Today I’m starting to review books for the 2011 Cybils Middle Grade and Young Adult nonfiction category. Some of the books, like this one, might not be my usual subject matter, but I’m looking forward to trying new things. Don’t forget, the Cybils lists of nominated books are great ways to find new reading materials in all different genre’s, including for the first time this year: book apps.
Prince William & Kate: A Royal Romance by Matt Doeden captures the excitement of the lives of William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales (Prince William) and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton (Kate), culminating in their marriage on April 29, 2011.
You would have to pretty much be living on a deserted island not to know about the marriage of Prince William and Kate. Doeden has written an easy-to-read summary of their lives up to this point. It is well illustrated with a nice selection of color photographs that show points in Prince William and Kate’s childhoods that children are sure to relate to, such as going to Disney World and playing soccer. In stark contrast is the event that hopefully most children won’t be able to relate to, the tragic death of Princess Diana, Prince William’s mother. The photograph of Prince William walking with his father, grandfather, uncle and brother in his mother’s funeral procession is heartrending.
Given that celebrities like Prince William and Kate live with constant scrutiny, they understandably guard their private lives. This creates a difficulty for a biographer, who has access to reams of public information to sort through, but very little inside information. The result is a nicely polished overview that necessarily lacks genuine depth and insight into its subjects’ characters.
Children who are interested in Prince William and Kate or who are looking for information for a report on the couple will find the book useful and absorbing. Adults who want to quickly brush up on the lives of the royal couple should also give it a try.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Lerner Classroom (October 2011)