As many of you who follow my blog know, I *love* historical fiction. And I love to spread the word about great historical fiction I have enjoyed or heard about. So I've decided to do a new monthly feature for my blog. Each month, I will pick a different historical era I have enjoyed reading about, and include a list of middle grade and young adult historical fiction titles set during that time period. For my first post, I will be listing books set in the Tudor era.
The Tudor era is one of my favorite time periods to read about. There was lots of drama with the ruling Tudor family, and many important events happened during this time period - the writing of Shakespeare's plays and the first theaters in London, the beginning of British colonization in the New World, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and others. So it's an era rich in historical figures and events, perfect for historical fiction.
I will be separating my list into two categories - middle grade, and young adult. I will be posting about a different historical era each month, so if you have any particular time periods you'd like to read about, be sure to leave a comment with your suggestions!
The Lady Grace Mysteries series: Set in the court of Elizabeth I. Grace Cavendish, a young Maid of Honor and goddaughter to the Queen, writes in her diary about the happenings at court and the many mysteries she helps solve. The books in the series are: Assassin, Betrayal, Conspiracy, Deception, Exile, Gold, Haunted, Intrigue, Feud, Jinx, Keys, and Loot.
My Story: The Bloody Tower: A Tudor Girl's Diary by Valerie Wilding: Tilly lives in turbulent times. It's the 1550s; when Queen Mary ousts Lady Jane Grey to win the throne, her executioners are kept busy. Even Princess Elizabeth is imprisoned in the Tower. As Tilly watches the plots and politics of the Tudor court unfolding, she waits for her chance to deliver a very important letter...
My Story: To Kill a Queen: An Elizabethan Girl's Diary by Valerie Wilding (previously published as The Queen's Spies): It's the 1580s. Queen Elizabeth's enemies plot to kill her and place Mary Queen of Scots on the throne. While Kitty's father works on secret projects for Elizabeth, her brother's mixing with suspicious characters. As Mary's supporters edge closer by the minute, Kitty fears the worst ... that they'll all be thrown into the Tower.
My Story: My Tudor Queen by Alison Prince: It is 1501 and Eva is making the greatest trip of her life - from Spain to London as lady-in-waiting to the Spanish bride of Arthur, Prince of Wales, Catherine of Aragon. But Prince Arthur does not have long to live. What will happen to Catherine, his new wife, then?
My Story: Anne Boleyn and Me by Alison Prince: The diary of Elinor Valjean, the daughter of Eva from My Tudor Queen, who grows up at court and later becomes a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky: In a series of diary entries, Princess Elizabeth, the eleven-year-old daughter of King Henry VIII, celebrates holidays and birthdays, relives her mother’s execution, revels in her studies, and agonizes over her father’s health.
Swan Town: The Secret Journal of Susanna Shakespeare by Michael J. Ortiz: Restricted by the authorities from practicing Catholicism and forbidden by her parents from seeing a Puritan boy, Susanna, the daughter of William Shakespeare, vents her anger by writing in a journal and composing a play.
Girls of Many Lands: Isabel: Taking Wing by Anne Dalton: In 1592, twelve-year-old Isabel dreams of adventure and finds it, not only on her journey from her London home to her aunt’s manor house in Northamptonshire, but also through the healing arts her aunt teaches her.
Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman: In 1573, the crippled, scorned, and destitute Meggy Swann goes to London, where she meets her father, an impoverished alchemist, and eventually discovers that although her legs are bent and weak, she has many other strengths.
Wicked Will by Bailey McDonald: Performing in the English town of Stratford-on-Avon in 1576, a young actress (disguised as a boy) and a local lad named Will Shakespeare uncover a murder mystery.
The Horse from the Sea by Victoria Holmes: In 1588 in western Ireland, fourteen-year-old Nora risks her own life to rescue a boy and a stallion from a Spanish vessel shipwrecked on the beach.
