Waiting for the Queen
Waiting for the Queen
Young Readers

Waiting for the Queen

A Novel of Early America
“Exciting, touching, and so real that I didn’t want it to end.”—KAREN CUSHMAN
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Fifteen-year-old Eugenie de La Roque escapes the French Revolution with little more than her precious dog and the clothes on her back. Along with her family, she sails to America, hoping to find glorious French Azilum amid the wilderness of Pennsylvania. But when they arrive, they discover that the village awaiting them is nothing like the festive balls or carefully manicured gardens they’ve left behind.

Hannah Kimbrell is a young Quaker who has been chosen to help prepare the settlement for the arrival of the aristocrats. But in truth she wants nothing more than to be home with her mother and baby brother. Her homesickness is only deepened by the demands of the newly arrived French nobles, who are dismayed to find that simple log cabins are their only protection against the coming winter.

In this wild place away from home and the memories they hold dear, Eugenie and Hannah find more in common than they first realize. A story of friendship against all odds, Waiting for the Queen is a loving portrait of the values of early America, and a reminder that true nobility is more than a royal title.

Publish Date
5.63 × 8.25 × 0.88 in
14 oz

Joanna Higgins

Joanna Higgins is the author of Waiting for the Queen: A Novel of Early America, a novel for young readers, as well as A Soldier’s Book, Dead Center, and The Importance of High Places, a collection of short stories.

Praise and Prizes

  • “French aristocrats in Early America? Quaker carpenters and housemaids? Slaves in the Northeast? I never knew, but Joanna Higgins brings to life their story through three very different girls who grow into courage, wisdom, tolerance, and friendship. Their story is exciting, touching, and so real that I didn’t want it to end, and neither will you.”

    Karen Cushman
    author of Catherine, Called Birdy
  • Waiting for the Queen illuminates a time in American history that is not very well known. I was fascinated by the descriptions of coastal Pennsylvania in the late eighteenth century, but the story does not get bogged down with the details; instead, the background information is woven through the tapestry of the lives of these two young, brave heroines.”

    Laura E. Williams
    author of Behind the Bedroom Wall
  • “The story shifts between Hannah and Eugenie’s well-developed and distinct perspectives, both of which strongly reflect their respective upbringings and cultures. A meticulously detailed work of historical fiction about the challenges of the new and unfamiliar, and about looking beyond oneself toward the greater good.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “The gradual, believable changes in both girls’ characters add an appealing dimension to an engrossing depiction of this little-known episode. Based on actual events and richly immersive in the feel of the period … A well-rounded, satisfying historical tale.”

  • “Joanna Higgins writes a fast-paced inspiring story of two teenage girls from different worlds, languages, and clashing cultures learning the true meaning of friendship, sacrifice, and nobility.”

    John Armistead
    author of The Return of Gabriel