Primavera

By Mary Jane Beaufrand
Classification
:  YA Literature
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Age Level:  12+
Subjects:  Family, self-discovery, Italian Renaissance, Medici

Summary:  Scorned and neglected by her mother from infancy, young Flora Pazzi has grown up in the shadows of her family’s elegant palazzo.  Nurtured by her remarkable Nonna, Flora observes the endless political intrigues of her family whose chief rivals for power in Florence are the formidable Medicis.  When Flora and her friend Emilio become embroiled in the Pazzis’ latest sinister plot, Flora finds herself at a crossroads:  warn the Medici and betray her family, or remain idle while her father orchestrates a massacre?  Whatever she chooses, Flora knows the life she has led, however miserable, is about to end.

Notes:  Set in 1478, with Botticelli and the Pope figuring in the background, this exciting novel is a great introduction to the drama of Renaissance Italy.  The historical elements are the strongest aspects of the book; the writing itself is fair.  Would be enjoyed by middle school students reading Shakespeare for the first time. 
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