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Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country (The Royal Diaries)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  4,406 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
Mary, the young Scottish queen, is sent a diary from her mother in which she records her experiences living at the court of France's King Henry II as she awaits her marriage to Henry's son, Francis.
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Scholastic (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 20, 2010 Lina rated it did not like it
I read these books when I was little, so I have a very childish adoration for them. However, reading them now I am irritated with the historical inaccuracies since they help perpetuate the lack of knowledge having to do with history in general. MQoS is a very complex figure given a very anglo personality, when she was notoriously French. She reads like Elizabeth I, who the writer of this book wrote for. Despite that all, I was willing to ignore that since not a lot is know about certain figures ...more
Clare Holman-Hobbs
I think this is such a nice way to educate children on the day to day lives of Tudor monarchs and it was certainly very informative, even though it lacked in plot.

I was a bit confused as to the characterisation of the four Mary's. I was under the impression that Mary Livingston was full of life and sporty (hence the nickname Lusty), and not timid and shy as she is described. I'm sure it doesn't matter too much as the aim of the diary was well put across.
Watching the TV show Reign so I got to keep up on my historical fiction!

Plus, I loved Queen Elizabeth's historical fiction diary that Kathryn Lasky wrote.
Small Review
another solid installment in this series.

Originally posted on Small Review

I don't have much to say about this book. I read it a while back and then stalled on the review, to the point where I don't really remember all that much. Which, I guess, says a lot in and of itself. As an entry in The Royal Diaries series, this one isn't bad, but it didn't really stand out much either. Given their short length (made even shorter by the diary format and big historical notes section padding out the back en
The Story Girl
Feb 05, 2016 The Story Girl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 5-stars
I went back to the grove where we had our picnic. Alone, I attempted to listen to the sound of the water as it tumbled and the whisper of the leaves. I wanted to still time and for one minute try to hear the strange music of eternity, for I do believe that this is from what poetry is created -- lost moments recovered and made timeless.

Re-read this book after over a decade because I've been wanting to since the show Reign came out. I absolutely enjoyed this book, and it might be marketed as f
Kirsty Pearce
Jan 04, 2016 Kirsty Pearce rated it it was amazing
Oh the memories!! This book was primarily responsible for the beginning of my love for the historical enigma that is Mary, Queen of Scots. I especially enjoyed learning about the fascinating intrigues that made up the French court, how Catherine de Medici may have been perceived, and the tight friendships between both Mary and Francis, and Mary and her 'lucky four-leaf-clover' friends, all also called Mary. Well-written and engaging, I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in histor ...more
Nov 01, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I thought the story was all right if you don't mind your kids reading about adultery and sexual harassment. The Epilogue was poorly done, only 1/2 a page, mentioning the fact that Mary did marry Francis. Then it had a long paragraph about Mary's cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England. It mentioned nothing about the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots. Then I read the Life in France section and it explains the Reformation. Again, nothing about the fate of Mary. It isn't until you get to the Stuart family tr ...more
Kelsey Hanson
Dec 21, 2014 Kelsey Hanson rated it liked it
I had to study Mary Queen of Scots during my English lit courses and I must say that I find this period of history incredibly confusing (so many Marys) because of that this isn't my favorite Royal Diaries book, but it is still somewhat interesting to consider that these famous figures were children at one point and forced to grow up in a hurry for the sake of their country. The epilogue was so short given the historical influence she had so I felt a bit disappointed by the hurried way the book w ...more
Katherine (Fabled Haven)
May 31, 2014 Katherine (Fabled Haven) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
I remember reading this book for the first time in the fourth grade, and now they have a historical drama show called "Reign" based on her life. This, with the exception of Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, has always been my favorite book from The Royal Diaries series. Although I know that not everything is completely accurate, we were able to get a glimpse of how her life might have been, as well as understand many historical aspects of the book. Although this series may be targeted towards M ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Jennie
Cover Story: Ye'll Take the High Road, and I'll Take the Low Road
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: Gifted & Talented
Bonus Factors: Girl Posse, Nostradamus, Scotland
Anti-Bonus Factor: Sexual Assault
Relationship Status: Love Triangle

Read the full book report here.
Feb 17, 2017 Tally rated it really liked it
Re-read childhood favourite. Now that I've seen CW's Reign (and am on a bit of a Middle Ages European History kick) reading this is certainly entertaining and much easier to understand compared to when I was a child.
May 17, 2017 BriTheBookDragon rated it really liked it
I thought it was fascinating and intriguing as it had fact and fiction intertwined. It was absolutley brilliant, I think.
Caelegh Snow
Feb 10, 2017 Caelegh Snow rated it really liked it

Positive: A childhood favourite.

Olivia Williford (LivTheBookNerd)
I LOVED MARY SO MUCH! One of my all time favorites of the Royal Diaries that I read back in the day
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 Ana Mardoll rated it really liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Mary, Queen of Scots / 0-439-19404-0

This Royal Diary is, in many ways, one of the most touching entries in the series. Mary, the young Queen of Scotland, has been living in France, in a sort of 'pleasant' exile, far from her home, her country, and her loving mother. Bright, cheerful, and healthy, she frets for her young fiance, a sickly boy who she has come to regard as a friend, if not necessarily the most desirable of suitors. Though she is a Queen, she is without a court beyond her four deare
Carlyn Brody
Jan 26, 2014 Carlyn Brody rated it liked it
The Scholastic Royal Diaries series is a book series that I absolutely love. It is a fictional diaries of real princesses and noble ladies from the history. Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) became a queen of Scotland when she was a week old. Her father King James V passed away and she was his only child. Mary was betrothed at four to Francis, the son King Henry 2. The diary begins when Mary is eleven where she is living in the French court.

