The Plot to Kill a Queen

Scholastic. Oct. 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338660586.
Gr 4-6–A historical novel with a plucky heroine that provides plenty of knowledge of the Tudor era wrapped up in an inventive mystery with a plethora of intrigue. Emilia Bassano is living comfortably as a ward of Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis, and an occasional lute player for the Queen. When she sneaks out to a playhouse, she overhears whisperings of a potentially deadly plot and knows she must tell her guardian. Emilia just thinks she is doing her duty to the crown; what she does not expect is to travel to spy on Mary, Queen of Scots, herself! Written in the format of play acts, complete with asides to the audience, Hopkinson’s novel is original with a compelling plot line and history explained at a level that kids will understand, even if at times it can seem rather didactic. Cleverly placed art throughout, including drawings and replicas of paintings and photographs, bring the era to life. A couple of points seemed rather superfluous and detract from the novel as a whole; however, there is some excellent commentary about what Emilia hopes for future generations, particularly for women.
VERDICT A cleverly designed novel with impeccable historical detail for even younger readers, though lacking a completely satisfying conclusion.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing