Monday, October 12, 2015

MMGM-The Princess in Black

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Okay, okay. I know that technically, The Princess in Black is a beginning reader book, and not really middle grade at all. But... my students have the rest of their lives to read serious books on depressing topics. Once they leave 8th grade, no one is going to ever recommend something like this to them. Why give them The Fault in Our Stars in 5th grade? Not a huge fan of Young Adult literature, although there is some I buy, and some readers who need it.

We've had so much fun with the first book. Because of all of the hoo ha concerning Ms. Hale not being asked to speak to boys, or rather, boys not being asked to hear her, I encouraged the boys at my school to read the book before the girls did, so we could send a filled up circulation card to Ms. Hale. They enjoyed it so much that I may have to buy the sequel.

Fun. We just need more of that in my world.

Hale, Dean and Shannon. The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. (#2)
October 13th 2015 by Candlewick
E ARC from

Princess Magnolia is having a big birthday party, and all of her princess friends have shown up riding various animals, with various princess outfits, bearing gifts. The party progresses nicely, but the monsters keep attacking the goats, and Princess Magnolia has to excuse herself and go keep the monsters from eating the goats. This becomes very wearing, especially when one of the guests hides in the broom closet and almost discovers the princess's secret! Eventually, the princess reads the monster the riot act. He behaves, even giving her a present, and she is allowed to finish her party, with her guests none the wiser even though her dress is inside out and she has twigs in her disheveled hair.
Strengths: I am a HUGE LeUyen Pham fan; ever since her Joe and Beth Krush homage in Snyder's Any Which Wall. The illustration are rather brilliant-- while the princesses seem to be from a variety of cultures, their costumes don't necessarily reflect any particular culture. There is, for example, a girl in what looks like stereotypical Native American dress who does not look in the least Native American. This is a great way to get a variety of faces in the book without having to worry about people complaining that they aren't authentic.

This moves along quickly, makes sense, and we learn that Princess Magnolia is a bit impatient. She uses this quality well, though. It's a simple story that my daughters would have adored.
Weaknesses: I really wanted to see more from the goat herder, Duffy, but he is barely shown. I think Magnolia needs to learn to deputize.
What I really think: Yep. Buying. And replaced my lost copy of Arnie the Doughnut, too. Fun.


  1. Anonymous12:29 PM EDT

    This was a delightful addition. I too wanted to read more of Duffy. Maybe he'll spin-off after the 3rd Princess in Black book.

  2. This sound like a lot of fun. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the review.

  3. LOVE the Princess in Black books! :)
    (This fits right in with my panel topic!)

    Happy reading this week!

  4. Loved this book, loved your review of it. I mentioned your review in my review, which I posted last night. :)