Born to Rule (Camp Princess #1)
And this year, for a princess named Alicia, Camp Princess will become something more -- a place of mystery and adventure. Her turret seems to be haunted, and the golden bird that she captured for the songbird contest refuses to sing a note It's all utterly frustrating -- until one shadowy night, when Alicia feels a ghostly presence in her room and begins to discover a destiny far more exciting than anything she could have imagined.
Born to Rule by the infamous Kathryn Lasky, is the first book in the Camp Princess series. It is Alicis, Princess of All the Belgravias first year at camp and she is both excited and a tidbit nervous. She knows it is custom for all Princesses to attend camp to assist in learning skills necessary for running a country, but she is a little scared of the other, older Princesses. When she arrives, she is placed in the dreaded South Turret, the tower deemed "haunted" by the rest of camp, with 2 roommates she grows to love.
Throughout her time at at camp, where seasons change by the minute and tiaras must always be worn, even during swimming, Alicia learns that there is more to being a Princess than simply being born into the position. It involves solving mysteries, teaching birds to sing, and participating in arts and crafts, complete with real jewels. Alicia is introduced to what her true destiny may be and must learn to face fears and challenges head on.
Like most of Lasky's books, Born to Rule helps promote positive self image among girls, as well as confidence and the idea of being brave in new situations. This book, however, seemed a little forced in the whole "Princess" concept. I loved the idea, but it seemed that every other sentence was almost poking fun at the Princess world, rather than simply having it be a back story to the true plot. The book was also quite short, making the end seem a bit rushed, but that may make it a good story for reluctant readers.
Overall, this was a quick read and one that tweens and other young girls will probably enjoy.