A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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?
- Author: Meg Cabot
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
- Publication date: May 19, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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