by Kathryn Lasky, published 2002
“There was a soft chorus of ayes, and the three other Marys dropped to their knees and vowed as well to follow me through tumult and repose and never to marry until I have so done. Did any person have a luckier charm than these four steadfast friends?”
I stumbled onto this children’s book because of the subtitle, Queen without a Country, France, 1553, and discovered much to my delight that this is one of many in a series called The Royal Diaries. What an absolutely fabulous way to learn history. Reading a diary is always fun, and even more so when it chronicles history, making the history come alive in a way that dry facts never could. Knowing nothing myself about Mary, Queen of Scots other than that I had heard of her, it was so informative to read of her early life. The diary ends before her tragic and stupid demise because of some political motives. However, one gets the sense of who she was and what royal life must have been like. Even more fun for young girls is the idea that a young girl would have been queen already. Talking about setting high goals!
The writing is simple, and the point of view is a young girl, so it’s perfect for the 9-12 year old, although I don’t really know where in a curriculum children might study this particular era. This children’s book also contains useful factual information at the back, including family trees and the historical ending. I look forward to reviewing other Royal Diaries in the future.