Monday, May 01, 2006
I'm too tired to say anything terribly insightful. Sorry.
I feel inexplicably stupid going back and reading the award books for this year. I feel that if I were a better librarian, I would have read them before they were announced. At least the Printz noms (I did read Alaska way back last year when it first came out, and was halfway through Messenger, that's at least a small consolation.). I was planning to ignore the Newbery's altogether, when my Mom said that she liked Princess Academy so much that she actually went and read Hale's Goose Girl. Fine, I'll read it. grumble, grumble. I think I was being ornery. Ah, the trials and pressures of being the librarian daughter of a librarian. ;)
I enjoyed it very much. Hale created a very real fantasy that wasn't about being a Princess, as much as being a good person. Miri feels like a useless burden to her village and wants to prove herself worthy of the work everyone else does, however, her father forbids her to help in the dangerous quarry. Everything changes when there is a prophesy that the next queen will be found on Miri's remote mountain. This is Miri's opportunity to earn respect and help her family, but when she and all the village girls go off to the Princess Academy to learn, the headmistress is cruel and doesn't seem to want any of the girls to succeed. 10+.
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Isn't it a delight? And don't you want to slowly strangle the publisher who thought it would be a good idea to name it "Princess Academy"? Now not a single boy will pick it up (and I think they'd really like it) and girls who don't go in for froo-froo will put it aside. *grumble growl growl grumble*
And how about the cover and title of "Goose Girl"?Could they have done anymore to turn kids off? I know it's shallow but I had no desire to read the book because of the cover. I had to read "Princess Academy" to be lured into reading.
The cover looks to me like it has a "Chronicles of Narnia" feel, but the title -- you're right. No boy will pick it up.
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