A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will pick up varied and interesting facts -- all three girls turn out to possess bits of knowledge that come in very handy in the moment, from Reese's tech and math skills to Savannah's fondness for amphibians to Mihi's passing along a much better way to cook noodles.
As a character says, "Our world is far from perfect Some people still judge you based on how you look. But when you have the right friends, it feels a little easier." There's girl power aplenty (all the main characters are female), and strong, stereotype-busting messages about being yourself and not letting others define you. Also messages about courage, kindness, teamwork, critical thinking, and appreciation for home, family, and those who love you. Acknowledging it when you've done something wrong, seeking forgiveness, and trying to make amends.
Positive Role Models
Seen mostly in memory, Mihi's extended Korean American family is warm, loving, supportive, cooks great food, and runs an animal rescue. Mihi, just dumped by her lifelong best friend, finds kindred spirits in Reese and Savannah, who all want to be princesses -- and soon discover that that life may not be what they imagined. Each girl's particular skills and talents come in handy along the way. Mihi in particular doesn't always do the right thing in the pressure of the moment, but when she sees her error and tries to make amends, her friends forgive her and the team survives.
Stereotype-busting is a central theme here, as Korean American Mihi dreams of being a princess and her pretty, blond former BFF tells her she's not the princess type. New friend Reese is Black and a budding engineer, Samantha is White, shy, and creative, and they all make a great team. In the magic world, they soon discover that princess life also has a lot of stereotypes and limitations of its own, as the princess lives on offer have very tight scripts and nothing to do with the actual wishes of the people involved. A Black character is falsely accused of trying to steal a machine she's trying to repair. Mihi's Korean grandmother watches TV to improve her English. Mihi alters the timeline by introducing Korean dishes to the chefs in Sleeping Beauty's castle.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Trapped in fairy tale land by helpful-seeming mice who aren't quite what they appear, the girls face assorted dangers from creepy ladies-in-waiting to zombies to the Three Bears in the fairy tale world, including being imprisoned in chains in a dungeon. Poignantly, they spend a lot of time missing their homes and families, fearing they'll never return.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One of the plot threads involves Sleeping Beauty being very anxious to avoid her fairy tale fate, especially being kissed by a prince, which she does not want at all.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mihi Ever After is the first book in a lively, stereotype-busting, girl-power-intensive series by Newbery Award winner Tae Keller. Title character Mihi Whan Park comes from a loving Korean extended family in Massachusetts but dreams nonstop of being a princess -- despite her pretty, blond ex-friend telling her she's really not the type. When she bonds with new friends Reese and Savannah over their mutual determination to be princesses and have adventures, and a candy raid on the librarian's office leads them to discover a portal to the fairy tale world, off they go, only to discover that all is not so great in the land of happily ever after. Their talents and their bond will be tested as they face tricky mice, stern taskmasters, zombie partygoers, and the Three Bears, while also trying to save Sleeping Beauty from a fate she doesn't want. As, it turns out, there's a lot of stereotyping, prejudice, and injustice in the fairy tale world too. Diverse, relatable protagonists, all girls, grapple with relatable issues like being yourself and doing what you think is right, which includes doing right by your friends, which sometimes gets complicated. Book 2, with further adventures, is soon to follow.
Is It Any Good?
Girl power, stereotype-busting, and diversity rule the day as three would-be princesses from our world venture into the fairy tale world in this lively fantasy. As Mihi Ever After unfolds, they find the world of happily-ever-after isn't quite what they dreamed of, and it's actually more about sticking to the script than living your dreams. The three friends are hard-pressed to save themselves and also rescue Sleeping Beauty from a fate she doesn't want one bit, so there's never a dull moment. Lots of relatable ones, though, as good intentions sometimes turn out badly, things go wrong, amends must be made, and forgiveness given -- especially since Book 2 is waiting in the wings.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Fairy Tales for Kids
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate