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

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,345 ratings  ·  233 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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clara The first time it was published was 1970.

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  2,345 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Shannon Deep
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stuck to historical accuracy while also being emotionally engaging. Poor, poor Jane.
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. I read this aloud to my daughters in just a few sittings because we were so engrossed. I have always been obsessed with Tudor history and already knew the story of Jane Grey pretty well so yo share it through this fantastic middle grade novel was purely delightful.

Rinaldi handled sensitive issues surrounding all the unfaithfulness in marriage pretty well. My 8 year old was a bit confused with all the flirting in a few scenes but Rinaldi only hinted at
Eliza Taye
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This story was interesting to read because of how overshadowed Lady Jane Gray is in history compared to her relatives. I’d always heard about her reigning for a short time after King Edward, but I never realized how young she was when she died or how she had a claim to the throne. The book is written in an entertaining first-person fashion that gets the reader to sympathize with Jane and understand how she may have felt about being a pawn in several men’s ambitions for power. Overall, it was an ...more
Bradley Hankins
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: personallibrary
This has been my second time reading this book and it is pretty much exactly as I remembered. This novel is good for what it is, I would highly recommend it for a younger person (or any person in general) who has an interest in Tudor history. Overall, a fast short read.
Sep 20, 2009 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
Apr 04, 2011 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
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
"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. ...more
Sep 25, 2008 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.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. It was very sad though.
Feb 19, 2013 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 03, 2011 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
Carly Flamm
Jan 25, 2011 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
Emily Farrar
Oct 23, 2008 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
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Maybe a 3.5 - a really good book about life as an heiress to the throne in the 1500s. I enjoyed her self-perception (I think Rinaldi has a penchant for writing strong female leads) and esp. enjoyed expanding my knowledge of history. Names, etc, are so much more meaningful and memorable to me in this setting. Still a short book so not as much detail as one might want but definitely a good place to start to discover if you have an interest in this period. Follow up book by Rinaldi: The Redheaded P ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short read had me engaged throughout the entire book. Right from the title we know that the main character only lives a short life so from the beginning I was anticipating how and when. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book and loved the mystery of trying to figure out why she died. The character is also a young girl who is forced to live a life she does not want simply because of the adults around her. This book has so many different layers to it and I enjoyed digging deeper and deep ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an awful way to grow up, a pawn or piece in a game of chess! I admire writers who make such long-ago history come alive.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick read but a rough subject. I really enjoyed this book despite knowing the ending. I really feel for Jane and the position she was placed in. What would I have done?? Probably exactly what she did. She was just a child. Tragic.
Anne (The Reading Life)
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

It was refreshing and interesting to read a book based on Lady Jane Grey. She had been so overshadowed in history, and her sad nine days reign as queen was so overlooked, with no one even flinching over the fact of how she was so cruelly disposed of by her cousin Mary for a throne she never desired. What I really liked about this book is how the story and life of Jane were told through her perspective, and how every historical fact was portrayed through Jane’s own thoughts, making the b
Sheri Robinson
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
The epic tale of a young girl with no ability to decide or change her fate.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I would put this at a middle-grade reader age...? Nothing new here if you know the story of Lady Jane, but it's a solid novelized retelling of her story.
Colin Smith
Apr 07, 2012 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
Liza Mueller
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing

The fiction text, “Nine Days a Queen” by Ann Rinaldi defines the unstable government of the United Kingdom’s past. From her first breath Lady Jane Grey was bred to be a royal. She was taught how to act, and was very educated. Even though she was groomed to be a royal, she didn’t want to be one. She knew that her parents didn’t really care about her and only wanted power for themselves. Jane becomes a pawn for her parents' jurisdiction. This leads to a lot of pain and heartache for her. All she w
Oct 05, 2016 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
Apr 01, 2009 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
Jun 09, 2011 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
Katherine Basto
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I adore Ann Rinaldi and I adore some of her YA books more than others. "Nine Days a Queen" is now one of my favorites. What a way to learn about the sad plight of Lady Jane Grey. She was a pawn for her greedy parents to move up in the royal lineage and had no power in any decisions in her life.
Lady Jane was bookish, quiet, somewhat plain and really wanted a life of peace and learning. Yet behind this, she was used throughout her brief life, with few choices. Her parents wanted her to marry King
Apr 05, 2011 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
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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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