By Terreece Clarke,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bewitching tale with a refreshingly real heroine.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Misunderstandings and naughty behavior occur, but those involved eventually realize the error of their ways. The characters experience substantial growth and evolution.
Violence & Scariness
Historical violence with swordfights and the death of three people. An adult whacks a teen's hands with a rod. A person is kicked and yelled at while imprisoned.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A girl searches for suitable suitors, two teens kiss, and two weddings occur.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People drink wine, as was common in the novel's setting.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is romance and some historical violence in this novel. More importantly the novel deals with body image, societal pressures, magic, and parental death. None of the violence is graphic and the author approaches parental death with sensitivity.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
Fairy tale fun
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Great for girls of any age
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What's the Story?
Princess Ben was a plump and content princess with a wonderful family that kept her shielded from the royal court. When her parents and the king die mysteriously, Ben is at the mercy of her aunt, Queen Sophia, and the invading army of a neighboring kingdom.
Is It Any Good?
Catherine Murdock joins the ranks of writers who seek to reinvent the fairytale genre with wit, fun, and a dash of feminism. Indeed, Princess Ben is a real girl's princess; she sulks, gets angry, has no time for the foolishness of Queen Sophia's "lessons," and is far from the willowy thin princesses of other stories (the girl likes her treacle tart). She holds her own destiny in her hands, and her evolution from sheltered, indulged child to selfless, proactive ruler gives this tale a modern edge.
Beyond the fantastic heroine, there are so many adventures, surprises, and plot twists that readers won't be able to put the book down. If they can get past the sometimes overly flowery language, readers and parents alike will love Ben's story.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how difficult it is to change your opinion of someone, particularly from bad to good. Ben's opinion of Queen Sophia was negatively influenced by her mother. Have you ever had another person's influence affect your thoughts about someone?
- Author: Catherine Murdock
- Genre: Fantasy
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
- Publication date: March 30, 2008
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 10
- Number of pages: 344
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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Where to Read
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