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Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, France, 1553 (The Royal Diaries)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,656 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Readers take a step back in time to 16th-century France in this year-long diary of adolescent Mary, Queen of Scots, who has fled from homeland to the Court of her betrothed in France.

Mary is only nine months old when she is crowned Queen of Scotland succeeding her father King James V. Because of political conflicts, she is forced to be separated from her mother and her cou
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published May 1st 2002 by Scholastic (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Kelsey Hanson
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
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.
Carrie Slager
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Carlyn Brody
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
Linda Lipko
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
Jinny (
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
Ana Mardoll
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
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
Ellie Tautges
It was a great book! I would definitely recommend it if you learned or liked Mary, Queen of Scots. I'm not quite sure when I finished reading the book: it was probably in 2005 or 2006 (I was probably 13 or 14)but overall, it was a great book! :)
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
it was OK, but boring and felt a little inaccurate. I think there is a better time in Mary's life to write about.
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
Girls who like historical fiction will like this, as it focuses on Mary Stuart's childhood in the French court. A bit lacking in plot, but still a fun read.
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.
I loved this peek into the life of a very well-known woman of history. A woman who was crowned queen as an infant, betrothed at the age of 4, and separated from her mother at the age of 5 to grow up in a foreign country.

This series is so good for girls! It highlights how many of the strong women in our history may have been as children and young women - the things that may have helped shape them into the leaders that they later became.
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.
Well i felt that this book was accurate in the historical back round, and the characters were well developed. However I was disappointed because the conflict and purpose of the book really wasn't strong at all. Mary Queen of Scots was murdered and in History had a strong want to murder her cousin Elizabeth and become Queen of great Britain.
In the book, Mary was simply just a child with no purpose.
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.
Jenna Leigh
A very quick read, and an interesting take on Mary's story. Mary, Queen of Scots' life was extremely fascinating, and to take it and make it a little more relatable for a kid by giving her a childhood diary is kind of neat.

Parent's note: one of the characters is repeatedly sexually harassed by another character, and Henry II's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, is a major character in the story.
I thought that this book was pretty boring. It can't actually have been her diary or there wouldn't be an author's name. Did they REALLY have invisible powders back then? Whatever. I wouldn't really recommend this book. It is boring. Although, I do appreciate the historical aspect behind it and I did learn some things about Mary, Queen of Scots, but I'm not sure that it is all true.
Shannon Renee
It feels like I have read so many in this series, but suprisingly its not getting old. I really liked the presentation of the book. I must admit, I didn't know much about Mary Queen of Scots. She really didn't make my radar. But I liked learning about her, and (as I anticipated her tragic end). Excellent writing. Lasky does an awesome job in series. Her books seem mopre realistic.
I liked this book because it talks a lot about the spying methods used in those days. It also talks about how much Mary misses her mother and Scotland. There is a lot of adventure in this story too, so that adds to my like list of it. I pity Mary, but I think that she didn't do that great a job of ruling Scotland when she wasolder. I wouldn't want ot end being beheaded.
Oct 01, 2008 Ellyn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ellyn by: Mom bought it for me
I actually read this book in one day. It is wonderful! I actually think that all of the Royal Diaries books and Dear America books are wonderful! it is not a little teeny book, but if you have a rainy day that all you want to do is read a book, you can read it in one day. I also like the fact that it's learning history while enjoying it! (I don't like history)
One of many named Mary, She was the mother of James I. This gives an idea of what her life might have been like as a youth growing up away from her parents. She loved riding and hawking. A devout Catholic, she was tolerant of Protestantism and also Jews, a rare thing in those times. She tried to take the throne from Elizabeth, failed and was beheaded.
Maya CLC
I like this books because they give you an day in the life of the person and they are very quick reads. They can be a bit slow because of the form they are written in (I think) and sometimes not much seems to happen. However, the stories are creative with commentary from the main character as well as describing important things in the lives of these people.
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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
  • Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria - Hungary, 1853
  • Kristina: The Girl King, Sweden, 1638
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889 (Royal Diaries #7)
  • Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595 (Royal Diaries #6)
  • Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea, A.D. 595
  • Weetamoo: Heart of the Pocassets, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 1653
  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531 (Royal Diaries #8)
  • Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490
  • Valley of the Moon: The Diary of María Rosalía de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta Valley, California, 1846, (Dear America)
  • A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska, Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 (Dear America)
  • West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
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 lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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
The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #1) The Journey (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #2) The Rescue (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #3) The Siege (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #4) The Burning (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #6)

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