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Namesake by Sue MacLeod - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Lady Jane Grey is famous for having ruled England for nine days. After Edward the Sixth’s death, Lady Jane Grey was named Queen but Edward’s half sister, Mary, exercised her right to the crown and had Lady Jane thrown into the Tower of London where she stayed until her execution in 1554. Namesake, by Sue MacLeod, tells Lady Jane’s story in a wonderful and exciting way, tying it in with the modern world of a Haligonian high school student.

Namesake is the story of Jane Grey, a student at Citadel High, here in Halifax. Jane’s history class is doing a project on the Tudors and she picks Lady Jane Grey as her subject, thinking it fitting as they share a name. Jane takes home a pile of library books about her subject and is surprised to find an incredibly old book, titled The Booke of Prayre, amongst them. Convinced she has never seen this book before, Jane starts reading it aloud and literally travels back in time to Tudor England and the Tower of London, where she meets the subject of her history paper, Lady Jane Grey. Over a succession of visits, the two Janes become best friends. But in the end, can they overcome the problem of Lady Jane’s forthcoming execution and achieve a happy ending, or will changing history prove impossible?        

Sue MacLeod does a wonderful job with her characters, and I thought her description of time travel was completely believable. One of the things I really liked about the book is that the two Janes are able to form a friendship, but they do have several arguments, as they have both been raised in different time periods and have different beliefs. Another thing that I liked about this novel is that throughout it you find yourself feeling the emotions of Jane and her friends. I love this in a book, because it helps me connect to the characters.

One reason why I chose this book to review is that the author used to live here in Halifax where she worked at the public library. Her book, Namesake, now has its own spot in the library, where you can find it on the shelves. For additional information on the author, check out her website at http://suemacleod.com/.

Teen Blogger,




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