The Secret of the Rose by Sarah L. Thomson: When her father is imprisoned in 1592 England for being Catholic, fourteen-year-old Rosalind disguises herself as a boy and finds an ultimately dangerous job as servant to playwright Christopher Marlowe.
Lady Jane Grey: Queen for Sale by Caroline Corby: Novel about the childhood and brief reign of Lady Jane Grey. (to be published in July 2010)
Nine Days a Queen by Ann Rinaldi: Lady Jane Grey, who at sixteen was Queen of England for nine days before being executed, recounts her life story from the age of nine.
The Nine Days Queen by Karleen Bradford: Fifteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for only nine days before being found guilty of treason. Guilty, even though she had never wanted to become Queen. Now she faces the executioner’s axe. Will anyone come forward to save her?
Raven Queen by Pauline Francis: Another novel of Lady Jane Grey's tragic life.
A World Away by Pauline Francis: A novel of the lost colony of Roanoke, told from the alternating points of view of two teenagers, an English boy and a Native girl.
The King's Rose by Alisa M. Libby: Catharine Howard recounts the events in her life that led to her being groomed for marriage at the age of fifteen to King Henry VIII, her failure to produce an heir to the throne, and her quick execution.
The Redheaded Princess by Ann Rinaldi: In 1542, nine-year-old Lady Elizabeth lives on an estate near London, striving to get back into the good graces of her father, King Henry VIII, and as the years pass she faces his death and those of other close relatives until she finds herself next in line to ascend the throne of England in 1558.
Patience, Princess Catherine by Carolyn Meyer: In 1501 fifteen-year-old Catharine of Aragon arrives in England to marry Arthur, the eldest son of King Henry VII, but soon finds her expectations of a happy settled life radically changed when Arthur unexpectedly dies and her future becomes the subject of a bitter dispute between the kingdoms of England and Spain.
Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer: After the death of her father, King Henry VIII, in 1547, thirteen-year-old Elizabeth must endure the political intrigues and dangers of the reigns of her half brother Edward and her half sister Mary before finally becoming Queen of England eleven years later.
Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer: In 1520, thirteen-year-old Anne Boleyn, jealous of her older sister’s beauty and position at court, declares that she will one day be queen of England, and that her sister will kneel at her feet.
Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer: Mary Tudor, who would reign briefly as Queen of England during the mid sixteenth century, tells the story of her troubled childhood as daughter of King Henry VIII.
Shakespeare's Apprentice by Veronica Bennett: The year is 1598. Sam Gilburne is an apprentice actor and member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, appearing in the roles created by famous playwright William Shakespeare. While onstage, Sam notices the lovely Lady Lucie Cheetham, niece of Lord Essex, a favourite of Queen Elizabeth. The two meet on several occasions and begin to fall in love. But when Lord Essex is convicted of treason and sent to the Tower, there are repercussions for his whole family. Can Sam save Lucie? And can they really have a life together though Sam is merely a lowly actor?
Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer: In Stratford-upon-Avon in the sixteenth century, Anne Hathaway suffers her stepmother’s cruelty and yearns for love and escape, finally finding it in the arms of a boy she has grown up with, William Shakespeare.
The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley: After the death of her foster mother, sixteen-year-old Kat goes to London to seek the answers to her parentage, and surprisingly finds herself invited into Queen Elizabeth’s court.
The Counterfeit Princess by Jane Resh Thomas: Vowing revenge when her parents are executed in 1553 by the Duke of Northumberland, teenaged Iris becomes a messenger, spy, and stand-in for Princess Elizabeth during the volatile political times surrounding Edward VI’s death.
The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen: The servants call it the Lady Tower: the isolated part of the castle where Eleanor's mother is imprisoned after a terrible accusation. For four years Eleanor's only comfort has been their secret notes to one another. A chance discovery reveals a plot to murder her mother. Now Eleanor must free her before it is too late. But with danger and betrayal at every turn, she can trust no one. Especially not her father. Eleanor must use all her cunning to survive. For she soon realises that it is not just her mother she needs to save . . . but also herself.
