Thursday, September 2, 2010

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Let me say first off that I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale's ever since I read The Goose Girl a while back. I thought it was such a wonderful retelling of a classic fairy tale that I vowed then and there to read every novel Hale has ever written. This is the next stop on my journey-a delightful YA novel called Princess Academy.

This story follows Miri and all the 'eligible' girls in her town as they are pressed into the service of learning etiquette and country history because some priests have prophesied that the next princess of the realm shall come from their town. Miri is skeptical and headstrong, but strives to achieve highest marks at her school, but does that make her want to be a princess? The stone quarry and the mountain are all she has ever known--would she have to leave all that behind?

A very heartwarming tale about loving your home and family coupled with a desire for adventure. This was a very quick read, and Hale's prose pulls you in completely from start to finish. The characters are pretty young-13/14, so there isn't a great deal of love going on, but there is a smattering of really cute affection in there that makes the book even more endearing. Another fabulous read from Shannon Hale.

About the author:
Shannon Hale is the author of ten novels, including the best-selling Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, the "Books of Bayern" series, two adult novels, and two graphic novels that she and her husband are co-writing. They live with their two small children in South Jordan, Utah.

Before writing professionally, she wrote while pursuing acting in television, stage and improv comedy, as well as studying in Mexico and the United Kingdom. She spent a year and a half as an unpaid missionary in Paraguay, then returned to the United States to earn her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a master's in creative writing from the University of Montana.

Her first published book, The Goose Girl, was an American Library Association Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Josette Frank Award winner. Princess Academy is a Newbery Honor Book and a New York Times Best Seller.

Other Books to Consider: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, and Fairest by Gail Carson Levine.