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Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
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Princess Academy (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Shannon Hale

Series: Princess Academy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,2281781,453 (4.05)146
While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.
Member:238Elm
Title:Princess Academy
Authors:Shannon Hale
Info:Scholastic (2006), Edition: Literature Circle Edition, Paperback
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Chapter Books

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Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (2005)

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» See also 146 mentions

English (176)  Spanish (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
This is about as far from my day to day grind as it gets...therefore, quite a nice little vacation wrapped up in a story about mountain girls from a mining village exposed to books for the first time. Really enjoyed this one. ( )
  wills2003 | Jul 30, 2020 |
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince will choose his bride from among the village girls.

The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Soon Miri finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires. Winning the contest could give her everything she ever wanted--but it would mean leaving her home and family behind ( )
  Gmomaj | Jul 23, 2020 |
This was a fun reread. I really enjoyed the very light hints to Biblical truth sprinkled lightly throughout it. ( )
  Wanda-Gambling | May 9, 2020 |
{First of 3 [Princess Academy] series; children’s/ YA, fantasy}

Miri, named for a small mountain flower, is a mountain girl but, at fourteen, is small for her age and forbidden by her father from setting foot in the quarry for the linder which is the lifeblood of their village. She has grown up in a small village on Mount Eskel in the country of Danland where all the villagers over eight years old - except her - work in the linder quarry hoping to have cut enough stone when the traders make their annual visit to buy enough food to last them the whole winter. Linder is a stone used in building that is durable and marbled with a different colour from each quarry site.

It is hard enough to hold up great palaces and never crack, yet light enough to haul long distances.

Then comes the surprising news that the priests have divined that the prince’s future bride will be found on Mount Eskel and so all the village girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen will be required to attend an academy so as to turn them into suitable suitors. However the only building big enough for the purpose is a few hours walk away so they will have to stay away from their homes and families for some months.

Though the girls are all enchanted by the thought of becoming the princess and they all learn different things from the academy, will the girl chosen want to leave her mountain home? The Princess Academy changes all of their lives in ways they could never have dreamed of. Miri, for example, discovers how clever she is and how much she is loved.

‘But your pa adores you. I’ve seen him look at you and Marda as if you were the mountain itself, as if you were the world.’
He does? thought Miri. Her heart beat once as she thought, He does.

A story about family and friendship and adventures on the mountain, gently told. I love the way Hale portrays relationships, be it sibling, parental or friendship. And just maybe that ‘mean girl’ isn't really so bad ...

4 stars ( )
  humouress | Mar 17, 2020 |
Princess Academy is a cute book.

In picking this one up, I was excepting something akin to Tuesdays at the Castle or Ella Enchanted, and more or less that’s what I got. The story is relatively light and easy, with many predictable twists and turns. The predicability doesn’t reduce the enjoyability, but some of the twists were a bummer for me. I didn’t think the ending satisfied. In general, the story felt a little stiff.

As a protagonist, Miri is likable. There was nothing about her that really made her stand out as a protagonist and make her memorable. She was a sweet girl who cares for the people around her and is kind to everyone She has a thirst for knowledge and a deep desire for fairness. There are a couple minor characters who stood out a little – Katr and Britta – but for the most part the characters blended together.

Shannon Hale regains a lot of points from me in her world building. Where the princess aspect of the story went down a tired path and the characters blended together, Mount Eskel was incredibly well-written. The pieces of this world came to life easily and with more dimensions than I’m used to seeing in a middle grade fantasy. Eskel has everything from seasonal celebrations to its own economy. The world comes to life easily and generally, I’m impressed. There’s not a lot of flowery writing and the depth isn’t quite as immersive as YA or adult novels, but it’s still quite good.

The time in Princess Academy is spent split between the princess academy itself and Mount Eskel. Perhaps if the book had been on Eskel the entire time, it would have been more impressive as a whole. The pacing in the book was good, the writing was fine. There were moments of decent action, including hanging off a cliff! But for the most part, the story was tame.

At the end of the day, Princess Academy was just okay. It’s a decent fairytale-style novel for those who enjoy the genre, but it’s nothing enthralling or groundbreaking on its own. While Miri’s tale continues, I don’t think I’ll venture past Princess Academy. The glimpse was sweet and certainly something I would have enjoyed more when I was younger. ( )
  Morteana | Feb 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal (Oct 1, 2005)
 
Unfortunately, Hale's lighthearted premise and underlying romantic plot bog down in overlong passages about commerce and class, a surprise hostage situation and the specifics of '"quarry-speech."
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 8, 2005)
 
There are many pleasures to this satisfying tale: a precise lyricism to the language ... and a rhythm to the story that takes its tropes from many places, but its heart from ours.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus Reviews (Jul 15, 2005)
 
Hale nicely interweaves feminist sensibilities in this quest-for-a-prince-charming, historical-fantasy tale.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Anne O'Malley (Jun 1, 2005)
 
Sheilah Egan (Children's Literature)
Miri yearns to prove herself useful to her widowed father by working in the village quarry, but, he forbids this, thus cutting his daughter off from the bond of the villagers who earn their living carving stone on Mount Eskel. In this unusual blend of coming-of-age, adventure, fantasy, and fairy tale story Shannon Hale gives us a strong girl persona, wicked “outlaw outsiders,” corrupt business dealings, strict “princess trainers,” and a prince in need of a proper princess. Miri proves her worth to her father, the village, the head of the Academy itself, and to the fellow worthy of this quick-witted, hard-working “almost a woman.” The crux of the tale is the “quarry speech” used by the stone workers to communicate over the noise and confusion of the quarry, which is adapted by Miri in her desperation to save the village girls after they have been kidnapped by the outlaws. As usual, Hale ties her characters to the land in which they have been born and to Nature itself. This is an engaging, plain “good read” that just happens to be filled with life lessons about friendship, acceptance, courage, endurance, and finding the right path. Guard against dismissing this fantasy as more of the same old genre; there are a lot of fresh ideas and solid truths to be had in this finely-crafted novel. 2005, Bloomsbury, $16.95. Ages 12 up.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Sheilah Egan
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hale, Shannonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lieder, RickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mark, DonnaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeltner, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
None
Dedication
For Good Friends. And especially for Rosi, a true mountain girl.
First words
Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat.
Quotations
Plumb line is swinging

Spring hawk is winging

Eskel is singing
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.

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Book description
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
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