by Shannon Hale, c2005.
Oh I picked this title for many reasons…
1. Fake Reason
2. Fake Reason Containing Hilarious Pun
3. Fake Reason Containing Anecdote About My Personal Life
4. I had to read it for homework.
Miri is a girl who is too small and feeble to work in the Linder quarry that is the lifeblood of her community. The Prince’s Advisers (read soothsayers) ordain that his Princess will come from this very same small quarry town that Miri has yet to find her place in. In order to educate the hicks who live in this small community so they will make suitable candidates for the Prince a rather dower old woman named Tutor Olana is dispatched from the capital. (From the perspective of a 12 year old girl I never trust the words “dower old woman”, this Tutor Olana is probably 26 and fabulous.)
Miri and the other girls who are older than 12 but younger than the Prince (no Cougars allowed) are invited (read forced) to attend this Princess Academy hence the name of the book. The girls learn to read and write and get an overview of how their country operates. They also learn how to hold a conversation and to dance the popular dances from the capital, at the same damn time!
So all these girls are competing to be head of the class so that they can wear a special silver dress when the Prince comes to pick one of them to be his bride at the Princess Ball… um yeah this book was written in 2005. It’s a pretty safe bet that Shannon Hale is a fan of The Bachelor.
Anyway Miri doesn’t become the Princess, her friend Britta who actually isn’t from the quarry town at all but is really a nobleman’s daughter who lied and said that her parents were dead so she could come to the quarry and stay with distant relatives and thus be eligible for the Princess Academy becomes the Princess. But it’s okay because the whole lying thing was her father’s idea and he’s a greedy nobleman so no one blames Britta, excuse me Princess Britta.