A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Strong messages about resourcefulness, autonomy, problem solving, gender equality, wit, fairness, integrity.
Positive Role Models
Most characters are simplistically good or bad, but the central characters are conscientious, honest, ethical, and compassionate, and they care about communities and doing the right thing. They make mistakes but admit them and do everything to fix them. Of note, the primary relationship between Annie and Liam is one of mutual respect, care, and kindness.
Violence & Scariness
Mostly mischief and ominous threats, such as rats, a snake bite, and dangerous flooding. Ogres have a bludgeoning contest; a woman wields a knife; magic spells transform people into animals.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Boy kisses girl on the nose and on the mouth.
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Some name-calling: "stupid."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Princess in Disguise: A Tale of the Wide-Awake Princess is the fourth book in the Wide-Awake series from E.D. Baker. Here, the series continues to reimagine princesses as courageous, compassionate, ethical heroines whose looks are the least important thing about them. Instead, they work to be inclusive, fair, kind royals who consider others, take great risks to protect those they care about, and do whatever it takes to set things right. Though the plot points still mimic those of traditional fairy tales and the gender roles necessitated by them -- here Annie and Liam are in the midst of planning a wedding -- the book strives to emphasize character over superficial concerns at every turn and challenges readers to question their assumptions about what girls and boys can or should do.
Is It Any Good?
This installment in the series isn't as suspenseful as the previous books, but it upholds the series tradition of giving Annie room to be resourceful, smart, headstrong, and compassionate. It also provides a deeper exploration of her relationship with Liam and shows what a mutually respectful relationship of equals looks like.
The plot's twists and turns are less thrilling than in earlier books, and the focus here is more on Annie and Liam's relationship than on Annie's individual problem-solving. But the team works together to solve problems and establish themselves as benevolent, kind royals, with the focus on their compassion as a couple.
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.