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Katie's Korner: Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools and Libraries

The Rose of Versailles
Published by: Udon Entertainment
Written by: Riyoko Ikeda
Illustrated by: Riyoko Ikeda
ISBN: 9781927925935
Ages: 13+

Review

“I once read this in a book, but . . . should not a woman only wed a man whom she has come to know and love?”

- Marie Antoinette -

One of the most beautiful and historically articulate stories to come out over the holidays is UDON Entertainment’s new English translation of Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles (2019).

An extremely popular shojo manga, Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles was initially serialized in Weekly Margaret in 1972. UDON Entertainment has now published the first English language translation of the story, containing its first twenty-two chapters. Since the 1970s, the original telling of The Rose of Versailles by Ikeda’s has been adapted for the stage, anime, and feature films.

The Rose of Versailles opens with the birth of three significant children who will one day meet up and influence each others’ lives during the reign of King Louis XVI at the court of Versailles.

Hans Axel Von Fersen is born in Scandanavias the very handsome and eldest son of a wealthy parliamentarian. Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes is the sixth daughter born to the Commander of France’s Royal troops in 1755; after having five daughters and hoping for years to have a son to inherit his royal role, Oscar’s father decides to raise her as a boy-soldier who will indeed inherit his legacy as Commander of France’s Royal troops. Finally, and most notably, the story also introduces readers to the birth of Marie Antionette on November 2, 1755 and her future role at the court of Versailles.

Once grown, all three characters meet up at King Louis XVI’s court of Versailles. Oscar is the commander of Marie Antionette’s French Palace Guards and works closely with her servant Andre. Both Oscar and Andre observe and protect the French Royal Court during the latter half of the 1800s and the escalating possibilities of a French Revolution in response to the King’s court of Versailles’ splendors. 

Language Arts Elements of Story 

Plot: Born female, Oscar Francoise de Jarjeyes is raised as a son by her father. After having five daughters, Oscar’s father wished for his sixth child to be a son. A son could inherit his title as Commander of the French Royal troops. When he discovers he and his wife have another daughter, however, he moves forward with his plan despite the fact that Oscar is a girl. Once grown, Oscar has the unique opportunity to witness King Louis XVI’s court at Versailles.

Key Characters: Hans Axel Von Fersen (Captain), Oscar Francois De Jarjeyes, Dauphine of France & Archduchess Marie Antionette Josephe Jeanne De Lorraine D’Autriche, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Marquise, W.A. Mozart, King Louis XV of France, Monsieur Le Dauphin Louis XVI of France / King Louis XVI of France, Minister Choiseul, Meister, Count De Mercy (Austrian Chancellor of State), Countess De Noailles, General De Jarjayes, Rosalie Lamorliere, Maman, House of Valois, Bourbon Dynasty, Jeanne, Andre Grandier, German University, Lady De Noailles, Mademoiselle Elisabeth, Madame Adelaide, Madame Victorie, Countess or Madame Du Barry, Marquise De Boulain-Villiers, Duchess D’Orleans, Countesses De Maurois & Maurepas, Countess Jules, Meister Gluck, Chancellor of State Kaunitz, Louis Philippe II, Gabrielle de Polastron, Henri de Guement, Count of Girodelle, Revolutionaries, Bernard Chatelet, Alain de Soissons, Madame de Polignac

Major Settings: Sweden,Versailles, Austria; Paris, France

Major Themes: Historical European Politics & Political Alliances, Royalty and Nobility, Power, Love & Marriage, Education, 18th Century Social Etiquette, Jealousy


Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for High School Readers

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

 

*  The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.corestandards.com

Lesson Plan

Directions

 

The Rose of Versailles begins with the birth of three main characters: Marie Antionette, Hans Axel Von Fersen, and Oscar Francois de Jarjeyes.

Since the story begins by highlighting their births and foreshadowing the three main characters’ future roles in King Louis XVI’s court of Versailles, students should take notes on each character individually. These notes will include not only the characters’ introductions (both as babies and as members of the court of Versailles), but also the settings, events, and final resolution they each experience.

