The Tyrant’s Daughter

10 Apr

tyrants daughter

The Tyrant’s Daughter

J. C. Carleson


I never really thought about the children until I read this book.  I mean, the kids who survived their father’s death, assassination.  What happens to the wife and children left behind when a father, a dictator, is killed in a coup?


Laila is 15 years old when she and her mother and younger brother are relocated to the US.  Laila has many challenges as she adjusts to a new culture, a new language, new social norms, new school.   It fascinating to see our society through her eyes.  We touch.  We show skin.  We have cereal readily available.  But it is witnessing her understanding the truth of her father’s role in their country that we see Laila struggle and mature.  Her father comes crashing down off the pedestal she put him on.   Things she never thought about, like money, alcohol, and peer pressure, become front and foremost in her thoughts.  Through it all we hear Laila’s voice and we share her struggle.  Laila has to figure out dating norms when she falls for a boy.  She has to decipher prom – what’s OK to wear and what’s not.  She has to figure out when her friends are being sincere and when they are making fun of her.


In many ways, Laila reminded me of what it was like to be 15 years old.  She taught me what my grandparents must have gone through when they moved to America when they were young.  She taught me that there’s a lot I take for granted that I shouldn’t.  She taught me about family and loyalty and survival.


I recommend this book to students in middle school and up.  I enjoyed it. I hope you do too.


I received a copy of this e-book free from but that did not influence my opinion.

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