by Ann Rinaldi
So many little girls wish to be a princess–who wouldn’t want all those gowns, sparkling jewels, and your own horse? The Redheaded Princess shows readers what the royal life was really like. The story begins when Elizabeth is around 3, and ends when she ascends the throne to become Queen of England. Even as a young child, Elizabeth wanted to be queen and did everything in her power to become the monarch. Her father, Henry VIII, didn’t treat Elizabeth as a daughter, but as a possible heir. She spent time at court, then was sent back to Hatfield Estate when she was considered a threat. She was tutored by classical scholars, instructed in court manners, but most of all she studied how her father retained power. Rinaldi gives us plenty of historical fact and royal ambiance, but doesn’t skimp on the dangerous intrigue surrounding the royal family. Elizabeth is a sympathetic character; her sister Mary is portrayed as insane. Recommended for upper elementary for mature themes.
reviewed by Victoria