The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Princesses, Princes, and Other Such Folk- July 2008

Selected and annotated by Kathleen Kohl


Bath, K. P. The Secret of Castle Cant.
Lucy Wickwright, unaware that she is the illegitimate daughter of the Baron of Cant, looks after the Baron's younger daughter Pauline. On his deathbed, the Baron tells Lucy and Pauline the truth, but dies before he can make the statement in front of witnesses. The Baron's behavior has placed Lucy in a tight spot, caught between the danger of cooptation by rebels and imprisonment by loyalists. Can Lucy rise to the top of all this confusion?

Creech, Sharon. The Castle Corona.
When orphans Pia and Enzio have a pouch dropped at their feet by a "thief," they assume that it is just chance and intrigued by the bag, keep their findings to themselves. The king's hermit uses evidence in the bag to reveal that Pia and Enzio are his long-lost grandchildren, and joins with the queen's hermit to show the king and queen that though there is no evident conflict, all is not perfect in their kingdom.

Ferris, Jean. Once Upon a Marigold.
When six-year-old Christian is found by Ed, a troll, he makes one thing clear: "You can throw [my] stupid velvet suit away. I'm never wearing it again." Eleven years later, Christian becomes p-mail (carried by carrier pigeons) pen-pals with Princess Marigold, and crosses the river to secretly join the palace staff. Before long, Marigold realizes who he is, and the two fall in love, interfering with Marigold's mother's plans to seize the throne.

George, Jessica Day. Dragon Slippers.
When Creel is sent to the dragon's lair, she strikes a deal with it so that it doesn't have to harm her or deal with the knight that is sent to rescue her. In return, she is given a pair of slippers that, unbeknownst to her, grant the wearer the power to control dragons. Arriving in Feravel's capital to look for work, Creel manages to anger the snotty Princess Amalia who arranges for the slippers to be stolen, then enslaves the dragons and turns them on Feravel. Creel must find a way to regain the shoes and free the dragons before Princess Amalia destroys everything she loves.

Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days.
On her first day as a maid to Lady Saren, Dashti, a poor, orphaned peasant girl with healing powers, she is offered the choice to return to her peasant life or accompany Lady Saren on a seven year imprisonment in a tower. Dashti chooses the tower, and she and Lady Saren are left to their fate, all because Lady Saren would not marry Lord Khasar, and instead engaged herself with Khan Tegus. After two years, the women escape, only to find Lady Saren's city in ruins. In an attempt to save Khan Tegus' city, Dashti sneaks them in as servants, and tries to defeat Lord Khasar.

Hale, Shannon. Goose Girl.
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee was to be the Crown Princess of Kildenree until her mother decided to betroth Ani to the prince in Bayern. When her maidservant, Selia, and some of her guards turn on her, Ani barely escapes with her life. She makes her way to Bayern and gets hired as a goose girl for the king, while Selia assumes Ani's role. Trying to find her horse and convince the king that Selia is an imposter, Ani encounters magic, romance, and geese in this wonderfully crafted coming-of-age tale.

Hale, Shannon. The PrincessAcademy.
14-year-old Miri lives on Mount Eskel, where the villagers harvest linder rock from the quarries. When the priests in the lowlands divine that the prince's future wife will be found on Mount Eskel, all the girls in the village between 11 and 17 must go to an academy for a year to be educated and taught how to be a princess. Though initially unwilling to participate in the academy, Miri is on her way to being the best in the academy and possibly marrying the prince. But does she really want to?

Harrison, Mette Ivie. The Princess and the Hound.
George, like his mother, the Queen, has the gift of animal-speak. But when his mother dies and magic is outlawed, George and his father grow apart. After a time, George is betrothed to Princess Beatrice, who shares a deep bond with her dog. But George discovers that the bond is not just that of friendship; the princess and the dog have had their soul exchanged. In order to reverse the enchantment, and win Princess Beatrice's love, George must reveal his magic and risk the loss of his kingdom and family.

Levine, Gail Carson.Ella Enchanted.
Ella has been given the gift of obedience by a fairy, which has been more of a burden than a gift. Her fairy godmother believes that Ella can break the curse if given enough incentive, but what incentive is that? Though the threat of losing her own life does not break it, could her love for Prince Charmont break Ella's curse and save his life from an evil plot to steal his throne?

