Girl in a Cage
Robert de Brus (Robert Bruce) and his wife Elizabeth have become king and queen of Scotland, which makes his daughter Marjorie Bruce a princess- the daughter of a rebel king. As King Edward Longshanks goes to crush the rebellion Marjorie, her stepmother, and her aunts flee north into the Scottish highlands, but eventually they are captured, declared outlaws, and caged in public. Young Marjorie, alone for the first time in her life, must face the sickly, dying Longshanks herself.
I have always held Girl in a Cage to be proof of my theory that school book fairs push certain books on you because they got good reviews and, henceforth, you'll love them. There were certainly book fairs in my elementary school where this seemed to be the only book around (it wasn't) but I never bought it because the cover scared me and at the age of nine the 1300s seemed like ancient history to me- far removed from my life. It did not really catch on with my class until we were eleven or twelve (thank God) which is when I read it and loved it.
One last thing: I don't know what they were thinking marketing this book to nine- year- olds- I could never have handled it when I was nine.
Girl in a Cage, written by Jane Yolen, is the story of Marjorie Bruce. The daughter of Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland in the early 1300's, she is taken captive when her father is defeated.
Marjorie is taken to England and held captive outdoors, in a barred cage. She is the prisoner of the King of England, Edward I, called "Longshanks."
The novel alternates between Marjorie's present captivity, and happier days when her father was in power. The readers meet much of her family through these flashbacks and get a feel for the time. Marjorie has many visits from Longshanks, who has taken an interest in his prisoner.
The book begins with a timeline of the characters and events and ends with a "What is true about this story" chapter.
This historical fiction was factual enough to be interesting, but didn't bog the reader down with unnecessary details. Well-written!