I feel that the book doesn’t have a strong story arc bec
Hannah Emory
My goodness, I forgot what a great story-crafter Kathryn Lasky is. I listened to an audiobook of her Royal Diaries book about Elizabeth I over and over again when I was a child and loved the fact that I didn't feel like I was a child listening to a middle-grade book; I felt like I was listening in on a real account of history and it was emboldening and exciting to have such a good story in my heart. Suffice it to say, I loved the Royal Diaries as a kid and Kathryn Lasky's Royal Diaries books in ...more
Jinny (Lost-At-Sea Book Reviews)
Mary, Queen of Scots is one of my favourite European queens so I was pretty excited to read this book that has a fictional account of her preteen years. I think the best way of summing up my reading experience with this book is that it was mildly interesting. My expectations were a little high, I suppose, especially since Mary is one of my favourites.

This book takes place during the part of Mary’s life when she is living in France with her betrothed, Francis, the crown prince of France. She is M
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Mary Queen of Scots was a fascinating historical figure and I think that in some ways, Queen Without a Country does her justice. On the other hand, objectively speaking, it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. I’ll talk about the latter first.

Throughout the whole book, Kathryn Lasky seemed to be trying to get at something, hinting at some greater meaning. Yet at the end of everything, all we see is a stereotypical, predictable ‘ending’ that shows Mary’s ingenuity but doesn’t leave the reader wit
Brye Williams
Nov 22, 2014 Brye Williams rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2017 Hilary rated it it was ok
Just felt like it never went anywhere important plot-wise.
Linda Lipko
Mar 01, 2011 Linda Lipko rated it liked it
This is a simple tale of a complex woman. There is nothing in depth about this book and I skimmed parts that seemed boring and trite.

Mary was six days old when her father, King James V of Scotland, died on the battlefield. At nine months of age, she was crowned queen of Scotland.

This book does not focus on the complexity of her tragic life, rather it reflects the time period when, as a very young child, she was sent to France to live in the court of King Henry II. An alliance was formed to wed M
Apr 01, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Mary became Queen of Scotland when she was just a baby, after the death of her father. But in a time where alliances among the powerful nations of Europe are important, Mary is sent away from her home at age five to live in the court of King Henry II of France, where she will be educated and live as one of the family until she old enough to marry Henry's son, Francis. The year is 1553, and Mary is eleven. She longs for her homeland, and for her mother, but is good friends with nine-year-old Fran ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, my-story
A very interesting read! Mary Queen of Scots is the diary of Queen Mary when she is about 11 or 12 to 13. She was crowned Queen of Scotland only 6 days after her birth and was to marry Francis the Dauphin of France since she was four. This book was brilliant! It opened my eyes to the early life of the young Queen. When I read To Kill A Queen I thought she deserved the fate she got but now I think she didn't deserve it now. A truly wonderful book for lovers of History! Everyone was a likeable cha ...more
I bought this for my daughter who is a pre-teen. I liked this a little better than the Catherine of Aragon one I just finished because this diary was from Mary herself rather than a maid (in Catherine's book). I think I would have found it more interesting if the diary was from later in her life but it was interesting to see the political and historical background that she grew up in, albeit a little "uncomplicated" - but such, this is a children's book and I think the level of detail is aimed a ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
One of the better books in the series. It's got everything a princess's diary should: balls, strong friendship with ladies-in-waiting, political conflict, bonding with a betrothed, travel to fabulous palaces, and courtly intrigue. I will warn you that there is sexual harassment depicted in this book towards the end. Minus points for the cop-out epilogue. You don't even find out Mary's true fate unless you read her tiny bio in the family tree or read a caption underneath one of the "additional in ...more
Meadow Frisbie
Feb 28, 2008 Meadow Frisbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: diary
July 12, 1554
I think hawking is one of the things Francis and I do se well together. Our instincts combined with those of the birds seem to fit perfectly when we are in the field. We speak very little to one another but silently give the calls to birds and perform our hand signals. This afternoon the two of us went out with only Robin McClean as our guard. And though as I took a rest on the ridge of a hill that there was something of perfect harmony amongst the three of us and birds we had broug
Middle of the road when it comes to the rest of the Royal Diaries series. It had great potential, but I found it to be quite repetitive in respects to Queen Catherine. I get it that it's supposed to show internal struggle to like a person who rubs you the wrong way, but when every entry flip flopped on her feelings towards Catherine, it became very annoying.
I found the epilogue and history to be quite bare compared to some of the other books that had much more information on the Queen/princess.
Katie Nanney
I liked this book because I love history and what historical figures were thinking at the time. This book makes Mary, Queen of Scots seem like a more an actual person and less like a historical character. I enjoyed reading about her life from her point of view. Although it is fiction, it does give a glimpse into what her life was like as a young girl. I probably recommend it for 4th grade and older.
Feb 11, 2012 Chrissy rated it really liked it
I have not had so much interest in the person of Mary Queen of Scots, but as a character the Mary in this novel was like a friend near and dear to my heart. I was touched by her homesickness, her missing her mother, her sense of duty, and her internal conflict between not liking certain people and still treating them as she would want to be treated.

Lasky has made a distant figure into an old friend. An Excellent job.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 14, 2015 07:17AM  
  • Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136
  • Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
  • Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
  • Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889 (Royal Diaries #7)
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  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
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  • Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalía de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
  • All the Stars in the Sky: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder (Dear America)
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.
She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15, The War of
More about Kathryn Lasky...

Other Books in the Series

The Royal Diaries (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 (Royal Diaries #1)
  • Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C. (Royal Diaries #2)
  • Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (Royal Diaries #3)
  • Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria - France, 1769 (Royal Diaries #4)
  • Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (Royal Diaries #5)
  • Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (Royal Diaries #6)
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889 (Royal Diaries #7)
  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
  • Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
  • Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595

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