From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess Book Poster Image
Biracial heroine freshens up fun Princess Diaries spin-off.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Reinforces the importance of believing in yourself.

Positive Messages

The book does well by going beyond the typical princess/makeover theme and delving into the importance of discovering your inner strength and standing up for yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Positive role models include Olivia, her sister, her father, and the school administration -- although the school administration shapes up a bit late in the story, toward the end. 

Violence & Scariness

A fistfight wherein a nose is bloodied. The same students have another altercation where one is shoved into a locker. 


Mild name-calling such as "loser" and "liar." There's also talk about a character being an illegitimate daughter and people being ashamed of her being African-American.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, by Meg Cabot, is an entry-level introduction into the author's Princess Diaries series and deals with bullying (including a fistfight), estranged family, and embracing biracial identity, in addition to the expected fluffy, fun descriptions of sixth-grader Olivia's newly discovered royal family.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMypassionissinging May 29, 2020
I liked the writing style of this book. I think that if the writing style of a book is good the story seems interesting. And Meg Cabot, in my opinion has a beau... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byBookWorm90 March 16, 2020

If your a dork diaries fan, this book is saying, help me help you.

This book is great. Unlike some of its competitors, this is not about boys, shopping or any of that teen stereotypical mumbo jumbo. It’s about standing up for y... Continue reading

What's the story?

Olivia has an "average" kind of life. Other than living with her aunt and uncle, she's no different from anyone else -- until a former friend decides to rearrange her face for some reason. Then the rumors begin that "average" Olivia is actually world-famous Princess Mia's sister! If the rumors are true, how will "average" Olivia handle being someone "special"? More important, will she finally get to meet her father?

Is it any good?

In an interesting twist on what could have been a fluffy secret-royalty story, Cabot's tale of a mixed-race princess and bullying classmates adds punch and relevancy to the Princess Diaries series. The answers don't come simply for Olivia, yet there isn't an overplayed sense of tragic longing. Instead, when tested, Olivia stands up for and rescues herself by facing her fears and her detractors with the grace of a princess. This novel is a great way to ease readers, who may not be ready for Cabot's longer works, into the Princess Diaries series. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying and how to respond to it, whether you're the target or someone you know is targeted. Olivia's dad was very angry because her cousin did nothing to help her after she was attacked. What could he have done in that situation?

  • How does Olivia overcome her "just average" social conditioning? How does popular media hurt self-esteem?

  • Though you may not have royal blood, learning your background can help you reconnect you with your ancestors. Where do you go when you have questions about your family background and want to explore and verify your family's oral history?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love princesses and family stories

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