Elizabeth I, the People's Queen: Her Life and Times with 21 Activities

Overview

Queen Elizabeth I learned to trust no one. Even before Elizabeth was crowned queen at the age of 25, her mother, Anne Boleyn, had been executed for treason by her father, King Henry VIII. She was then removed from the royal line of succession and later imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of plotting to overthrow her sister, Queen Mary. Yet despite all the challenges to her power, she became a hero of the Church of England in a century when Catholics and Protestants burned one another at the stake, she ...

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Overview

Queen Elizabeth I learned to trust no one. Even before Elizabeth was crowned queen at the age of 25, her mother, Anne Boleyn, had been executed for treason by her father, King Henry VIII. She was then removed from the royal line of succession and later imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of plotting to overthrow her sister, Queen Mary. Yet despite all the challenges to her power, she became a hero of the Church of England in a century when Catholics and Protestants burned one another at the stake, she spoke five languages in a day when few women were taught to read, and she led a nation where men proclaimed that women had no right to take part in public life. During Elizabeth’s 45-year reign, English literature, theater, music, and culture flourished. And, after her navy defeated the Spanish armada, England’s military power made the once tiny kingdom into a chief player among Europe’s nations.

            This lively biography of one of England’s greatest monarchs includes a time line, online resources, and 21 activities to offer readers hands-on experiences with life in the Elizabethan Era.

            Kids can create costumes for the queen’s court, including a knight’s helmet, a neck ruff, and a cloak, play and sing a madrigal, create a 3-D map of an Elizabethan town, stitch a blackwork flower, design a family coat of arms, play a game of Nine Men’s Morris, grow a knot garden, and much more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Elizabeth I is a towering figure in both British and world history, and this book does a good job of explaining why . . . This well-organized book succeeds at being interesting and scholarly at the same time." —School Library Journal

"This attractive entry in the For Kids series offers 21 activities to supplement the text and provide a sense of what Elizabethan England was all about." —Kirkus Reviews

“For either individual learners or a classroom setting, the facts and chronology are easy to understand and give a broad picture of not only the Queen but what life was like for all people of England at that time.”  —Ohioana Quarterly

Children's Literature - Dawna Lisa Buchanan
This book is difficult to categorize. It is a beautifully written and comprehensive biography of Elizabeth Tudor, focusing on her life and times. Hollihan is enthusiastic about her subject and does a wonderful job of weaving interesting perspectives about the period, including quotes from William Shakespeare and highlighted commentary on the cast of characters (e.g., Walter Raleigh, Sir Frances Drake) who also lived during the incredible reign of Elizabeth. She is a deft narrator, and does not downplay or soften some of the difficult aspects of the period, including violence, sexual intrigues and politics. However, she does not dwell on these unduly and is careful to offer rich context for each part of the story. The only thing that struck this reviewer as odd was the mix of sophisticated writing with (albeit very clever) activities that young readers could try at home. The activities seemed meant for students no older than 12, yet the quality of writing and the length and detail of the book seem intended for older readers. Nevertheless, the activities are engaging. Hollihan includes directions for experimenting with different fonts of cursive, making costumes that "fit" the period, and making pomanders such as Elizabeth would have used in her day. She also includes information about music, painting, literature and science of the period. It is unlikely that a classroom teacher could use the entire text with all students, but anyone doing research on this time period will love the book, and it certainly functions as a great read and/or reference. This book is nicely formatted, with maps, reproductions of paintings and diagrams, a solid index, and a terrific set of resources listed in the end pages. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Elizabeth I is a towering figure in both British and world history, and this book does a good job of explaining why. Although she has an era named after her, and is credited with forging a new identity for her people, Elizabeth herself was shaped and directed by circumstances beyond her control: religious conflicts, political machinations, and a new colonial impetus. Hollihan investigates all of these factors, with the changing religious landscape given the greatest prominence. Elizabeth's own story is often explained in religious terms; the description of her life of service to her country sounds very much like a nun's devotion to the Church. And despite constant references to Shakespeare, the most prominent and complex relationships portrayed are those that the queen had with her half sister Mary Tudor and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. The writing is clear and suited to readers with no previous knowledge of the topic. The activities vary in difficulty, from reading The Faerie Queen, to creating a family coat of arms, to growing a knot garden. The book is well illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of portraits, engravings, and paintings depicting major events in the Tudors' lives. A list of resources includes books, websites, and even tourist sites. This well-organized book succeeds at being interesting and scholarly at the same time.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

Biographical narrative combines with activities to bring good Queen Bess to life, with mixed results.

Queen Elizabeth's reign, like Shakespeare's theater, was high drama, and during that reign the tiny island nation of England rose in stature among world powers. It was the Age of Exploration, the era of the Reformation, a time of drama in politics, in the church and on the high seas. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, but the king longed for a boy, an heir to the throne, and Henry's divorces and multiple marriages in pursuit of a male heir caused much political and religious unrest. Elizabeth's 45-year reign, though, was long and strong, as she made little England a military power and cultural giant. Billed as an "interactive biography," this attractive entry in the For Kids series offers 21 activities to supplement the text and provide a sense of what Elizabethan England was all about, but there is a disconnect between the challenging, dense historical narrative and the activities, which include carving turnips, dancing courtly dances, singing madrigals and munching on marzipan. The many illustrations, maps, sidebars and the descriptions of activities accomplish what the text, as well written as it is, may not, by enlivening the volume and offering parents and teachers a way to make the era come alive.

A very qualified success. (timeline, bibliography, index)(Biography. 9 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569763490
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Series: For Kids Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 528,200
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kerrie Logan Hollihan is the author of Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids and Theodore Roosevelt for Kids, and has written for Boy’s Life magazine and Bird Watcher’s Digest.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating History of the Life and Times of Queen Elizabeth I

    Elizabeth I, The People's Queen, is a well-documented biography of one of the most famous figures in English history. The world of Elizabeth was frought with turmoil. It was a time of bitter fighting between Pretestants and Catholics. Elizabeth was alsways on the watch for traitors and those who wished to end her life.

    Author Kerrie Logan Hollihan, does a wonderful job in not only presenting the facts, but also giving readers a real sense of what it was like to live in those times. As expected, there is a lot of information about Elizabeth. There is also information about other historical figures such as William Shakespeare, Mary, Queen of Scots, Henry VIII, Frances Drake, and Walter Raleigh. Ms. Hollihan is very thorough in providing the full picture of England during the Elizabethan period.

    Other interesting features in the book include the 21 activities that kids can try at home. My personal favorites are growing a knot garden and stitching a blackwork flower. The book has numerous photographs which give an excellent visual picture of the people and events of the time.

    Elizabeth I, the People's Queen, is an excellent resource for teachers and students who wish to learn about the life and times of Queen Elizabeth I. I highly recommend it.

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