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Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,969 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
I had freckles.
I had sandy hair. I was too short.
Would my feet even touch the ground if I sat on the throne?

These are the words of lady Jane Grey, as imagined by celebrated author Ann Rinaldi. Jane would become Queen of England for only nine days before being beheaded at the age of sixteen.

Here is a breathtaking story of English royalty with its pageantry, privilege, and
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 18th 2005 by HarperCollins
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Sep 20, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fiction
Cousin to the child King, Lady Jane Grey at a young age decided she would never want to be Queen. Watching her friends, her cousins, playing with them, she always knew she was fourth in line for the crown, but even with King Edward sick and dying she always thought Princess Mary would take the throne. Amazed to discover herself 15 years old, and left without anyone she could truly trust, her parents married her to Guildford Dudley and then thrust her on the throne and declared, after King Edward ...more
Feb 02, 2009 Katherina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It was very sad though.
Apr 04, 2011 Haley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this novel in record speed. I literally could not put it down and am thankful that it was relatively short, or I would have readily foregone experiencing my stay in London. It was an enjoyable coming-of-age read, though I’m not sure if it was the author’s doing or if it was just a fascinating story in and of itself to begin with. I found Lady Jane to be such an interesting character--not just a perpetual damsel in distress. She had an opinion and a voice unlike her generation. Her notions ...more
Dec 20, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have read a few Ann Rinaldi books, but this was not one of my favorites. I can't tell if it's because this is the first one I've read outside of my childhood or because I no longer care for her writing style. It has been a while since I've read anything of hers. I finished it through because this subject fascinates me, but the writing was just so-so and this was the first time that I didn't consider Jane Grey interesting at all. I think her narrative voice, the way Rinaldi wrote it, was very b ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for nine days before she lost her head. Literally. The reader gets a good idea of just how tenuous royal life was at the time, and just how many individuals were scheming and plotting behind the scenes to make sure that this or that person ended up in positions of power, even becoming King or Queen. There's really no winners, actually. Everybody pretty much loses in the end in this type of vicious chaos. Young people are used by adults ...more
"The short life and reign of Lady Jane Grey" sums up the book in one sentence. My only problem with the book, was the lack of mentioning what year they were in. I had to guess or search it on the Internet.
Jan 28, 2009 Jailynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dream of wanting to be a princess not so good. Little girls should be taught the truth, that it would be a nightmare.
Rebecca Cheng
The theme of this book is never trust anyone. This book is a fairly good book. The story is very sad but very true. The author was very detailed, almost too detailed. I often became confused on the characters or what was going on. Although, this book was still very addicting to read. The begining of the book was very slow. but about a quarter way in it progressed rapidly. The reader would always want to know what happened next to the poor Lady Jane Grey. This book is a very good Historical Fict ...more
Shannon Deep
Stuck to historical accuracy while also being emotionally engaging. Poor, poor Jane.
Emily Wahl
Feb 28, 2015 Emily Wahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book there is a girl named Jane Grey, she is a princess. Her mother and father want her to become a queen, and get married. But no one ever asked Jane if that is what she wanted to do with her life. Jane doesn't want to become a queen, nor get married but how could she say no knowing that her mother and father would do whatever it takes to make her queen. If she does be queen, and she does one wrong move she could get beheaded, that is just one of the many problem why she doesn't want to ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Devon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nine Days a Queen was a surprisingly good read. Typically the idea of reading a historical novel is enough to put one to sleep, but this book flowed nicely throughout its entirety. Lady Jane Grey tells the story of her death, which seems absurd to hear a story from a dead person, but it somehow works for this novel. It was a concept that I did not even consider until the end, but still was not bothered by it. Lady Jane is manipulated and controlled her entire life by her friends and family to be ...more
Just the other day, this little book on Tudor England in the juvenile fiction department of the library called out to me. It’s not a genre I particularly read, but since I was on the heels of having completed Bring Up the Bodies, what was I to do?!

It’s a sad, often times, heart-wrenching story about the young, tragic life of Lady Jane Gray, who inherited the throne after King Edward’s death. Jane was his second cousin and she tells the story.

She ruled England for nine days at the age of fifteen.
Colin Smith
Rinaldi does a good job of conjuring up the atmosphere of the period in this retelling of the sad story of Lady Jane Grey. She tells the story from Jane's perspective, and keeps by-and-large to the historical facts, with necessary embellishments and invention given that this is a novel, not a history book. Not to say that students of the period wouldn't benefit from reading this book. Dry historical accounts rarely do a good job of putting you in the mind of those who lived at the time. It takes ...more
Apr 05, 2011 Brenden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rinaldi’s Nine Days a Queen was pretty good. As a historical novel, I felt that Rinaldi did a magnificent job adhering to the facts and then, in her words, “fictionalized some of the events for the sake of the story, and interpreted others to tighten [the] plot.” Far from a “costume novel” this plot was directly tied to historical events. While the dialogue and some of the events were imagined by the author, I felt that she did all within her power to depict them as historically accurate as ...more
Carly Flamm
Nine Days a Queen
I simply could not get enough of this story and this book! I finished it in one evening, and was not ready to put it down. Young Jane Grey was just a pawn in a twisted game for power and the crown. Beaten to perfection and poise, and being betrayed by loved ones, she learned to trust no one as she grew closer in line to inherit the crown. She is forced to go to court, marry an unwanted suitor, and eventually take the crown. I became attached to Jane quickly, and found myself wor
Laura Garding
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is definitely a book that I plan on reading again. I thought that the story was very well written. It was very interesting and new things were always happening in Lady Jane Grey’s life. I was interested in the book the whole way through and I didn’t want to put it down. I for the most part, really enjoy historical fiction books. It is fun to learn about something that is real but to also have a fun story to go along with it that makes the history part of the bo ...more
Sara Turner
Apr 04, 2011 Sara Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Lady Jane Grey and her path to becoming Queen, for nine days. She is a young girl controlled by the adults around her because she has the potential and possibility of becoming the Queen of England, so a lot is expected of her. She is required to grow up quickly and ultimately, is forced to be the Queen causing upheaval in England from her cousins Elizabeth and Mary. Because of the tension, her reign is cut short.

