Friday, January 20, 2012
The Redheaded Princess by Ann Rinaldi
The Redheaded Princess by Ann Rinaldi (HarperCollins, 2008)
Summary from publisher:
Growing up, Elizabeth fears she can never be Queen. Although she is the King's daughter, no woman can ever hope to rule over men in England, especially when her mother has been executed for treason.
For all her royal blood, Elizabeth's life is fraught with danger and uncertainty. Sometimes she is welcome in the royal court; other times she is cast out into the countryside. With her position constantly changing, the Princess must navigate a sea of shifting loyalties and dangerous affections. At stake is her life -- for beheading is not uncommon among the factions that war for the Crown.
Time was, I bought and devoured every book Ann Rinaldi wrote. Then I did a reality check on my classroom library and discovered it was quite historical-fiction heavy. I made it a point to read a wider variety of books, and Ann Rinaldi slipped off of my radar. I'm SO GLAD I picked up this book. Rinaldi is still as wonderful as I remember, and the life of Queen Elizabeth I has always intrigued me.
In The Redheaded Princess, Rinaldi focuses on Elizabeth's life as a young girl and teen. While this is a story that has been told over and over again, Rinaldi brings her own special touch to the story. Written in first person, the reader is quickly drawn into the intrigues and conflicts of Tudor England. Young readers who might not know as much about this time period will not get lost in the story, as Rinaldi gives enough detail to make sure the reader understands what is going on.
One of the things I love about Ann Rinaldi is that her protagonists are strong young women who make a difference. That is certainly the case here. I can't wait to hand this book to my fifth grade daughter and then talk to her about what she might learn from Princess Elizabeth. I'm sure she'll come up with a thing or two.
Girls who love historical fiction will certainly love The Redheaded Princess!