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Princess Academy
Cover of Princess Academy
Princess Academy
Princess Academy Series, Book 1
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Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future...
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future...
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Description-

  • Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. Sent to an academy to learn how to become a princess, Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and even bandits intent on kidnapping the future princess.

    "When it comes to contemporary classics, Shannon Hale has the makings of someone whose books will be read and reread for decades to come." –The 2006 Newbery Committee (The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association)

    "Princess Academy is the strong, well-written story of one girl's determination to show that even a small mountain flower can be as valuable as a gold crown." –Teenreads.com

    "An unalloyed joy." –Kirkus Reviews

    "This is not a fluffy, predictable fairy tale...Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home." –School Library Journal

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and has never stopped, earning an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana sixteen years later, and publishing The Goose Girl, her first book, not long after that. She makes her home near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, and their son, Max.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books felicisowl - I love this book - honestly, I would have to say this is one of my top ten favorite books, just because it captures emotions so perfectly, and the author's voice is fresh and captures the reader's imagination right away. The poems that start almost every chapter and very creative and sometimes, downright funny, and I felt the emotions that the characters were feeling, such as fear, uncertainty, and joy, among many other emotions. Now let's get on with the review! Miri is a small girl living in a territory called Mount Eskel. Everyone who lives on Mount Eskel works in the quarry and cuts linder, which they later sell to merchants visiting Mount Eskel. Unfortunately, Miri is too small and weak to help the village cut linder, and therefore feels useless and unwanted. However, she has a close relationship with her father and her sister, and her crush/friend Peder. However, the prince is getting ready to choose a bride, and the country's priests have declared that the prince's bride will come from.. Mount Eskel! Mount Eskel? Everyone, including the royal family, is immediately shocked - they all think that it's just a lowly territory, has no influence on the kingdom, and basically has a lot of prejudice on it. Reluctantly, they use the fanciest building in Mount Eskel and dub it, "The Princess Academy," where girls from the age of 12-18 will prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime - to become a princess. Miri and the other girls attend "The Princess Academy," where all the lessons are taught by a harsh and strict teacher, Tutor Olana. However, Miri is very bright and excels at learning, commerce, and nearly all the other subjects through time. Since their current situation is unbearable, since they hardly ever get to see their families and they receive brutal punishments, Miri and the other girls, with their new manners and diplomacy, convince Tutor Olana to let them have weekly visits home. That was a step in the right direction, and now everything seems to flow into place like a river. Miri starts learning quarry-speech, which is communication used in quarries that is non-verbal. (It is non-verbal because the noise in the quarry is too loud for people to hear human talk.) Miri also befriends a quiet, far-away girl named Britta, who has just moved to Mount Eskel and is still considered a "lowlander," which means someone who is "fancy," or generally closer to the kingdom ways than the Mount Eskel ways. Miri's willingness and eagerness to learn and her new-found friendships with the other girls earns her the title of "Academy Princess." This grants her to wear a beautiful, silk-like dress to the ball and also have the first dance with the prince at the actual ball. At the ball, the prince turns out to be so formal and boring, unlike how the girls imagined him. He dances with every girl except Britta, who is ill and distant, and is very solemn, serious, formal, and boring to each of them. Later, he takes a walk with Miri and reveals his more human side. However, he leaves without choosing a bride, telling everyone that he will return in the spring and then choose a bride. Oh, no. BANDITS! Bandits are here! They have a horrible motive of taking hostage "The Chosen One," or the prince's future bride, and keeping her until the prince and the royal family pays them to get her back. (They probably will kill the other girls who aren't the princess!) What will Miri and the other girls do? If they do survive the bandits, who will become the princess? Read this book to find out! This book has a twist ending, and I absolutely loved the twist ending - it was perfect!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 8, 2005
    Readers enchanted by Hale's Goose Girl
    are in for an experience that's a bit more earthbound in this latest fantasy-cum-tribute to girl-power. Cheerful and witty 14-year-old Miri loves her life on Mount Eskel, home to the quarries filled with the most precious linder stone in the land, though she longs to be big and strong enough to do quarry work like her sister and father. But Miri experiences big changes when the king announces that the prince will choose a potential wife from among the village's eligible girls—and that said girls must attend a new Princess Academy in preparation. Princess training is not all it's cracked up to be for spunky Miri in the isolated school overseen by cruel Tutor Olana. But through education—and the realization that she has the common mountain power to communicate wordlessly via magical "quarry-speech"—Miri and the girls eventually gain confidence and knowledge that helps transform their village. Unfortunately, Hale's lighthearted premise and underlying romantic plot bog down in overlong passages about commerce and class, a surprise hostage situation and the specifics of "quarry-speech." The prince's final princess selection hastily and patly wraps things up. Ages 9-up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2005
    Gr 5-9 -The thought of being a princess never occurred to the girls living on Mount Eskel. Most plan to work in the quarry like the generations before them. When it is announced that the prince will choose a bride from their village, 14-year-old Miri, who thinks she is being kept from working in the quarry because of her small stature, believes that this is her opportunity to prove her worth to her father. All eligible females are sent off to attend a special academy where they face many challenges and hardships as they are forced to adapt to the cultured life of a lowlander. First, strict Tutor Olana denies a visit home. Then, they are cut off from their village by heavy winter snowstorms. As their isolation increases, competition builds among them. The story is much like the mountains, with plenty of suspenseful moments that peak and fall, building into the next intense event. Miri discovers much about herself, including a special talent called quarry speak, a silent way to communicate. She uses this ability in many ways, most importantly to save herself and the other girls from harm. Each girl's story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, but this is not a fluffy, predictable fairy tale, 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." -Linda L. Plevak, Saint Mary's Hall, San Antonio, TX"

    Copyright 2005 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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