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Kristina: The Girl King

(The Royal Diaries)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,224 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Carolyn Meyer, author of best-selling ROYAL DIARIES Isabel and Anastasia, now brings to the series this compelling story of Kristina, The Girl King, from 17th-century Sweden.

Upon discovering that their newborn infant was, in fact, female and not male as first thought, Queen Marie Eleonore wailed inconsolably and King Gustavus Adolphus declared, nevertheless, that the child
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 2003 by Scholastic
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,224 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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”She'll be clever, she has made fools of us all!”- Gustav Adolf, Kristina's father

Setting:Sweden; 1638-1639

Coverly Love?:Yes; Another beautiful illustrated cover by Tim O’Brien. But is it just me, or does the Kristina on the cover look a LOT older than 11-12? She looks more like a 15-16 year old girl.

Plot:Growing up, Kristina has been preparing to become the next ruler of Sweden, As her parent’s only living child, she is expected to take her father’s place on the throne of the massive Swedish
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Kristina, Girl King / 0-439-24976-7

As much as I love the Princess Diaries, I particularly enjoy those which feature princesses about which I know absolutely nothing. Kristina was one of these mystery princesses, for despite her unusual solo rule over her tiny kingdom, I had not heard of her previously in my history classes. Unfortunately, as fascinating as this princess is, I can't help but feel that the author missed a superb opportunity for introspection, and the story suffers for it.

A great d
In her diary, covering mainly her 12th year, Kristina explains that her father, King Gustav II Adolf, desperately wanted a son to become heir to his kingdom. Upon her birth, he declared that she would be treated as a boy, raised as a prince, and someday become King of Sweden.

She describes learning from the finest tutors, engaging in fencing and horseback riding, and being schooled in the laws and practices of the Swedish government. She is intellectually curious and takes her role as prince-in-
Jun 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Not Carolyn Meyer's best or the best of the Royal Diaries series. Queen Kristina has been the subject of movies and books, yet the only thing she does in this book is wear boys clothes and ride horses. What did I learn from this book: she wanted to be called "king" not "queen," she didn't want to get married, and she hated her mother. (That's all!)
Read Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the Tudors. (Much more descriptive. Granted this is a higher profile historical figure, but you will learn much more ab
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was rather put off by the cover, but this was actually quite good for giving a view into King Kristina of Sweden in all her complexity. The end notes were solid as well. Not bad for a book aimed at younger readers.
Kelsey Hanson
Kristina was an interesting historical figure and one of the rare women rulers who was given the throne without too much fuss. Part of me is impressed that she was able to give way her throne and pursue the life that she wanted, but honestly I do feel a bit disappointed that she abdicated after wanting to be a good ruler for much of the book (not the author's fault obviously; just historical fact). Still she was interesting and rebellious lady who was determined to live life by her own rules.
Lindsay Allison
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Um, can we talk about how freaking bad ass this female KING was? How she was all, "I'm smart as hell. I can fight and ride and fence. I can be kind and righteous and just ruler."

More plot than most of the books. Characters were much better than some.of the others. I loved that we only knew that Karl liked her because other people told her. She was so absorbed in seeing him as a friend/brother that she never picked up on feelings.
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting, quick, young-adult read. Read it on the plane on the way to Sweden :)
May 19, 2010 rated it liked it
She did live up to her word from the time she was 11 to never marry. I liked that she did what SHE wanted to do, she never let others influence her to do otherwise.
Small Review
3.5 stars. Carolyn Meyer is always a solid bet.
Jenna Jakubowski
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book
Nov 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: a girl that likes a history book
This book I thought is just ok. It is very short, and written in a journal form. It's about a GIRL KING. So it is interesting how people respond to having Kristina as king.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Took me a little bit longer to finish this book than it regularly would've because of something personal in my life. But I am glad I was able to experience this book. As I read it I was looking up Swedish pronunciation and maps so I would be able to better understand what I was reading. Very quickly it made me want to go to Sweden and experience the Midsummer celebration and the midnight sun.
Kristina is a person in history that I had never learned about, and I bet most American's haven't. We
This was another really quick read, so that was nice. There’s really not much I have to say about this one. Kristina was pretty badass, taking her life into her own hands and giving up being king (yes, king) in order to do her own thing. Her story was interesting enough, it just kind of stopped without a lot of resolution. It felt like Carolyn Meyer ran out of things to say.

So...yeah. This was alright. Glad I read it.
Chelsea Hagen
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It is the second one I have read. I just wish they could be longer. I want to know more.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Middle schoolers, historical fiction fans
Another Royal Diaries read! This one is on Queen (or "King") Kristina/Christina of Sweden. The historical note at the back of the book states that she is the second most discussed queen amongst historians (first is Cleopatra VII), but I have not heard of her before this book, to be honest. She had a really fascinating upbringing, from what I can tell from this book.

In this juvenile novel, Kristina is the only child of the King and Queen of Sweden. When she was born, everyone thought she was a pr
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a girl who, technically, became the ruler of her country (Sweden) at the age of six. Actually, she didn't really become the ruler upon her father's death; a group of men were really the ones in power.

She was brought up as a prince, not a princess, by her own choice. She doesn't ever want to get married or have children, and her tastes in activities run to those usually enjoyed by males.

Her mother hates Sweden and is incredibly critical of everything Kristina does or wears.

