Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey

Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey

by Ann Rinaldi
     
 

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I had freckles.

I had sandy hair. I was too short.

Would my feet even touch the ground if I sat on the throne?

These are the words of lady Jane Grey, as imagined by celebrated author Ann Rinaldi. Jane would become Queen of England for only nine days before being beheaded at the age of sixteen.

Here is a breathtaking story of English royalty with its

Overview

I had freckles.

I had sandy hair. I was too short.

Would my feet even touch the ground if I sat on the throne?

These are the words of lady Jane Grey, as imagined by celebrated author Ann Rinaldi. Jane would become Queen of England for only nine days before being beheaded at the age of sixteen.

Here is a breathtaking story of English royalty with its pageantry, privilege, and surprising cruelty. As she did in her previous novel Mutiny's Daughter, Ms. Rinaldi uses powerful, evocative writing to bring to life a teenage girl caught in the grip of stirring times.

Ages 12+

Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The combination of pageantry and maneuvering will likely appeal to fans of historical romance."
Dallas Morning News
“Powerfully written in the first person, this well-researched historical novel is extraordinary.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“This novel is a must for history lovers but still relates to teenagers of today.”
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"This novel is a must for history lovers but still relates to teenagers of today."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The combination of pageantry and maneuvering will likely appeal to fans of historical romance.”
VOYA
Rinaldi introduces readers to a tragic figure in British history, bringing her to life in an approachable and readable format. Born into a life of luxury with close family ties to the throne of England, Jane is nine years old when she is sent to live in the household of Henry VIII and his last wife, Katherine Parr. She becomes close friends, studies, and plays with his children, Edward VI and the Princesses Elizabeth and Mary. When Henry dies, Edward becomes king, but his reign is brief, cut off by his death at a very young age. Different political interests intervene in the succession to the throne during the tumultuous time, and Lady Jane, now fifteen, is declared queen. Although she believes that Elizabeth and Mary are the true heirs, Lady Jane is forced into the uncomfortable and dangerous situation by her family and new husband. When Mary finally wages her successful fight to regain the throne, Jane, her husband, and many others involved in the plot are tried for treason and sentenced to death. Held captive for more than a year in the Tower of London, she remains confident that her childhood friendship with Mary and her loyalty will gain her a reprieve, but she is executed nonetheless. What makes this story powerful is Jane's enduring hope and resilience. Rinaldi gives Jane a strong teenage voice through the diary format. Interesting historical, cultural, and social details add much to her captivating saga. A family tree and time line would have been an asset. Readers who enjoy the Royal Diaries series of Caroline Meyer's Doomed Queen Anne (Harcourt, 2002/VOYA December 2002) and Mary, Bloody Mary (1999/VOYA February 2000) will appreciate this title. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better thanmost, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, HarperCollins, 192p., and PLB Ages 11 to 14.
—Eileen Kuhl
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Great-granddaughter of Henry VII and cousin to King Henry VIII's children Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey was fifth in line to the throne but never wanted to reign. At age nine, she was sent to court to be a companion to Katharine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife, and, after the king's death, she continued to live with Katharine and her new husband Sir Thomas Seymour. Lady Jane became a pawn in the complex game of political maneuvers, until, with the death of King Edward VI, she was forced to accept the throne as a move to block Mary and her Catholic supporters. When Mary's right to the throne was recognized, she had 16-year-old Jane beheaded. This story would be an interesting companion to Carolyn Meyer's Mary, Bloody Mary (1999) and Beware, Princess Elizabeth (2001, both Harcourt), which relate similar history from different perspectives. Rinaldi tells Lady Jane's story in the first person, but the narrative reads more like a catalog of events than an intensely dramatic novel. Readers who are familiar with the time period will appreciate the treatment that this little-covered piece of history receives, but other readers may be confused by the multitude of characters, all of whom come and go rather quickly. The author's note states that she fictionalized some events for the sake of the story and interpreted others to tighten her plot. Readers would benefit from a note to explain more of the facts and perhaps clarify what was fictionalized.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Writing in whiny first person (although she was beheaded at 16, after all), Rinaldi tells the tale of Lady Jane Grey, a pawn in the machinations of her parents and others to keep the throne of England from falling into the hands of Catholic Mary after the death of young Edward, son of Henry VIII. Jane is shuttled from court to noble house, escaping her own home often as was the custom, although kept with tutors and attendants. She was well-educated and aware of the complexities of her position. An author's note insists that the "historical line of events" is true, but there are annoying lapses into contemporary language and concepts, and while Rinaldi mentions the number of Protestants burned under Mary, she doesn't mention the number of Catholics put to death under Elizabeth. Readers hungry for historical drama may take to this, but it lacks warmth, energy, passion, or resonance. (Historical fiction. 10-14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The combination of pageantry and maneuvering will likely appeal to fans of historical romance.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060549251
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/31/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
383,625
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Ann rinaldi is known by her many fans for her richly satisfying historical fiction. Eight of her novels have been named ALA Best Books for Young Adults, including Time Enough For Drums, The Last Silk Dress, A Break With Charity, and Wolf By the Ears. Author of more than thirty books for young readers, including a book in the Dear America series, she was awarded the National History Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She lives in Somerville, New Jersey.

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