Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Princess AcademyOne day the people of Mt. Eskle are informed that the priests have divined that the next princess will come from their village and that all of the eligible girls are to report to an academy so that they will be prepared for their duties if they are chosen to marry the prince. Miri is among the eligible girls but she has mixed feelings. She hates leaving her father and sister and she loves a boy named Peder who has been her friend since childhood and can’t imagine marrying someone she has never met.

The girls learn much at the academy and also face much including prejudice, unfairness and homesickness. However, they are strong and resourceful and intelligent and they are very capable of using the education they are being given in surprising ways especially Miri.

The miners of Mt. Eskle had developed what they call “Quarry Speak” which is a form of telepathy. They use it to give information or warning while cutting the rock. Miri, though her Dad doesn’t let her work in the mine, learns to use Quarry Speak and changes it so that she can communicate much more than just quarrying information. I liked this element of fantasy in the book and it plays an important role when the academy is attacked by bandits.

This is a good book for girls from 5th grade through 8th if they like fantasy and strong girl heroines.

Posted by: Fran W.

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