Beware, Princess Elizabeth, by Carolyn Meyer, is what I really look for in a good YA historical fiction. There are enough details of the time to flavor the actions and dialogue, but not so much that the reader is drowned in names and dates and wars.
This novel covers Elizabeth’s young years, until she becomes queen. It’s a popular topic, one I know quite well from countless adult versions of the tale. In this version, however, the voice is that of a young girl whose father has had her mother killed in order to marry another woman. Her half-sister is a distant seventeen years older, and her younger brother is sickly. She is quite alone in a crowded world.
The novel follows the intrigue of the court at a level and pace appropriate for a young reader, and empathy for Elizabeth is strong. Highly recommended for 12-18 years old.