For a journal assignment, all the girls in the Daring Dreamers Club have chosen a Disney princess with whom they feel a connection.
In this second entry in the series, Piper has selected Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, because they both have several obstacles to overcome. She is dyslexic, has difficulties reading and writing, and now has trouble solving math word problems. Her greatest joy is experimenting with food using the scientific method to concoct her recipes. She has been selected to participate in a reality TV show that challenges child chefs and offers a large monetary prize to the winner. She learns that obstacles need not be faced alone and that she has the support of her family and her friends in the club. Piper’s tale is interspersed with her journal entries and those of the other club members, sharing their thoughts about their own challenges. Piper is Jewish, conveyed in a reference to Passover, Mariana is Latina, Zahra is Muslim, and Ruby is white, a child of divorce. Milla is African-American and the heroine of the previous series entry. Although the girls have distinct and interesting personalities, the ethnic and racial diversity feels skin-deep; interestingly, not one girl chooses to focus on a princess that shares her race or ethnicity. Soderberg employs a compassionate, light, and humorous tone, allowing readers to root wholeheartedly for Piper, but the princess connection tries too hard.
Sweet but heavy on lessons learned. (Fiction. 8-12)