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The Royal Rebel

Written by Bali Rai

Illustrated by Rachael Dean

Key Stage 2 History People / Places True Stories

LoveReading View on The Royal Rebel

The inspiring story of an extraordinary woman

Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8

Animal lover, Suffragette, favourite of Queen Victoria, lifelong campaigner – Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a truly remarkable person and Bali Rai brings her wonderfully to life in this short, but action-packed biography. He writes it in Sophia’s voice as first-person narrative and readers will absolutely feel they are there in the different moments described and will fully understand Sophia’s sense of being caught halfway between two words – the British aristocracy and her Indian homeland. Everyone should know her story and I’d press this into the hands of all young people to inspire them with the sense that you can make a difference to the world, and to let them see through the eyes of this extraordinary woman. Published by Dyslexia specialists Barrington Stoke, this is super-readable to all.

Andrea Reece

More About This Book

In a spectacular tale that transports readers from the streets of Lahore to the frontline of the fight for women's rights, Bali Rai – the bestselling author of Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story – returns to historical fiction with The Royal Rebel. Publishing ahead of South Asian History Month (18th July – 17th August), this astonishing true story celebrates an unsung heroine who has been largely sidelined by history, offering a fascinating exploration of injustice and identity.


Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on LoveReading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.

Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.

The Royal Rebel Synopsis

Rebel, Princess, Suffragette: this is the incredible true story of the life of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, a forgotten heroine of the early twentieth century.

Born in 1876, Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab, and goddaughter of Queen Victoria. After her father lost control of his empire and was exiled to England, Sophia had a privileged but troubled upbringing that left her unsure about where she belonged - in India or England. Sensitive to injustice, she became an suffragette and fought hard to win the vote for women. This is the extraordinary story of her life.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781129425
Publication date: 15th July 2021
Author: Bali Rai
Illustrator: Rachael Dean
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 136 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: History, People / Places, Racism / Multi-Culturalism, True Stories

About Bali Rai

Bali Rai is a well-established, award winning and hugely popular voice within the young adult fiction market.  His particular successful title Rani and Sukh became a set-text for GCSE English.  His novel Killing Honour won the North East Teen Book Award, and was described as 'utterly compelling' by The Bookseller. He lives in Leicester with his family. Read more about the author here.  Bali is Booktrust's online writer in residence. Click here to read his blog.

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