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Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen

Girl in a Cage

by Jane Yolen, Robert J. Harris (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Stuart Quartet (Book 2)

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When Marjorie's father is crowned King of Scotland, the English King, Edward Longshanks, embarks on a crusade to wipe out the "rebels." Captured, Longshanks has Marjorie placed in a wooden cage, and hung in the center of town. Pelted with rotten vegetables, exposed to the cold, wind and rain, Marjorie is determined to remain a princess.

Based on historical events, I found this to be a fascinating book. It was well written, engaging, and the characters seemed alive. I think that pre-teens will be fascinated by this story, and perhaps find an interest in history. Overall, highly recommended. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Jun 18, 2013 |
Jane Yolen knows how to write. She takes history (which aside from my romance novels I don't care for) and makes it come alive.
Girl in a Cage tells the story of 11 year old Marjorie de Brus who is a prisoner of King Edward of England. Marjorie's crime? To be the daughter of Robert de Brus, declared king of Scotland.
I pretty much hated Edward here. What kind of bastard puts a small child (or anyone really) in a cage? Out in the open for people to torment? ( )
  librarydanielle | Apr 1, 2013 |
This book provided an interesting view of the battle for Scotland and Robert Bruce. Told from the point of view of his daughter the struggle for freedom from England takes on a very personal meaning. An interesting read with good character development and a moving plot. I would recommend this book to all ages. ( )
  goth_marionette | Jul 15, 2011 |
Book two in the Stuart quartet.

Robert Bruce, the new king of Scotland, is on the run from the powerful British king, Edward I (Longshanks). When Longshanks kidnaps the Scottish king's daughter, Marjorie, he locks her in an iron cage. The cage sits in the center of town and Marjorie has no pivacy nor dignity as she is constantly watched and ridiculed. Marjorie narrates her story, which is based on real historical events. A time line and an afterward help readers understand how Marjorie's story fits into world history. ( )
  mrsdwilliams | Dec 17, 2009 |
Richie's Picks: GIRL IN A CAGE by Jane Yolan and Robert J. Harris,
Philomel/Putnam, September 2002

"It's always the old to lead us to the war
Always the young to fall." --Phil Ochs

A few days ago, I read PARVANA'S JOURNEY by Deborah Ellis. It is an equally
impressive sequel to her acclaimed story, THE BREADWINNER. The heroine of
both those books is a young girl in recent-days Afghanistan, who
conceals herself as a boy in order to survive. PARVANA'S JOURNEY is, in
essence, the story of four parentless children tossed around that war-torn
country like stray puzzle pieces in a young giant's toy chest. For a portion
of the tale, as if this were some bizarre skit by Python or Second City,
Parvana and her young companions provide for themselves by harvesting the
daily goods and various animal parts that become available to them in a
nearby field that had been earlier sown with land mines.

Somalia. Ethiopia. Bosnia. Northern Ireland. Haiti. Gaza...

Through the years the list of exotic places from where we've viewed the young
victims, prisoners and child refugees grows as relentlessly as my middle-aged

And so, in this context, I see GIRL IN A CAGE as much more than just a vivid
and entertaining work of historical fiction for young people. (Not that it
doesn't more than merit kudos in that regard.)

GIRL IN A CAGE is a captivating story built upon the fact that at the dawn of
the 14th Century, King Edward I imprisoned Robert Bruce's eleven-year-old
daughter, Marjorie, in a cage while her father waged the guerilla war that in
real life eventually resulted in freedom for Scotland and the rise of the
Stuart dynasty.

"Dear Lord, if it is not too much to ask, could you please send less wind and
fewer turnips?
"The wind rattles the iron bars of my cage making me shake like an old man at
his prayers.
"As for the turnips, the good folk of Lanercost should rather eat them than
throw them at me. It would be better for all our souls.
"If Father is ever king in more than name, I shall remember those turnips.
"And the people who threw them."

Marjorie Bruce (or de Brus) is a princess wannabe who will appeal to young
readers who have outgrown those other stories and journals of various
princesses and pretenders of olden times or modern days. This story
alternates between Marjorie's days of imprisonment and the events leading up
to her capture.

A tale in which a medieval king holds his opponent's young daughter hostage
seems to me fittingly symbolic for today's ongoing cycle of atrocities in
which old men continue to sacrifice the welfare of future generations in
exchange for revenge, oil, ego, and religion (the latter being,
unfortunately, as new a concept as the Crusades of Longshanks' era).

But the highlight of this tale is the battle of wills between Edward, the
aged king who keeps raising the stakes in an attempt to compel her loyalty,
and Marjorie, the "Playhouse Princess" whose determination to be true to
herself and her father results in her transformation and, as the authors may
intend us to conclude, changes the course of history:

" 'You think perhaps your father will rescue you? You think that he is
free?' Longshanks scoffed.
"I go cold. Has he come then to tell me Father has been captured? Without
meaning to, I lean toward him.
" 'He is no more free than you are. The sea bounds him on three sides while
I hold the fourth. Scotland is not his kingdom but his cage.' "
"Not captured then. I lean back, away from him. Whatever else he has to
tell me, it is not what I most fear. I can bear anything if Father is still
" 'Speak, damn you,' he says.
"I think about what I will say if I choose to speak. I think about it for a
long time. I choose my words carefully. I go over them again and again in
my head.
"Just as Longshanks is gathering himself to stand, I finally open my mouth.
" 'If Father's kingdom is a cage, then my cage will be a kingdom,' I declare.
'It is not I who am locked in, but you who are locked out.'
"Edward smirks. He has made me speak. He thinks he has won. 'What
nonsense. You are a vexatious child.'

"But I know that my words have wounded him."

Richie Partington
BudNotBuddy at aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 27, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Yolenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, Robert J.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Trina SchartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142401323, Paperback)

When her father, Robert the Bruce, becomes King of Scotland, Marjorie Bruce becomes a princess. But Edward Longshanks, the ruthless King of England, has set his sights on Robert and his family. Marjorie is captured and imprisoned in a wooden cage in the center of a town square, exposed to wind, rain, the taunts of the townspeople, and the scorn of Longshanks himself. Marjorie knows that despite her suffering and pain, she is the daughter of noble Robert the Bruce&150and she will make her father, and her country, proud. For a true princess is a princess, whether in a castle or in a cage.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As English armies invade Scotland in 1306, eleven-year-old Princess Marjorie, daughter of the newly crowned Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, is captured by England's King Edward Longshanks and held in a cage on public display.

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