Today marks Victoria Day (Fête de la Reine), a Canadian national holiday to honor Queen Victoria’s birthday. It’s celebrated on the last Monday before May 25. Much like Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., this long weekend is viewed by many as the official kickoff to summer.
Victoria hasn’t gone unnoticed by today’s authors, either. Here at the Hub, take a moment of this holiday to peruse a few of the titles about this fascinating monarch and her times!
Victoria Rebels, by Carolyn Meyer – In this intriguing installment of the Young Royals series, Meyer’s always well-researched fiction draws directly from Victoria’s journals to reveal her thoughts and dreams from as young as age eight.
The Agency series, by Y.S. Lee – There are plenty of teen books set in the Victorian era, such as this series about a girls’ academy that is actually a cover for an all-female detective agency. In book 3, however, Queen Victoria herself plays a part, when she hires protagonist Mary Quinn to investigate recent thefts at Buckingham Palace.
The Faerie Ring, by Kiki Hamilton – Another Victorian-era title, this story connects historical fiction and fantasy elements when pickpocket Tiki accidentally steals a ring with a history and a purpose. It belongs to Queen Victoria and keeps the rulers of the human and faerie world at peace.
Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine, by Gloria Whelan – If you’re a fan of using picture books with teens, don’t overlook this winner. Did you know it was so unseemly for Queen Victoria to be seen undressing to bathe in the ocean that Prince Albert built her a “bathing machine” to change clothes right by the seaside? He did! Includes Author’s Note, Further Reading, and a photo of the bathing machine itself (which was used for a time as a chicken coop, but is now restored). This book is also where I found out that you can see (via subscription) Queen Victoria’s entire journals online.
The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross – It’s definitely worth mentioning the steampunk genre, since so much of it is set in Victorian London. In this particular title, Finley tries to thwart a plan to kill the Queen herself.
Are there any other great teen books with a nod to Her Majesty? Let me know if I’ve left your favorite off this list, and enjoy your Victoria Day!
–Rebecca O’Neil, currently reading Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon