To celebrate Women’s History Month, editor Adrienne Szpyrka put together a roundup of YA and middle grade books featuring a strong woman we know from history. Check out her post below!
In Divah, by Susannah Appelbaum, Marie Antoinette is a demon. Not just any demon, but the Queen of the Damned—the Divah.
The Divah was horrible to behold, her eyes—no longer blue—were dark eternal pits; her alabaster skin, where it was not charred and peeling, clung to her form. Her dress was the moldering cloth of the tomb. Her hair, once a thing of beauty, was a soiled, rotting wig, and insects crawled in and out, nesting in its dreary curls.
Appelbaum’s version of Marie Antoinette is dark and twisted , desperate for love and power. She’s the villain of the story, but you can’t help but almost want for her to succeed and fill the world with terror.
The real story of Marie Antoinette has been warped and romanticized again and again in fiction, and, today, for Women’s History Month, we’re doing a roundup of young adult and middle grade books that feature the most infamous Queen of France. When Marie Antoinette first moved to France she was only fifteen, and she became Queen at nineteen. It’s only fitting that she has beceome a favorite subject of children’s books.
Divah by Susannah Appelbaum
“Susannah Appelbaum has written a story so full of high fashion, high society, humor, horror, history, romance, and magic, you might not stop to notice the beautiful writing, but you should. It’s all there.”
—Nora Raleigh Baskin, award-winning author of What Every Girl (Except Me) Knows and Anything But Typical
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
“A thoroughly enjoyable novel, brimming with delightful details. Grey writes eloquently and with charming humor, bringing ‘Toinette’ vividly to life as she is schooled and groomed—molded, quite literally—for a future as Queen of France, an innocent pawn in a deadly political game.”
—Sandra Gulland, bestselling author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy
The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer
“With the gorgeous clothes, sumptuous surroundings, and seemingly limitless wealth, Marie becomes a prisoner of royal pomp and circumstance with no concept of governance or political savvy as France descends into a revolutionary bloodbath. Historical-fiction fans will be swept up in the cruel fates of the monarchs and political forces, particularly as the drama escalates into horror.” —Booklist
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
“A story that mixes slice-of-life teen drama with supernatural menace, infused with the sights, sounds, and tastes of a Paris that comes to life in the process.” —Publishers Weekly
The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brukaer Bradley
“ Skillfully integrated historical facts frame this engrossing, believable story. Readers will be captivated by the child’s view of Versailles, its glittering halls infested with rats; the drudgery of daily work; and the terrors of the French Revolution.” —Booklist