|The Player King
Read an amazingly true tale of a boy plucked from the gutter to become the King of England.
Story Behind the Story, Part One
When one reads history, one learns about big events and important people, such as the American Revolution, or, say, Napoleon. But if you read the footnotes in those histories you can learn about the individuals who lived in those historical moments. You learn about British prison ships in New York City, where more people died by maltreatment than on the revolutionary battlefields. read more
Story Behind the Story, Part Two
If you read history—as I do for the stories—it is more often than not populated by big people, kings, queens, generals, senators and presidents. Such people do alter history, sometimes for the better, or worse. But embedded in such tales are countless—if only passing—references to others, small folk. read more
“Based on historical fact, the novel strongly depicts Lambert’s emotions: his initial confusion, his growing excitement over the prospect of gaining wealth and power (although he knows he has no true claim to the throne), and his fear when he realizes that he is being used as a pawn in a deadly game. Avi’s short, accessible chapters and candid first-person narration create suspense and strongly evoke the political climate of the era, revealing an odd, mysterious chapter in England’s history.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Narrator John Keating's breezy tone and British accent bring authenticity to this Tudor story by Avi, king of children's historical fiction. Young Lambert is plucked from his life as a kitchen boy in a tavern cellar, where he lives 'like a rotten turnip,' and with break taking speed finds himself seated on the English throne. Keating keeps Lambert's perspective convincingly light and astonished without making him sound too young. In stark contrast, Keating's voice booms with hostility when he's speaking as any of the handful of adults who control Lambert's world. Keating captures Lambert's humor and good nature and adds vivacity to Avi's otherwise straightforward prose. Even when the action descends into bloody battle, Keating provides just the right level of intensity for a story intended for younger ears.” (a review of the audio book, S.T.C. © AudioFile 2018)
“Told from Lambert’s point of view, the first-person narrative effectively avoids the complicated political backstory and focuses on the boy’s experiences as he learns the unfamiliar speech, manners, and knowledge and plays his part. Avi, whose Newbery Award-winning Crispin was set in fourteenthcentury England, again makes the past vivid and personal in this relatively short, accessible book. An author’s note reveals what is known of the actual Lambert Simnel, whose story inspired the novel.” (Booklist)
Website copyright 2003 - Avi. All rights reserved. Site designed by Winding Oak.
Materials on this website may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.