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					               Library Services, 1311 Round Rock Avenue, Round Rock, TX 78681
                          Phone: (512) 428-2971 Fax: (512) 428-2980

                   Librarian’s Review of Publisher’s Advance Copy

Date: January 31, 2005
Author: Rabin, Staton
Title: Betsy and the Emperor
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 0-689-85880-9                  Pages: 294          Price: $16.95
Grade Range: Grades 5-10                          Publication Date: 2004
Fiction: X     Easy:         Nonfiction:        Dewey Classification:
Theme or Topic: Napoleon I, Emperor of the French; Betsy Balcombe; 1871; friendship

             Rating                              Suggestions
      1 Outstanding/Superior               Curricular use
      2 Above average/Desirable            Developmental values
      3 XAverage/Acceptable                Subject matter or treatment will tend to limit to
      4 Below average/Marginal                   specialized collections
      5 Not recommended                    Will appeal only to the unusual reader

Annotation/Comments: With a movie version – starring Al Pacino and up-and-coming
actress Scarlett Johansson - in the works, Betsy and the Emperor may become a popular
title. Based on the true story of a fourteen year-old girl who befriended Napoleon
Bonaparte when he was banished to a remote island, this title is a light read and isn’t
intended to as a lesson in history.

The book has a beautiful cover and surely the fact that the movie will carry the same title
will increase circulation. However, while some of Rabin’s writing is amusing, the overuse
of exclamation marks quickly becomes annoying and some of the events that are
included in the story are too outlandish to be believed.

Despite these drawbacks, Betsy and the Emperor will find readership among middle
school and high school students interested in Napoleon and intrigued by the upcoming

Awards/Other Reviews: Publishers Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal

Prepared by: Laura Stiles, Librarian Campus: Cedar Valley Middle School

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