On this blog, my husband and I will write reviews for books. Some reviews will be from just one of us, others will have opinions from both of us. Join in and share your comments on the items being reviewed, too.
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Monday, April 25, 2011
All Hail Shannon Hale
THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale
I haven't read a book by Shannon Hale that I didn't like. I loved her extrapolation of the Grimm's fairy tale, The Goose Girl. It's one of their more gruesome tales, and I was intrigued when I saw Hale's teen book, The Goose Girl. I wondered what kind of a story someone could make from that tale. Hale does a great job of seamlessly including so much of the true tale into her story and yet creates a brand new and satisfying story. Hale's story has such likeable characters and equally devious villains. There is adventure, self-discovery, a budding romance, and characters choosing to do what is morally right. What more could you want? Maybe a few more like this one? Well, Hale supplies that, too. There is now a series based on the characters and kingdom from the The Goose Girl. The second book in the Books of Bayern Series, Enna Burning is quite a bit darker than The Goose Girl, but still and interesting tale. River Secrets is the third book. I love Razo, who is the main character in this book--another great story. I have yet to read Forest Born, the fourth book focusing on Razo's sister.
Hale earned a Newbery Honor Award for Princess Academy. I also enjoyed this book. The people on Mount Eskel work tirelessly, but live in relative poverty compared to most citizens in the kingdom. Things change on Mount Eskel when it is announced that the prince's new wife will be found among the eligible ladies of Mount Eskel. Miri and many others are forced to attend the princess academy (usually a formality in most provinces but desperately needed to prepare Mount Eskel girls for the role of princess). Miri faces difficult challenges including a tyrannical headmistress, shunning from her peers, and determining her own heart. This book also includes more of the speaking-with-nature theme found in the Books of Bayern.
Hale has another teen book which is a retelling or expansion of the tale A Book of a Thousand Days. I have not read this teen book, but I know it is about a princess who is a tower and afraid to meet her suitors, so she insists her maid/lady-in-waiting impersonate her before a suitor with unforeseen consequences. Shannon Hale has also written a new series of graphic novels about Rapunzel and some women's fiction books. Austenland is one of them. It is pictured above. Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to a description and place to order the book if you'd like to find out more.