Crowley,Suzanne. The Stolen One. Greenwillow Books, 2009. ISBN 9780061232008. $17.99. 416 p.
Reviewer: Megan Harris
Reading Level: Young adult
Genre: Historical fiction;
Subject: Orphans--Juvenile fiction; Identity--Juvenile fiction; Great Britain--History--Elizabeth, 1558-1603--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews;
Katherine Bab has never felt that she really belonged in her tiny village. Living in Elizabethan England, "Kat" spends her days staring up at Sudeley Castle. After the woman who has always claimed to be her mother dies, Kat and her deaf sister Anna run away to London disguised in royal clothes. Taken in by the kindly Catholic, Lady Ludmore, the two girls are summoned to the most intimate circles of Queen Elizabeth. Rumors abound that Kat is the long-lost daughter of the Queen herself. Meanwhile, the court brings further complication when the affections of the nobles Rafael and Nicholas challenge Kat's love for the devoted shepherd, Christian, whom she left back at her village. Using clues and inquiries, Kat discovers that she is actually the daughter of the former queen, Katherine Parr. After facing death when a pox epidemic spreads through London, Kat realizes that she loves her simple village life and Christian, and returns there to marry him.
With powerful themes of love, death, and self discovery, this historical fiction is an exciting read for young adults. Historical accuracy is carefully adhered to, with interesting details about court and culture during that period. High emotion and mystery throughout the novel encourage the reader forward. These very traits can seem ridiculous however, with nearly every male character attempting to seduce the protagonist, and frustratingly unclear motivations for character behavior. Nevertheless, this book is an appealing read for young adults, and is a great segue for teachers into discussion of Elizabethan History.
Volume 30, no. 1 (September/October 2009)
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