THE ROYAL TREATMENT

From the Princess for Hire series

This breezy sequel to Princess for Hire (2010) continues a middle-school girl’s dream come true: She's magically transformed into various princesses and lives their lives for them while the real princesses take a vacation. Thirteen-year-old Desi wants to keep that glamorous and well-paying job, but she finds dealing with her magical employers almost as difficult as the work. She realizes that she herself has some magical ability and that it isn’t all supplied by the agency. She also hopes to meet wonderful Prince Karl again, although she knows the agency can fire her if she becomes personally involved with a royal. Meanwhile, Desi has been cast as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the joint middle-/high-school play, and she’s learning that she has real talent. She’ll need it on her next major assignment, when her princess becomes involved a major, highly publicized scandal, then refuses to return to her real life. Will Desi be stranded impersonating a rich and glamorous celebrity for the rest of her life? And what about that adorable Prince Karl? Leavitt keeps the story dancing along with breathless, wish-fulfillment glee. Desi’s character stands out with her unsinkable confidence, but adult characters often act more like middle schoolers than the kids do. It’s a lively if lightweight romp that will please many young girls with glamorous dreams. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4231-2193-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The tweaks deliver no real alterations, but the clothing and hairstyles may amuse.

DAVID ROBERTS' DELIGHTFULLY DIFFERENT FAIRY TALES

Three classic fairy tales given 20th- (and 30th-) century settings.

Originally published separately between 2001 and 2016, the stories are massaged in ways that tone down the violence of pre-Disney versions and show off the illustrator’s chops as a caricaturist. In “Cinderella” (2001), the scenes are filled with flamboyant art deco fashions and details; the fairy godmother creates a snazzy limo to take young Greta to the ball; and rosebud-lipped, pointy-nosed evil stepsisters Ermintrude and Elvira survive unmutilated. Similarly, in “Rapunzel” (2003), the title character escapes her mid-1970s flat to run off with (unblinded) pop musician Roger, and in “Sleeping Beauty” (2016), when 16-year-old science-fiction fan Annabel pricks her finger on the needle of a record player, she falls asleep for 1,000 years. The three female leads project airs of independence but really have no more agency here than in the originals. The all-White casts and conventional relationships of the first two stories do loosen a bit in “Sleeping Beauty,” as Annabel, who seems White, is watched over by an interracial pair of motherly aunts and awakened at long last (albeit with a touch, not a kiss) by Zoe, who has light-brown skin and long, black hair. Notes following each tale draw attention to the period details, and even the futuristic city at the end has a retro look. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.5-by-21-inch double-page spreads viewed at 70 % of actual size.)

The tweaks deliver no real alterations, but the clothing and hairstyles may amuse. (Fairy tales. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84365-475-9

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Pavilion Children's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fluid prose elucidates a life much stranger than fiction.

PROMISE THE NIGHT

MacColl's second novel brings to life the childhood of future aviator and writer Beryl Markham (Prisoners in the Palace, 2010).

Born Beryl Clutterbuck, she moved with her family to the highlands of Kenya as a toddler. Not long after, her mother and brother returned to England, abandoning her with her rough though loving father. MacColl's account begins when a leopard steals into Beryl's hut and attacks her dog—the child leaping from her bed to give chase. Though she loses the leopard in the night, the next morning, she and her new friend, a Nandi boy, Kibii, find the dog still alive and save it. Later she insists on being part of the hunt for the leopard. Young Beryl wants nothing more than to be a warrior, a murani, and to be able to leap higher than her own head. Her jumping skills progress apace, but young white girls, no matter how determined, cannot become part of the Nandi tribe. Her relationship with Kibii's father, the wise Arap Maina, along with a growing awareness of the consequences of her actions, help lead her into a more mature—though still wildly impulsive and daring—life. MacColl intersperses her third-person narrative with faux news reports and first-person diary entries of two decades later, when Beryl Markham became the first person—let alone woman—to fly a plane west from Europe to America.

Fluid prose elucidates a life much stranger than fiction. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8118-7625-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more