In the first book of this new Disney series, Milla learns to recognize her own strengths as she pursues an adventure with a new group of friends.
Fifth-grader Milla, a brown-skinned girl with puffy black curls, loves reading about and writing adventures, but her real-life exploits are limited. Her two moms worry about her being out on her own due to her severe food allergies and a dog bite when she was younger. The fifth-grade overnight Adventure Camp trip seems like a good chance for Milla to take a step toward independence. With the help of new friends in the Daring Dreamers Club and their adviser, the flamboyant Ms. Bancroft, Milla devises plans to show her moms how responsible she can be. The girls in the club have varied interests as well as some surface ethnic and religious diversity: Mariana mentions her abuela; Caroline is Jewish; Zahra is Somali and wears hijab, and she delivers a robotic-sounding monologue about her discomfort with Milla’s pet pig due to her “Islamic faith.” The inclusion of Disney princesses in the storyline is neither subtle nor convincing. Ms. Bancroft has the girls write about a princess they relate to, not because she sees that they are interested in princesses but because, she says, “princesses helped me find my big dream.”
This book is for readers who are really into princesses and ready for longer chapter books. (Fiction. 8-11)