Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler



6295173
 The Thirteenth Princess 
by Diane Zahler  
256 pages
Middle Grade
HarperCollins
Feb. 2010 

Book Jacket Summary
Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, The Thirteenth Princess tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses—and the young girl determined to save them all.

My Thoughts
I think the Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairy tale retelling. There are so many ways you can make it new and exciting. You can tell it from anyone one of the princesses, the solider, or in this case the thirteenth princess. In this story the thirteenth princess is banished to the kitchens because the queen dies giving birth to her. The sisters try to look after her but she is under the care of the cook who keeps her busy.
This book is really cute and perfect for a middle grade student that is looking for a quick clean read. It is not one of the darker retellings but instead focuses on the sweet nature of Zita who is will to to anything to save her sisters. They use a dumbwaiter to bring Zita up to the princess' room and spend the night once a week so they can get to know each other. When the sisters start to fall ill it is up to Zita and her friend Brecken to find out what is happening each night. There is also a kindly witch who helps them and provides the spell to keep them invisible while in the enchanted kingdom. It hits all the right notes that you look for when reading the twelve dancing princesses and gives you new plot lines to keep it fresh! Enjoy this retelling!    

Book Pairings
The Princes Curse by Merrie Haskell
Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
 
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