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4.7 16
Middle Grade Fiction 243
Girlpower and Friendship Rule
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This fantasy won a coveted Newbery Honor Award, and it's easy to see why. The story is gripping and intelligent; the themes are friendship, destiny, ambition, and feminine power--laced with realistic-feeling magic.

Miri (who feels useless, small, and helpless) is sent along with the other village girls to the princess academy from which the prince will choose a bride. The school is harsh and the girls are homesick. Miri picks up prince-pleasing skills, but she also learns to read and reason intellectually. In addition, she teaches herself to use "quarry speech," a type of poetic thought transference based on shared memories.

When Miri learns that the linder stone her very poor village mines is, in fact, incredibly valuable, she wonders if she can better the lives of her community. Is the nearly impossible dream of marrying a prince the only means to this end? And what about the fascinating village boy, Peder?

This book feels like an instant classic while being a thoroughly enjoyable read. PRINCESS ACADEMY boasts all the elements for a satisfying tale along with a sympathetic heroine and her passionate yearning--and it ends with a pleasing and surprising twist.

Very highly recommended!
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