This modern fairy tale by Shannon Hale is published by Bloomsbury USA and is written for kids ages 9 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Life is quiet in Miri's mining community until a delegate from the lowlands arrives and announces the prince will marry a girl from her region. Since the girls on Miri's mountain are considered rough and uncultured, the lowlanders establish a year-long preparatory princess academy, which every girl between ages 13 and 18 must attend. Initially, Miri and her friends are reluctant to go; the academy is located three hours from home and run by a harsh woman named Olana. But as Miri discovers the joy of learning, she begins to wonder what it might be like to be a princess. Amid events like sparring with her teacher, meeting the prince and surviving a bandit attack, Miri must decide whether she wants to become royalty or remain loyal to her mountain home.
Other Belief Systems
The mountain people believe in a "creator god." After days of fasting, the priests of the creator god perform a rite that helps them decide which region of the kingdom the future princess will come from.
Bandits hold the girls captive in the academy for days, tying them up and injuring those who rebel.
Peder kisses Miri on the cheek.
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Readability Age Range
9 and up
Newbery Honor Book, 2006; ALA Notable Children's Book, 2007; Beehive Award, 2007; New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing; Publishers Weekly Cuffie Awards, 2005