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The Secret of the Rose

by Sarah L.  Thomson

Published by Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2006
296 pages
ISBN: 0060872500

Ages 10-13

Rosalind Archer keeps dangerous secrets. She is a girl, disguised as a boy. She is Catholic, but must hide her religion or risk imprisonment and possible execution. Her own father has just been pulled from their home for his Catholicism, forcing Rosalind and her younger brother Robin onto the streets of London in the year 1592. A chance encounter earns Rosalind, now disguised as Richard, a position as scribe to Kit Marlowe, a man with secrets of his own. Marlowe is a poet and playwright, but is he also leading the double life of a spy? Robin finds security and happiness as an apprentice at the Rose Theater, but Rosalind worries that playerís work is inappropriate and shamefully immoral. And although she is repelled by the theatrical crowd, Rosalind canít deny that she is attracted to Will, the costumerís apprentice. As Rosalind struggles to cope with a daily life vastly different to what she is accustomed, she discovers strength and adaptability within herself. Rosalindís fictional story, rich with period details, is set within the historical framework of 16th century England, with a cast including Christopher Marlowe, Philip Henslowe, Ned Alleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, and even a brief appearance by the Bard himself. (MVL) ©2006 Cooperative Childrenís Book Center

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