Princess Academy

Princess Academy
by: Shannon Hale

Challenges: YA Challenge

Published: 2007

# of pages: 336

I have to say, Shannon Hale is one of my favorite young adult authors. Princess Academy was original, fun, and definitely kept me hooked. I loved the world that Hale created for this novel and the character Miri was great.

Miri lives in a small mountain village that exists only to mine a special type of rock, linden. That's how all of the villagers make their living although it is a hard one. They are very poor, they work as long as the weather allows and then trade the rocks for supplies twice a year. Miri isn't allowed to work in the mines. Her father won't allow her to and she doesn't know why. Her mother died giving birth to her and her sister isn't too much older and also doesn't know the reason Miri can't even step foot into the rock quarry.

One day the villagers receive news that the prince is going to marry a girl...from their village. The astronomers read the signs that a girl from the small mountain town would be the princess. They must follow tradition and all the girls in the proper age range must go to a princess academy for a year to learn how to be a princess. Miri and her friends travel to the academy where a whole new world opens up to them. Miri does her best to excel at her studies since it's one thing she can do to feel useful to the village. She's torn between the desire to be chosen by the prince and to continue living with her family in the place she's always loved.

Miri shows a strength of character as she leads the other girls as disaster falls upon the academy. She's a great role model for young girls who read this novel. The story has a great pace and is filled with neat details and plenty of action. I definitely recommend this to all young adults and also to any adults who are interested in young adult books, especially the fantasy genre.

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