Overall, I really enjoyed the way this book was written because
Jun 09, 2011 Alissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, this was going to be just another amazing Ann Rinaldi book to read. I was right, but I also learned a lot. After watch the movie, "The Other Boleyn Sister", I was kind of fascinated about the Tudors. I didn't know women could have such power over men that long ago. I had already learned about Henry VIII, and his many wives in school, but didn't know the real story about the beheading of Anne Boleyn. I also already knew about "Bloody Mary" and the great Queen Elizabeth I. This book helped ...more
This is the story of Jane Grey, the young girl who was made queen of England through the political machinations of her father-in-law, but only lasted for nine days. She was eventually executed at the Tower of London. Even though I could tell you a lot of things that I didn't like about this book, overall I came away having really enjoyed it. It was a little sparse on character development, and made some huge assumptions about character motivation (although, I didn't mind since this is historical ...more
Sep 26, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days at the age of fifteen before being executed for treason, narrates her story beginning at age nine. Unloved by her parents, young Jane had an unhappy and lonely childhood. Sent to court at age nine, she finally gained happiness as a maid of honor to Queen Katharine, wife of King Henry VIII. After the king dies, Jane remains a member of Katharine's household, but even that happiness is lost when Katharine dies in childbirth after remarrying. R ...more
Jason Hamilton
I can't say that I cared much for this book. While there were a couple of strong points in the presentation of the politics and in the overall pacing of the plot, there were many elements that I thought did not fit well with the period the story takes place in. For instance, much of the language is simple as if the author tried to make it easier on the teenage readers, but mixed in with the simplicity are a number of references to the older speech used in the time period of Jane Gray sometimes s ...more
Corey Jensen
Nine Days a Queen, from a historical standpoint, does a great job at letting young reader's get to know the life and story of Lady Jane Grey. The vocabulary of the book is simple and easy to understand. The historical figures are well introduced and laced throughout the story. The known event's of Jane's life are all included, including her high morals and her Protestant viewpoint. So, if you are looking to read the book simply for a history lesson, you will get it. The reason why I gave this bo ...more
Alison Roybal
Nine Days a Queen is a historical fiction about Lady Jane Grey - we see her as she grows from childhood and advances into young womanhood and eventually Queen. For nine days, quite obviously. This historical novel was quite the page turner. I believe that, had I read it as a young teenager, it would have become one of my favorites. As it is, I am no longer in those years, but I still found the novel as a whole enjoyable and a quick easy read. Lady Jane Grey is a very relatable character for youn ...more
Spring Pierson
This was easily my favorite of the books we have read thus far in this class. Ann Rinaldi did a great job of simply telling the story. She was able to write the book in a way that would surely captivate young readers, and that kept my attention as well. This book was an easy read, which I appreciated. “Nine Days A Queen” had the perfect balance of love, challenge, reality, and entertainment. Courage was certainly a prominent theme in this story. Jane was constantly being told to “be brave”. At t ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nine Days a Queen follows the short life and reign of Lady Jane Grey. The book is told in first person as she grows up in the court of King Henry VIII and the course of events which lead her to be crowned the Queen of England. Although the first person narration makes for obvious flaws in the end of the book, it allows for genuine character connection. For being such a light, quick read, I was surprised at how deeply Nine Days a Queen impacted me. I was not expecting something so historically en ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This dramatic novel of historical fiction opens in 1537. Lady Jane Grey, the great-granddaughter of King Henry VII, is fifth in line for the English throne. Jane grows up in luxury, but her politically ambitious parents (the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk), make her life miserable;they are predators who pursue wealth, power and successful people.Jane is asked to the court of King Henry VIII (married to his sixth wife, Katherine Parr). Katherine makes Jane feel welcome.

After King Henry's death, Jane
Bridget R. Wilson
Jane is mistreated by her parents. Beaten when she doesn't obey. They have an agenda: they want to see Jane married to the King's son. The power and influence of their family will then be secure. Jane becomes a mere pawn in a game of power. She tries to assert herself, but fails. Through the ill-guided endeavours of her power-hungry family, Jane looses her head (literally).

What I thought: If you've ever seen the 1986 film Lady Jane, Rinaldi's superbly researched account of Jane Grey's life will
Jan 23, 2011 Kaylee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rinaldi's Nine Days A Queen is a wonderful book that captures a real-life story on a very personal level. It is told through the eyes of Jane Grey, a young woman who lived as the Queen of England for just over a week. The story includes her personal beliefs, views, worries, and troubles as she watches all around her fight for power and use her in their struggle for the Kingdom. Executed at just 15, Jane is a Queen who has always had sympathy from those who know her story. However, what she w ...more
Lindsay Robertson
This novel follows the brief history of Lady Jane Gray. She was born in 1537 England and was cousin to the future King Edward VI. The story picks up when Lady Jane is summoned as a nine-year-old to live at court with King Henry VIII and Lady Catherine. There she becomes acquainted with the nuances of a royal life, which is a good thing seeing as she is fourth in line for the throne and the King's health is failing him. Jane discovers from living in the palace that she has no desire to be queen, ...more
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Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis ...more
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