script a dialogue) or illustrate a favorite scene or pantomime or act it out and record on video.

Read the original tale “Maid Maleen” collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. (Link:

Feeling really creative? Choose another folk tale and write your own adaptation as a poem, short story, or novella.

Other books by Shannon Hale:
ENNA BURNING. 1582348898
GOOSE GIRL. 158234843X
RIVER SECRETS. 1582349010

By Becky Laney

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