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

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,034 Ratings  ·  196 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
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 31st 2006 by HarperCollins (first published January 18th 2005)
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Sep 20, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 30, 2009 Katherina rated it it was amazing
I loved it. It was very sad though.
Dec 20, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2011 Haley rated it really liked it
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
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
"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.
Sep 25, 2008 Jailynn rated it really liked it
The dream of wanting to be a princess not so good. Little girls should be taught the truth, that it would be a nightmare.
Shannon Deep
Jan 17, 2016 Shannon Deep rated it really liked it
Stuck to historical accuracy while also being emotionally engaging. Poor, poor Jane.
Oct 05, 2016 Hanna added it
*SPOILER ALERT* Lady Jane Grey was a nine year old girl living with her parents, who were the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. She also had two little sisters, Catherine and Mary. Her life was always criticized by her mother. Jane loved to read, and was a very smart girl for her age of only nine, but the way she was taught was the way she had to do things. She was not treated very well, her parents were the ones that harmed her in any way. One day the messenger came to give her parents something fro ...more
The English court was a dangerous place in the 1500s - lots of heads became separated from necks for what seemed like minor issues to me, and poor Lady Jane Grey was caught up in the intrigues of powerful men through no fault of her own.

I suppose growing up in this sort of environment may force someone to mature more quickly than growing up in the 20th and 21st centuries, however I couldn’t quite believe some of the maturity attributed to Jane, especially even before she became a teenager - at
Colin Smith
Apr 07, 2012 Colin Smith rated it liked it
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
Feb 19, 2013 Tonya rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 01, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 03, 2011 Maddy rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 09, 2011 Alissa rated it liked it
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
Apr 05, 2011 Brenden rated it it was ok
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
Jan 25, 2011 Carly Flamm rated it liked it
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
Spring Pierson
Apr 04, 2011 Spring Pierson rated it it was ok
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
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
Jun 04, 2011 Catherine rated it liked it
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
Alison Roybal
May 05, 2011 Alison Roybal rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2011 Devon rated it it was amazing
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
Sara Turner
Apr 04, 2011 Sara Turner rated it really liked it
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
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
May 02, 2011 Corey rated it liked it
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
Jason Hamilton
Dec 29, 2012 Jason Hamilton rated it liked it
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
Emily Farrar
Oct 23, 2008 Emily Farrar rated it it was amazing
This just reinforced my belief that it would stink to be royalty, only now that includes anybody in line for the throne.
I feel so sorry for Jane Grey. She was just a year older than I am now, when she had her head chopped off, and my age when she was forced to take the throne. Her entire life she was used, manipulated. She was abused constantly. The only real kindness she ever got was from Catherine Parr (who, by the way, I really like) and King Edward. However I don't think King Edward was rea
Apr 04, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
This tragic tale of Lady Jane Grey is not only a great story, but also helps you learn British history without even realizing it. I understand the Tudor reign more now after reading Nine Days a Queen, than any textbook was able to teach me. The book follows Jane as she grows up with her cousins Edward and Mary, as she rises to power, and then finally, to her execusion. I found myself rooting for Jane throughout the whole book. She is such a good person, and yet she is used, manipulated, then bet ...more
Aug 11, 2010 Kayla rated it liked it
I haven’t read Ann Rinaldi for a long time. But I always remembered how rich her writings about the finer details of royalty in the earlier centuries were. I needed a good, non-fantasy/non-sci-fi book, and so I turned to Rinaldi for it.

Of course, another underlying cause of me reading this book was because of research for one of my own projects… But regardless.

I’m older than I was when I first encountered Rinaldi, and so this book wasn’t as stunningly amazing as her others once had me believe. T
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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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