 Levine, Gail Carson.Fairest.
In Ayortha, beauty and singing are praised and admired above all else. Graced with a legendary singing voice, Aza is unfortunately ugly. When she goes to the palace for the king's wedding, the new queen chooses Aza to be her lady-in-waiting, but blackmails her into throwing her voice while the queen lip-syncs so that the kingdom believes that the queen has a beautiful voice. But can tricks and illusions last in a court?

Lowe, Helen.Thornspell.
In this retelling of "Sleeping Beauty," the crown prince Sigismund suffers the loss of one of his retainers during a stag hunt in the rumored to be enchanted woods. His grief distracts him so that he finds himself imprisoned in a fairy hill, at the mercy of Margravine zu Malvolin who controls him because he is destined to break the hundred-year-old enchantment on the castle in the wood, when a princess and her kingdom sleep behind a thorny veil. If the curse is broken, Margravine will lose her power forever.

Pattou, Edith. East.
Rose is the youngest of seven children, meant to replace her east-born sister. But as a north-born baby, she is restless and stormy. When an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and offers health and prosperity to her family if she comes with him, Rose readily agrees. After she betrays her enchanted host by lighting a lamp to reveal him as a man that lies beside her every night, Rose must undertake a journey to find and free the bear from the Troll Queen's enchantment.

Rodda, Emily. The Key to Rondo.
When Leo's second cousin Mimi comes to visit, she breaks the rules governing the Langlander heirloom, a music box. In doing so, the Blue Queen comes out and steals Mimi's dog, forcing Leo and Mimi to follow the Queen into a magical kingdom called Rondo. It turns out that Leo and Mimi are not the first Langlanders to enter Rondo, and embark on an adventure to right some family wrongs and prove that Langlanders are indeed the stuff of legends.

Stanley, Diane. Bella at Midnight.
Bella's mother died soon after childbirth, and her father, blaming Bella for the loss of his wife, sent her away to live with a peasant family. Years later, Bella learns that her actual father has sent for her to live with him, and his new wife and daughters. Meanwhile, grief-stricken from her father's death, Alice barely notices her new home and stepsister, Bella. But when Bella needs Alice's help to preserve the much needed truce between their home and a neighboring town (while saving the life of her true love), the stepsisters embark on the daring attempt together.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Heir Apparent.
For her 14 th birthday, Giannine Bellisario receives a gift certificate to Rasmussem Enterprises, a company that creates virtual role-playing games. When members of Citizens to Protect Our Children damage the equipment while protesting, Giannine becomes trapped in her game. She has limited time to solve the game before the equipment malfunctions and she suffers a "fatal overload." Can she do it?

Verrillo, Erica. Elissa's Quest: Phoenix Rising, Book One
Elissa is a talented animal-speaker apprenticed to High Crossing's local wise woman. But she soon finds her simple fortunes changed when she is introduced to the father she never thought she would meet. When Elissa leaves High Crossing to travel with him, the thirteen-year-old girl discovers that she is being offered to a desert khan as security for troops and money that her father, the prince, needs for his kingdom. Rescued from having to marry the khan by her young servant, Maya, and a tribe known as the Blue People, Elissa finds herself using her talents to save herself and free the Blue People from their corrupt ruler.

NOT REVIEWED BY THE BULLETIN:

Burnett, Frances Hodgson.A Little Princess.
When Sara Crewe was seven, her father sent her to Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies so that she could be properly taken care of. Rich as a princess, she is treated like one until the day that her father dies, bankrupt. Then Sara is put to work, forced to live in the Seminary's attic and treated horribly. But when her father's business partner discovers diamonds in the mine they had invested in, he sets out to search for Sara and tell her of the money that she has inherited.

Lewis, C. S.The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
When Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are sent to a mansion in the country to escape the war, Lucy discovers Narnia, a magical land that can be entered through a wardrobe in the old house. There, the White Witch has cast a spell that keeps Narnia in winter all the time. However, the great lion Aslan is coming back and the prophecy that two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve would save Narnia is coming true.

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