Monday, January 15, 2007

Author Spotlight: Ann Rinaldi

Spotlight On: Ann Rinaldi
Author Website
About the Author:

  • Ann Rinaldi was born in New York City on August 27, 1934.
  • Discouraged by her family from writing and pursuing further education at college, she went into the business world and became a secretary.
  • In 1960, Ann married Ron Rinaldi. While raising her two sons, she decided she wanted to become a writer. After a few failed attempts at novel-writing, she decided to start small and begin by writing newspaper columns.
  • Her first creative piece of fiction was published in 1979.
  • As to why she writes historical fiction: Ann was drawn into the study of American history when her son, Ron, became involved in Revolutionary War reenactments while he was in high school. After visiting historical sites, participating in reenactments, and ". . .see[ing] the history. . .as it was, from the bottom up, hands on, instead of out of a history book," Ann was addicted.
  • As to why she writes for young adults: Ann Rinaldi explains, "I write young adult novels because I like writing them. But, as with my first book, I don't write for young people. I just write. Real life, as I know it, as I've learned it to be from my newspaper experience and own past, goes into my books. I draw all my characters fully, give my adults as many problems and as much dimension as the young protaganist. I give my readers good writing, literary writing. My books have been praised for the strength of my characters and my dialogue. "

Today I am beginning my author study on Ann Rinaldi. Today's review is NINE DAYS A QUEEN which was published in 2005.

Rinaldi, Ann. 2005. NINE DAYS A QUEEN.

When I first read NINE DAYS A QUEEN, I was not the self-proclaimed expert I am now on all things Tudor having worked my way through all four of Carolyn Meyer's historical novels or David Starkey's Six Wives of Henry the VIII. But I recognized it as a good story even then. Later, when I first began reading Meyer, I searched my memory and said I must go back and reread that one and see this all from Jane's eyes. But perhaps I'm rambling too much. NINE DAYS A QUEEN is the story of Jane Grey's childhood and adolescence. The daughter of a very important family--a titled family--she spent at least a year or two at court in London. As a child, she was a favorite playmate of Edward. She was on familiar terms with the other royal children as well, Mary and Elizabeth. The story focuses on her time spent at court and on her time spent with Katherine Parr and Sir Thomas Seymour--the former queen who was widowed and her new husband. Also in that household was Princess Elizabeth. Through it all, Jane Grey remains a likeable character. Mistreated by her family, she trusts no one really. She's come to view life as a skeptic. She's seen how dangerous it is to get involved with the royal family and the power struggle. She's seen close loved ones pay with their lives. Now, as a teen (fifteen or sixteen) her family involves her in a dangerous power play. Her husband and father-in-law have determined to make her queen instead of Princess Mary. Why? Because they don't want a Catholic on the throne. So manipulating the dying king, Jane is named next in line for the throne. Does Jane want to be queen? NO! There is nothing tempting her to claim power and wield the authority of life and death over her subjects. But can she escape the throne with her life?

NINE DAYS A QUEEN pairs well with Carolyn Meyer's series on others in the Tudor family: MARY, BLOOD MARY, BEWARE, PRINCESS ELIZABETH, DOOMED QUEEN ANNE, and PATIENCE, PRINCESS CATHERINE. These books show both the glamour and the danger that being royal involves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still remeber watching the movie about her life in school. It had a love interest if I remember correctly (and I know I remember correctly because I remember the teacher jumping in front of the screen during and "intimate" moment!)Miss Becky, did you get to see that movie in school? Did it follow the book?