A Sweet Disorder by Jacqueling Kolosov: Sixteen-year old Miranda has no idea how much her life is going to change upon hearing the news of her father's death. Left with little dowry to offer, Miranda faces a broken engagement, and is sent to live with her father's cousin, the Count John Hardwood, and his wife whose primary goal is to take her to Court and marry her off to the insufferable Lord Seagrave for their own profit.
The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov: Orphaned as a young girl because of the imprudent marriage of her mother, Queen Katherine Parr, Mary Seymour vows never to fall in love-and under no circumstances will she marry. Lady Strange, her mysterious guardian, offers the young woman an extraordinary alternative to marriage: Mary is to become a white magician who will join Queen Elizabeth's court and ensure the success of the Virgin Queen's reign.
At the House of the Magician by Mary Hooper: Lucy has been forced to run away from home as she fears for her safety from her drunken father. She is taken on as a maid at the house of Dr Dee, court magician, upon whom Elizabeth I relies heavily, even down to advising the date of her coronation. The household is strange and sinister, and Lucy has a nose for intrigue ...And she has more than enough to satisfy her: Lucy stumbles across a plot to assassinate the queen and has to find means to warn her...
By Royal Command by Mary Hooper: Lucy has become a firm fixture in the household of Dr Dee, a real-life figure who was court magician to Queen Elizabeth 1. Lucy, in return for saving the queen's life, has been told that she is to work as a spy for Her Grace and that she is to remain with the Dee family and await further instruction ...And then Lucy hears unexplained cries in the Dee house, and finds a young girl imprisoned there. What is Dr Dee doing? Lucy means to find out.
The Betrayal by Mary Hooper: In this final volume, Lucy is asked to continue her work on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. And her romance with Tomas, the queen's fool, seems to be flourishing - or it is until Mistress Juliette, the new lady-in-waiting, arrives and Tomas pays her far too much attention for Lucy's liking. But then Lucy realises that Juliette is telling lies and is not what she appears to be. Lucy fears for the safety of the queen as there are always supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots who are willing to risk all. How will Lucy convince Tomas of her fears when he just teases her and tells her that she is simply jealous?
Tread Softly by Kate Pennington: Mary Devereux and her father, John, have been appointed to embroider a precious cloak for Walter Raleigh, ready for an invitation to Queen Elizabeth I's court. Each stitch carries Mary's dreams and longings as she gets to know the world of high society. Silently she observes gossip, ambition, dark secrets and high vanity and - on one fateful day - murder.
The Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris: When twelve-year-old Nicola leaves Troupe Brufort and serves as the fool for Mary, Queen of Scots, she experiences the political and religious upheavals in both France and Scotland.
Shakespeare's Daughter by Peter Hassinger: Susanna Shakespeare yearns to travel to London like her father, to experience the world of actors and poets and to follow her own dream of singing, a path usually followed only by men.
Raider's Tide by Maggie Prince: In 1578, a sixteen year old girl living near the Scottish border risks her life when she saves a young Scot and falls in love with him.
The North Side of the Tree by Maggie Prince: The sequel to Raider's Tide.
The Other Countess by Eve Edwards: England, 1582 ELLIE – Lady Eleanor Rodriguez of San Jaime – is in possession of a gold-seeking father, a worthless title and a feisty spirit that captivates the elite of the Queen’s court, and none other than the handsome new Earl of Dorset . . . WILLIAM LACEY has inherited his father’s title and his financial ruin. Now the Earl must seek a wealthy heiress and restore his family’s fortune. But Will’s head has been turned by the gorgeous Ellie, yet their union can never be. Will is destined to marry a worthy Lady so the only question is – which one . . . ? (to be published in July 2010)
Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein: A love story about a teenage girl who was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and travels to the New World to settle the "lost colony" of Roanoke. (to be published in Fall 2010)