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GIRL IN A CAGE by Jane Yolen Kirkus Star


by Jane Yolen, Robert J. Harris

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-23627-9
Publisher: Philomel

Yolen and Harris (Queen’s Own Fool, 2000) once again dish up an intense drama drawn from Scottish history. Just after the turn of the 14th century, King Edward “Longshanks” captured several women of Robert Bruce’s household, including his 11-year-old daughter Marjorie, and displayed some of them in cages. Here, Marjorie tells her tale, alternating between her past as a tempestuous young princess forced by the advancing English armies to become a fugitive while her father and uncles are off fighting for Scotland’s independence, and the present, in which she sits, filthy, underfed (starved, later on) and caged while jeering locals pelt her with rotten fruit, and wily Edward himself pays daily visits, seeking to break her spirit. Unlike clashes of arms, this is a battle she can fight, and fight she does, using words and silence as weapons, ultimately winning her tormentors’ sympathy, and grudging respect from the dying king. Fans of Karen Cushman’s Catherine, Called Birdy (1994) and Matilda Bone (2000) will welcome this new tale of a strong-minded young woman coming of age and holding her own in a hostile medieval world. (Fiction. 11-13)