Baker, E.D. The Wide-Awake Princess.
Since I have had Ms. Baker's Frog Princess series on and off my Perma-Bound list for several years (not much interest in princess tales, and the books were originally published in paperback), I didn't think I would care much for this new story about the sister of Sleeping Beauty. Was I ever glad that I ran out of things to read last night and had to pick this up.
Since Gwendolyn's christening went so poorly, with the whole death-by-spinning-wheel thing, Annabel's mother and father agree to let a fairy give her the gift of being resistant to any magic. Annie is safe, but she also isn't beautiful like her sister, because their is no illusion about her. When Gwendolyn does succumb to a spinning wheel on her 16th birthday, everyone in the castle falls asleep except for Annie, who decides to take off into the world to find Gwendolyn's fiance, Digby, and perhaps pick up a few extra princes along the way, just in case. Early in her travels, she meets up with Liam, a guard in the palace, who was out on an errand. After saving him from an enchanted horse, the two stumble upon many recognizable fairy tale characters, with fun and interesting twists. Annie beguiles several princes with her no-nonsense personality and complete lack of "princessy" behavior, and Liam also comes to care for her as an equal in their adventure. When the group arrives back at the castle, however, will Gwendolyn awake? And which prince will be the one with the magic kiss?
Adored this one!!! Girls who like stories with strong female characters, like Friesner's Nobody's Princess or Pierce's Alana series, will find Annie a good role model. The 6th grade studies fairy tales, and there are always a few girls interested in princess stories, so this will be a good purchase even though it won't see quite as much circulation as some books. I might even be able to get Picky Reader to take a look at it.