Thursday, March 30, 2006

Princess Academy

Princess Academy fall into the category of fairy tales for older children and grown ups who respect the truth and magic of well told tales. It is a far better story than the cover and the title lead me to expect. I loved the language and the poetry of the way Shannon Hale tells her story. I also loved the depth and breadth of character and the true-to-life way hardship and sorrow bring about opportunities for growth, change, courage and discovery. Miri is a 14 year old girl who has lost her mother and feels inadequate in relation to the other girls she knows, as well as the work of her family and village. When she is thrown into a special academy set up to train and select a girl to be chosen as bride by the young king, she begins to find her strength and her power. She forges a new leadership and a new life, not only for herself and her friends but for her whole village. Here is a young girl who becomes the hero. This is the princess story I would tell my daughter, myself, and every other woman seeking a model of struggle and triumph. Last year I read Hale’s Goose Girl and loved it as well, so this is an author to watch for.

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