Parents' Guide to

The Wide-Awake Princess, Book 1

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Offbeat princess tale values girls with skills over looks.

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THE WIDE-AWAKE PRINCESS offers an admirable alternative to typical princess fare. The protagonist is a kind, intelligent young woman who wasn't blessed with good looks but rather had to develop a personality and skill set all her own to gain favor. Though she keeps being reminded that she's lacking in the beauty department, she has no trouble finding the admiration and love of another person who values her for herself -- and she has a lot of fun typically reserved for princes along the way.

All this is told through the clever interweaving and subversion of old fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and others, making this a uniquely progressive story that shows that action, romance, and adventure belong to all girls, not only the pretty ones, and that self-esteem comes from more than how the world reacts to your face. Bonus points for urging readers to question what it means to be capable and heroic, no matter your gender.

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