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The Redheaded Princess: A Novel Hardcover – January 29, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


“The rich scene-setting and believable, appealing heroine will satisfy Rinaldi’s many fans” (Booklist (starred review))

“Fascinating...compelling and engaging.” (Detroit Free Press)

“Rinaldi knows how to tell a good story...entertaining.” (KLIATT)

“Believably depicted...Rinaldi’s writing style is accessible...enjoyable.” (School Library Journal)

“Fans of Rinaldi’s work will be happy with this book...the book is a treat.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

About 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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060733748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060733742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ANN RINALDI is an award-winning author best known for bringing history vividly to life. A self-made writer and newspaper columnist for twenty-one years, Ms. Rinaldi attributes her interest in history to her son, who enlisted her to take part in historical reenactments up and down the East Coast. She lives with her husband in central New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EssieGee on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This story begins in England in the year 1542, when Elizabeth is nine years old. Although she is the daughter of King Henry VIII, she is not officially recognized as a princess because she, along with her other half-siblings Edward and Mary have fallen out of their father's favor. Instead, she lives as Lady Elizabeth, head of the household at Hatfield with her nanny. Throughout her childhood she rarely visits her father at the palace.

Many people say that she is very much like her father; this pleases her, but also makes her uneasy. After all, King Henry beheaded her mother! Watching her father's relationships with so many women, Elizabeth learns that marriage while on the throne only seems to complicate things and vows to remain single when she eventually becomes queen.

However, this is easier said than done. From the age of eleven she begins receiving requests from men for her hand in marriage...and we must remember that Elizabeth is third--not first--in line for the crown behind her siblings. Not only must she cope with that, she must also stay in her family's favor as time goes on. She gets along fine with Edward when he is king, but she and Mary but heads over religion when Mary is queen. Mary gets so angry that she sends Elizabeth to the Tower because she won't bend to her will. How is Elizabeth able to survive until 1558, the year she is finally able to accept the crown as her own?

This is a good, fast-paced story told from Elizabeth's point of view. Ann Rinaldi does admit at the end that this is indeed her own interpretation of Elizabeth's story and that there are probably more accurate accounts out there, but that her goal was to make a fun book about an interesting historical figure based on historical events.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on July 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Historical fiction, especially concerning European royalty, is a popular genre but generally too bloody, racy or complicated for young readers. Ann Rinaldi's latest novel seeks to remedy that by telling a simplified yet dynamic version of England's Elizabeth I's life before her ascension to the throne.

THE REDHEADED PRINCESS starts when Elizabeth is just nine years old. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed upon her father Henry VIII's order. She lived in her own household far from her father and half-siblings. Younger brother Edward was in line to be king and did ascend while still a child, after Henry's death. Edward was sickly and all of Europe knew he would die young, leaving Mary to be queen. Mary, daughter of the Spanish Catherine of Aragon, was staunchly Catholic, even though her father had broken England's ties with the Roman Church. After Edward's death (and a brief rule by the teenage Jane Gray) and Mary's coronation, Mary and Elizabeth's respective factions battled for the crown. It was a time of confusing religious change and violence.

As long as Mary was queen, Elizabeth was unsafe; she was even imprisoned by her older sister. Yet those around her always told her she would be queen one day. And they were right.

Ann Rinaldi's story captures, in first-person narrative, Elizabeth's and England's uncertainty. In this version Elizabeth is less calculating than history tends to remember her. She is sometimes certain and sometimes unsure of herself, torn between love for her family and the desire to be on the throne. She is at once the beautiful, headstrong daughter of her mother and the powerful and confident daughter of her father.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on March 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Rinaldi's spectacular new book for young adults, she's moved beyond American history to British, and the tale of a young redheaded girl who yearned to be queen.

Despised by her father and sister, shoved aside by the nation's leaders, and motherless, young Elizabeth I grows up at her country estate where she learns from a young age the dangers of crossing paths with monarchs. She realizes that even though her sister and her brother stand between her and the Crown, she will one day be queen.

THE REDHEADED PRINCESS is her sharp, fast-paced, and beautifully wrought story of how that came to be.

Wonderfully detailed and breathtakingly accurate, this is perhaps the most engaging book that tells of Elizabeth's plights and triumphs.

Reviewed by: The Compulsive Reader
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Little ol me on July 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As an adult reading a young adult book I felt the need to address parents of the marketed age group for this book. If you look under the product details and book description areas above you will find that the book is written for children ages 8 and up. I would have to disagree and suggest the book be read by a mature older child of about 13 and up or more. While I do not wish to keep my child from reading about real life events or possible true events of history, I do believe there is a proper time for a child to read the contents of this book. For my child that would not be 8 years old. So this review is for the concerned parents who research book titles diligently before giving a book to their child to read.

My one star rating is for the way the book was poorly written, but also reflects appropriately for the content as well.

The book begins with the future Queen at 9 years old, and immediately discusses her illegitimate sister Mary. The story then goes right into the beheading of her mother Anne for adultery.

The book skips from nine and quickly at eleven years old she has a "fascination with Sir Thomas Seymour". Again the book quickly skips two years ahead and at thirteen she discusses Sir Thomas Seymour at forty years of age being attracted to Elizabeth who is not yet even fourteen years old. They discuss how he's been attracted to her for years. So she would have been eleven years old or less when this man was finding her attractive. (I guess back then they liked their women very young.) After this discussion, while Elizabeth is still not yet fourteen, she receives a proposal of marriage from Sir Thomas Seymour. She replies that she would need at least two years before even considering the marriage.
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