Princess Academy is a great read: the characters are interesting, their problems are interesting, and their methods of meeting challenges are interesting. All fiction gives children access to the world, insights into others' hopes, worries, and actions and that's a particular strength of this book. Yes, their world has some features not found in our world (so if you prefer realistic fiction to fantasy fiction go find another book). The fantasy elements of the book provide the novelty. Meanwhile there's a remarkable infusion of economics concepts and insight into oppression while we're at it. Summary: a great read with novelty provided both by fantasy elements and by offering some truely big ideas from our real world.
Miri feels left out in the life of her village, kept out of the quarry by her over-protective father. Then a chance of a lifetime comes along - the chance to be a princess. Will Miri be the chosen girl?
This book shows girls that everyone has talents and gifts, even if they are not immediately noticeable. Miri goes from being a quiet, lonely girl to an important part of her community; maybe the most important part. My students love this book, and so do I!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was not what I expected from a book about a school for prospective princesses. The girls were from a small, close-knit, hard working community. The lessons they learned were not superficial and the girls were able to use what they learned to help their own community. Miri was a great character, a strong girl who became a leader despite her own insecurities. I think she is a great role model for young girls and I look forward to when my daughter (who is now 4) is old enough to read this book.
I loved sharing this story with my tween daughter, particularly for the scene in which Miri uses the Rules of Diplomacy. Hale weaves an engaging tale and timeless coming-of-age information together beautifully, without going "too deep." I just wish there was a study guide to go along with it. ;~)
I adored this YA book. 14-year-old Miri loves her life with her father and sister on Mount Eskel, where she spends here days taking care of their home while her sister and father work in the local quarry mining the very beautiful and rare linder stone.
Miri longs to be able to actually work in the quarry, but being born early to a mother that died six days after Miri's birth, she just isn't large enough or strong enough to the the physical work that is required.
Miri's life is about to undergo a dramatic change when the prince announces that it has been foretold that he will find his future wife on Mount Eskel. Such a twitter abounds and all girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are sent off to the Princess Academy where they are taught the fine art of being the perfect princess. The girls were excited about this until they meet their tutor, the horrible Olana who feels that it is her personal duty to torture these young women all in the name of propriety. But Miri and her band of friends have something entirely different in mind and with the help of "quarry-speech" events turn out quite differently when one of the quarry girls has a shocking confession of her own.
Though this book is suggested for ages 9 and up, I think that 9 is a bit too young and that this book would be better appreciated by girls in the 12 to 14 year age group. A little exciting and a little early romance make this a fun book to explore and to share with your daughters.