Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I had forgotten how much I LOVE fairy tales--especially great retellings. I learned about PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL from Melina at Reading Vacation. It sounded good so I picked it up.  I read it quickly and LOVED IT.

I love Jessica Day George. I have read Dragon Slippers and I have other authors whose fairy tale retellings I read (Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale) but I hadn't realized that Jessica Day George had books for older readers.

This book is George's version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I don't know that story well but I do remember having a Golden Book version of it when I was younger.  Jessica Day George tells this story in a way that makes sense and stays true to the original version. This is the story of Galen, a soldier, who has become the king's gardener.  And it is the story of the 12 princesses who are cursed to dance every night from midnight until dawn.  As you can imagine if you know good fairy tales, Galen falls a bit in love with the oldest princess, Rose and wants to free them from this curse.  For me, a book is always about the characters and Jessica Day George does an amazing job at creating characters that are real and believable. And I love these modern retellings because the princesses are always much stronger than they appeared in my childhood versions.

This is one of those Young Adult books that would be a good read for advanced 4th or 5th graders.  I have been looking for books for more advanced 4th or 5th graders lately and it is sometimes difficult due to the content of some YA.

I just ordered the sequel to this book PRINCESS OF GLASS which I am excited to read!


  1. I just read Beastly by Alex Flinn, which is a modernization of Beauty and the Beast this weekend. It's a bit more YA than 4-5 but definitely worth a read.

  2. I've read other George books and enjoyed them. I just finished The Thirteenth Princess, which was good but not great, and it would interesting to see another look at the same fairy tale.


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