Nine Days a Queen by Ann Rinaldi (Published by HarperTeen, January 18, 2005)
Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days at the age of fifteen before being executed for treason, narrates her story beginning at age nine. Unloved by her parents, young Jane had an unhappy and lonely childhood. Sent to court at age nine, she finally gained happiness as a maid of honor to Queen Katharine, wife of King Henry VIII. After the king dies, Jane remains a member of Katharine's household, but even that happiness is lost when Katharine dies in childbirth after remarrying.
Returning home, Jane must once again endure her parents' cruelty, as they scheme to arrange a marriage for her that will bring them wealth and power. But when the young King Edward, Jane's beloved cousin, dies, Jane is unprepared for how far they will go. Staunch Protestants, Jane's parents are determined that Edward's Catholic half-sister Mary will not become queen -- and so they force their daughter to accept the crown of England in a plot that is doomed to failure.
This was an excellent historical novel for teens that tells the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey. I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I love historical novels about royalty, and Ann Rinaldi is one of my favorite authors. I am happy to say I am not disappointed at all. Ann Rinaldi brings Jane to life as an intelligent girl, observant and wise beyond her years, who against her will became a pawn in a power struggle she wanted no part in. This makes the inevitably sad ending even more tragic. Teen readers who are interested in the Tudor era, or who enjoy historical fiction, should definitley read this book.