"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brody Ashton, and Jodi Meadows makes me happy. It isn't often one can say that about a book these days. Often you will hear about a book being important or interesting, excellent or challenging. But how many times have you heard about a book making a reader happy? This book does just that. I am still smiling hours after finishing it and I intend to continue smiling all the rest of the night and all day tomorrow.  That is how happy this book makes me feel.

First, you are probably wondering what the book is about. Watch the book trailer. It gives a quick summary and hints at the magic within.

I know. I know. Posting a book trailer is sort of a cop out in lieu of a personal summary but if you watched the trailer you get the idea that the plot is a bit complicated and a lot wacky. What the book trailer doesn't say is how funny the book is. Really funny. Laugh out loud funny. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. "For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey." (from the book jacket)

The authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows teamed up to write this book together. They are friends in real life and all have published books separately. About the book they said, why not? "We're writers. We're fixing history by rewriting one sad story at a time." (from the webpage) They follow history to a point then diverge off the trail and forge a new path to romance and a happy ending, with a lot of silly stuff in between. I mean it. This trio of writers could be employed to write jokes for a comedian. Funny stuff. One reviewer said this about the book, "The Tutors meet Monty Python. Be prepared to laugh and gasp and clutch your pearls" (Mafi, NYT). I enjoyed this collaboration immensely. It is obvious the three friends worked on it together because it is told as one story not chapters written separately patched together into one book.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who also happens to teach English and loves her British history. There is enough real history in it. (Yes, Jane Grey WAS queen for nine days after her cousin Edward, the son of Henry the 8th, died. She was married to Guilford Dudley, whose dad was King Edward's traitorous adviser.) My friend also loves a good story and couldn't stop talking about how fun it was to read this book. I marched right out the very day we talked about it and purchased the audiobook and have enjoyed listening to Katherine Kellgren read it since then. In fact, my husband was a captive audience in the car this past weekend as I listened to the book and he couldn't help himself. He got into the story, too, and chuckled right along with me. Today when Don got home from work I was listening to the last 15 minutes of the audiobook. He wasn't in the house for five minutes before I knew he was listening to the book because he would laugh at the punch lines. It is contagious.

I'm already scheming which of my students I will "talk into" reading this book first. Should I recommend it to the Princess Bride fans or the alternative history fans first? Maybe I should see if there are still some Phillipa Gregory fans out there who might appreciate a humorous approach to history. I hope whomever gets to read it first will delight in it as much as I did. 

How about you? Are you ready for a book which is guaranteed to make you laugh and feel happy...My Lady Jane is just the book for you.

"An utter delight" (Booklist).

Join me in 2017 and Read all the Youth Media Award winners of the year. Challenge. Follow link for details.


  1. We all need those kind of books! (especially when life gets rough) For me, it's been the Chet and Bernie mysteries. They have made me laugh out loud!

  2. This is a definite read for me. It really is hard to find a book that makes you smile and be happy these days!

  3. Great review! I can't wait to read this, especially after the Princess Bride and Monty Python comparisons. :)


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