Carrie Slager
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-borrowed
Even though in her historical note Carolyn Meyer says Kristina of Sweden is one of the most talked about female monarchs in history, even more popular than Cleopatra, I highly doubt this. There is no doubt in my mind Cleopatra—to name one example—is more popular than Kristina will ever be. I had never heard of Kristina until I read this book (which actually belongs to my little sister), which is kind of sad because she really is a woman worthy of admiration.

In a world dominated by men and when o
Rachel Jackson
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
My biggest, and perhaps only, complaint with Kristina: The Girl King is that she, Carolyn Meyer as Kristina, doesn't go into enough detail with politics. As someone interested in that field, I wished I'd read more of her relationships with her mother, aunt, cousins, chancellor, even her late father.

The rest of the story reads well, of a very admirable young woman who is defiant in all she does, vowing never to marry and to be as great a king as the rest of them. This strong voice made Kristina's
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diaries
Before Kristina was born, her parents, King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden and his wife Maria Eleonora, had tried for years to have a child that survived. While her mother was pregnant with her, astrologers predicted Kristina would be a boy. Kristina's mother wept with disappointment upon discovering that her newborn infant was female, but her father declared his daughter would be as good as any boy. And when no more children were born to her parents and her father died when Kristina was just six, sh ...more
Arushi Bhaskar
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favourite books from the ones I read in pre-adolescence. I actually read this at the same age as Kristina when she writes it, 12. Even though Kristina and I were centuries apart, I still felt a sort-of comradeship with her. Hats off to Carolyn Meyer for being such a powerful writer!

Like Kristina, I too had (and still have) major issues with religion. It was assuring to find that I was not the only freak who obsessed over religion at only 12 years of age. Like her, I am obs
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This diary is vaguely interesting from a Scandinavian history point of view (my reason for reading). There is little historical context. However, there is some introduction to Swedish culture that I appreciated.

The voice shows a prodigiously intelligent and ambitious young girl - I found it hard to believe an 11-year old would write a journal in such a way. There is plenty of emphasis on the manly skills she wished to develop. This doesn't seem consistent with how she eventually ruled, only wit
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Though the afterward says Kristina of Sweden is one of the most written about Queens in history next to Queen Victoria, I must not be reading the right books. Though I knew vaguely of the woman who eventually abdicated, I did not know much. This book seems like a fun introduction to her for children (or, well, adults too). The story is well paced. Though a diary, it still has tension- mainly through her strained relationship with her mother and through her searching for self-identify. The latter ...more
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: written-by-women
3.5 stars. An entertaining introduction to a fascinating historical figure.

Kristina was one of the most interesting Royal Diarists to me when I was first reading the series- a girl raised to be a prince/king who rejected the feminine ideals of her day and gave up a throne to live life as she wanted? Uh, yes please, no matter how much I loved the more "traditional" princesses and queens I read about as well.

Upon rereading, Kristina's diary isn't nearly as interesting as I remembered. I wanted mo
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I find these books informative and fun at the same time. I liked in this book that Kristina was different from other girls. In the time that Kristina lived girls were raised without much education and spent they're time sewing or doing various handiwork with needle and thread. Girls in this time only that about they're future in the form of getting married and to which prince or duke. Kristina was different from the girls in her time she did no at all care for needlework or fancy dresses shoes a ...more
Shirleon Benson
I don't know much about Sweden, actually make that: I don't know anything about Sweden. This book didn't talk much about their culture except for the fact that they were Lutheran and they disliked the Dane's.

I hadn't known they had a girl-King. I'm not familiar with many countries that have this kind of occurrence and I wonder if it happened anywhere else.

I strongly disliked her mother. She was horrible! She was having a pity party one moment and then insulting her daughter the next. It's not w
Arielle Davis
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Dear Ms. Greenhouse,

I just started reading Kristina the Girl King. I'm on page 15 so I don't know much about the book yet. I know that something happened and Kristina is now a girl king because her dad thought that she was a boy for a while and she is actually becoming a girl king that is all I know so it is a short summary.



Dear Ms. Greenhouse,

Again I don't really have an opinion on my book yet because I am only on page 15. To me in the diary it doesn't discribe the setting so I
Lady Knight
A decent addition to the "Royal Diaries" series. Definitely not my favorite, but I did think that Kristina was an interesting person with a very unique situation for the times. Honestly, there were times that I forgot I was reading children's historical fiction and thought I was reading a kid's fantasy novel, what with all the "girl power" here and the fact that Kristina was being groomed to be a KING in a time where royal girls were viewed almost as a waste of space, money, etc.... I kept expec ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this book is a very interesting story because it talks about how Kristina lived her life, which started from her mother hated her because she was a not a boy. However her father,her aunt ,her cousins and her friends loved her. She didn't want to get married And didn't want to bear a single child. she was the next queen or as she liked to be called the next king.So she lived her life without bearing a child and named her cousin her successor.
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Carolyn Meyer is as versatile a writer as you will find. Along with historical fiction and realistic novels for young adults she has written nonfiction for young adults and books for younger readers on topics as diverse as the Amish, the Irish, Japanese, Yup'ik Eskimos, a rock band, rock tumbling, bread baking, and coconuts. And ten of her books have been chosen as Best Books for Young Adults by t ...more

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The Royal Diaries (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544
  • Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C.
  • Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466
  • Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria - France, 1769
  • Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914
  • Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba, Angola, Africa, 1595
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889
  • Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Red Bird of the South, Southern China, A.D. 531
  • Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
  • Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country