The following note-chart helps students focus on these key elements of story per character.

 

1. Marie Antionette

 

- First Appearance as a Baby and Knowledge Learned:

 

 

- Reason Character is at King Louis XVI’s Court of Versailles:

 

 

- Key Settings for this Character:

 

 

- Key Events this Character Experiences:

 

 

- Final Resolution for this Character:

 

 

2. Hans Axel Von Fersen

 

- First Appearance as a Baby and Knowledge Learned:

 

 

- Reason Character is at King Louis XVI’s Court of Versailles:

 

 

- Key Settings for this Character:

 

 

- Key Events this Character Experiences:

 

 

- Final Resolution for this Character:

 

 

3. Captain Oscar Francois De Jarjeyes

 

- First Appearance as a Baby and Knowledge Learned:

 

 

- Reason Character is at King Louis XVI’s Court of Versailles:

 

 

- Key Settings for this Character:

 

 

- Key Events this Character Experiences:

 

 

- Final Resolution for this Character:

 



Diana: Princess of the Amazons
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale
Illustrated by: Victoria Ying
ISBN: 9781401291112
Ages: 8+

Review

DC Comics, New York Times bestselling writers Shannon Hale and Dale Hale, and notable illustrator Victoria Ying present middle-level readers, families, and educators with a new graphic novel focused on a young Princess Diana’s life on the legendary island of Themyscira.

Not yet the Wonder Woman of legendary fame, readers of Diana: Princess of the Amazons meet a young and inquisitive eleven-year-old princess. Adventurous and bold, the young Diana observes her mother and all of her aunts pursuing their express purposes in life. But what is Diana’s purpose? Why does she have to go to school?

When another young girl named Mona magically appears on the island of Themyscira, Princess Diana has a new friend her own age! Princess Diana shares her love of Themyscira and her life on the island with Mona, and the two explore the island and learn to trust each other. Will Diana be able to keep her new and unknown friend, even after their adventures lead Diana to think she can and should open “Doom’s Doorway?”

Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot: Eleven-year-old Diana loves growing up with her mother and “aunties” on the picturesque island of Themyscira. The only problem is that she is the only kid on the island, and she wonders what her purpose and future expectations may be in the eyes of her mother and aunties. Her new friend Mona might have some adventurous, new ideas about how she can find out.

Characters: Diana, Amazons, Auntie Dessa, General Antiope, Aunt Lysa, Clio, Mona, Philippus, Athena, the Healer, Hyppolyta, Circe, Lord Opal

Major Settings: Themyscira, Paradise Islands, Doom’s Doorway, Tartarus Jail, the Healing Pools

Themes: Mistakes, Perseverance, Heroism, Isolation and Belonging, Expectations and Standards, Friendship, Birds and Flight

Lesson Plan Recommendations Using the Common Core Standards for Early and Middle School Readers 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

*  The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.corestandards.com

Lesson Plan

Directions

In order to document the story’s plot in Diana: Princess of the Amazons early and middle level students can fill out the below graphic organizer focused on how the plot development in the story influences the characters’ decisions and the final story resolution.

Divide the story up into chunks of ten - fifteen pages. Ask students to read the ten - fifteen page chunks of story and then fill out the below graphic organizer.

DOWNLOAD GRAPHIC ORGANIZER HERE!

 

 

 

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Dr. Katie Monnin is the author of eight books about teaching pop culture, comic books, and graphic novels in 21st century classrooms. Since 2010 she has written two monthly reviews and two corresponding lesson plans for her Diamond Bookshelf column: "Katie's Korner: Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools & Libraries." In 2018, Dr. Monnin founded "Why so serious? Productions," a consulting business that creates pedagogical materials for 21st century teachers, librarians, and publishers who want to teach pop culture. She served on the San Diego Comic Con jury in 2013, and she frequently travels the nation and the world to discuss teaching with pop culture in 21st century classrooms.