Hardstaff, Jane The Executioner’s Daughter, 255 pgs. Lerner Publishing Group, 2016. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 F); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG13 (executions described, other mild violence)
11-year-old Moss and her father are prisoners in the Tower of London. Her father is the blacksmith but also the king’s executioner and Henry VIII keeps him busy. It’s Moss’s job to catch the severed heads in a basket. She hates her job, she hates her life. She wants to escape but her father seems satisfied with his lot. When a loose brick turns into a hidden passageway that leads to the river, Moss takes her chance to see the outside world. But a promise to the Riverwitch at her birth may seal her fate to return to the river when she is twelve.
This debut novel is full of historical people and places: the Tower of London, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The story was full of unnecessary characters who make the plot run all over the place. Moss can hide anywhere without being noticed, easily overhear important conversations and seems to be in the right place at the right time (continually). An interesting Middle level read if the time period is appealing - certainly not mature enough for the High School crowd. MS - OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian