Normal Public Library Teens

1500s

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

The orphaned Widge’s fierce master has just one demand: steal Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”—or else. Widge has no choice but to follow orders, so he works his way into the heart of the Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare’s players perform. As full of twists and turns as a London alleyway, this entertaining novel is rich in period details, colorful characters, villainy, and drama. (M)

Ship of Fire by Michael Cadnum

In 1587, sailing to Spain on board Sir Francis Drake’s ship “Elizabeth Bonaventure,” seventeen-year-old surgeon’s apprentice Thomas Spyre finds that, with the sudden death of his master, he must take over as ship’s surgeon and prove his skill not only as a doctor but also as a fighter when he is enlisted by Drake to face battle. (M, S)

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

When her adoptive mother dies, Katherine Bab takes the chance she has been waiting for her whole life: she moves from her country village to London, to uncover the secret of who she really is. Before long, Kat has become the favorite of Queen Elizabeth herself, and rumors are swirling – could fiery-haired Kat be the secret daughter of the Virgin Queen? (M, S)

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

During the Spanish Inquisition, sixteen-year-old Estrella, brought up a Catholic, discovers her family’s true Jewish identity, and when their secret is betrayed by Estrella’s best friend, the consequences are tragic. (S)

Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer

Poor Anne Hathaway is still living with her callous stepmother, and her prospects for marriage and a home of her own are becoming grim. However, she can’t seem to get charismatic Will Shakespeare out of her mind—even though he is much too young for her. But then one day Will impulsively kisses his childhood friend Anne, changing the course of their lives forever. (M, S)

Duchessina by Carolyn Meyer

While her tyrannical family is out of favor in Italy, young Catherine de Medici is raised in convents, then in 1533, when she is fourteen, her uncle, Pope Clement VII, arranges for her marriage to prince Henri of France, who is destined to become king. (M, S)

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli

The story of the most famous painting in the world. Elisabetta longs for romance, though she thinks she is too plain. Then, on a fateful visit to glittering Florence, she catches the eye of the great Leonardo da Vinci, and falls for a boy named Giuliano de’ Medici. It is a dangerous time to be—or be involved with—a Medici. As tragedy and chaos threaten their happiness, Elisabetta faces the bittersweet truth of love. (M, S)

Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli

In 1592, Donata is a noble girl living in a palazzo on the Grand Canal. Girls of her class receive no education and rarely leave the palazzo. In a noble family, only one daughter and one son will be allowed to marry; Donata, like all younger daughters, will be sent to a convent. Donata longs to be tutored like her brothers and to see the Venice she has glimpsed only on the map. When she decides to dress as a boy to escape the palazzo, she encounters a world she never knew existed – and changes her life forever. (M, S)

The Secret of the Rose by Sarah L. Thompson

When her father is imprisoned in 1592 England for being Catholic, fourteen-year-old Rosalind disguises herself as a boy and finds an ultimately dangerous job as servant to playwright Christopher Marlowe. (M)

To the Edge of the World by Michele Torrey

It’s 1519, and, orphaned by the plague, Mateo must find his way in the world. What he discovers is the adventure of a lifetime. Soon Mateo is at sea, a cabin boy on the celebrated voyage of Captain-General Ferdinand Magellan. Life at sea is everything Mateo expected – and more. He discovers the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and hard work, as well as the delight of first love. But when the sea rages and brother turns against brother, both Mateo and Magellan are in danger, and it’s not clear if anyone will survive. (M, S)

The Queen’s Own Fool by Jane Yolen

Called La Jardiniere, a resourceful and clever jester to the queen’s court, Nicola was a most unlikely person to end up “fool” and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots. But Nicola isn’t an ordinary comedian clowning before the court; her sharp tongue is rare amongst the fawning nobles. As fate takes Mary from France to Scotland, and into confrontations with rebellious lords and devious advisors, Nicola remains deep in the queen’s inner circle. But when the Scots start to turn on Queen Mary, Nicola struggles to find something that she, just a fool, can do to save her friend. (M, S)

 
 

Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 
 
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