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Princess Academy Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408836807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408836804
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.1 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A fresh approach to the traditional princess story with unexpected plot twists and great emotional resonance (Newbery Committee 2006-12-01)

Plenty of suspenseful moments that peak and fall, building into the next intense event. Each girl's story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, but this is not a fluffy, predictable fairytale, even though it has wonderful moments of humor. Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home (School Library Journal, starred review)

There are many pleasures to this satisfying tale: a precise lyricism to the language and a rhythm to the story that takes its tropes from many places, but its heart from ours . . . an unalloyed joy (Kirkus, starred review)

Book Description

New York Times bestseller and Newbery-Honor-winning novel from a gifted author to rank alongside Cornelia Funke and Eva Ibbotson

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a delightful tale for all ages, full of hope, exploring our hearts' desires, daily struggles, human relationships, and finding our way in this world. Soul searching, while attempting to discover meaning in life, is very much a part of this age-old story retold so beautifully by Ms. Hale. The girls' hope to be chosen by the prince as his princess is something we can all relate to.

While the story recognizes deeper and larger issues such as how society views differing classes and the often overwhelming and almost hopeless struggle to achieve success (or what we believe to be success), the fairy tale nature of this book makes it charming and engaging, presenting only gentle and subtle messages.

Though this story likely will appeal mainly to girls, it is an entertaining tale for all ages and peoples. Even boys and men should be encouraged to read this book, if only to gain a greater understanding of girls and women - their hopes, dreams, reasoning, and challenges.

Ms. Hale tells a timeless tale which proves that girls never really change. Times change, and surroundings change, but girls never really change. I truly believe that "a fairy lives in every girl's heart." Having read The Princess Academy, I now also believe that every girl is a princess, even grown up girls.

J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Shannon Hale is best known for her tour-de-force retelling of 'The Goose Girl', but here she invents her own story, just as fresh and appealing. Miri and the others live in a small mountain village where their families quarry the precious linder stone. The community is isolated, and Miri dreams of somehow winning her father's approval, since he forbids her to work in the quarry with her sister. Her life is changed forever when the priests declare that her village is the site of the girl to marry the prince. All girls over twelve but under sixteen are herded into the eponymous academy, and for a while, the outlook is bleak, with the tutor sneering at her charges and their upbringing, until Miri decides to turn the tables on her. She is an enchanting character, stubborn, sometimes insecure, but clever and with bags of initiative. Aside from the task of preparing for the prince, there are other challenges for the girls to meet, and you will want to see how Miri and the other girls overcome them, and what happens to them all at the end. Hale's language is as evocative as ever; although some similes are a little clumsy, the strength of the storyline makes up for all faults. Anyone who has read 'A Little Princess' will realise the message that every girl is special in her own way, but there are other messages in here, too, making the book a wonderful read for any girl over the age of eight.
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By A Customer on 26 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Miri lives in a little isolated village high up on Eskel Mountain, where her ancestors have quarried the linder in the rock there for centuries. Quarrying is part of the village life, and the villagers even have discovered a way to talk to each other over the noise of the quarry - they send messages through each other's minds, called 'quarry speech'.
But for reasons her father won't say, fourteen-year old Miri is forbidden to go anywhere near the quarries, let alone work there or join in with the quarry speech that she is intrigued by. She feels left out, and wishes more than anything that she could be a part of the village tradition. So when the King's priests divine that the Prince's wife shall be found in the remote Mount Eskel, Miri is determined that if she cannot be a quarrier like the rest of her friends and family, she will try to be a Princess.
I loved this book so much, I read it in one day! I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale's books, and I think that Princess Academy is just as good as The Goose Girl and Enna Burning. I only wish it was longer! I'd give it a billion stars if I could!
Emma :-D
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is truly a hidden gem! It is also suitable for children and adults alike. Miri is truly a great protagonist. She is not extraordinary and far from perfect, but somehow she is able to use her strength and her passion for her people to contribute in ways that only she can. Miri is so down to earth, and I love how this story ended. It is so amazing how this book makes the different personalities come to life and and are so lovable despite the fact that they all have flaws. It's very much about the extraordinary in the ordinary. I read this book for the first time when I was 17, more than 5 years ago, and it still holds a special place in my heart. If you like alternative fairytales, stories about growing up a little, finding your place, your dreams and falling in love - all thrown in with a bit of action... This is for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A sweet story which I believe is best suited to pre-teen girls.

The author skilfully invites the reader to examine (and question) the idea of romantic love, compatibility, social class, happiness, loyalty, and how education can improve lives. In a nutshell; a group of working class girls are sent (by royal decree) to train up so that they have the skills needed to be a princess. They learn how to read, they learn about commerce, diplomacy, dancing, and how to make polite conversation. But most importantly they learn about the outside world and are sufficiently empowered to improve their treatment in the school and their village's lot.

A book I am more than happy for my daughters to read as the heroine is strong and independent, without having to pretend she's a boy!
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