Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408869444
(Age: 13+) Recommended. "By turns thrilling, dramatic and touching, this is the story of Henry the Eighth and Catherine of Aragon's divorce as you've never heard it before - from the eyes of their daughter, Princess Mary.
More than anything Mary just wants her family to stay together; for her mother and her father - and for her - to all be in the same place at once. But when her father announces that his marriage to her mother was void and by turns that Mary doesn't really count as his child, she realises things will never be as she hoped.
Things only get worse when her father marries again. Separated from her mother and forced to work as a servant for her new sister, Mary must dig deep to find the strength to stand up against those who wish to bring her down. Despite what anyone says, she will always be a princess. She has the blood of a princess and she is ready to fight for what is rightfully hers." (Publisher)
I have read a number of historical fiction based on these times - adult, YA and the younger reader. I thoroughly loved this book and it allowed me to further develop my knowledge about Princess Mary. It is cleverly written from the child's perspective and Worsley does an excellent job of allowing the reader to empathise with the strong lead character as she moves from a young lonely girl to a determined young lady, determined to return to court and reclaim her crown. Themes such as determination, isolation, the desire to be loved, persistence and acceptance. I think this certainly fits into the YA category as it touches on virginity and bastards and at times the content is a tad too old for the older students in a primary school. I would recommend it to children from 13 and up who are historical fiction readers and who will love this book.
Kathryn Schumacher