Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

I decided to turn my attention to children's lit tonight and share with you some of my favorite books for kids and young adults. These are the ones that came from the "Books I'm not supposed to like anymore (but still do)" section of my old Poohba's Bibliotèque website.

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye can truly be called an upside-down fairy tale. There are certain rules and expectations about princesses: they must be blonde, slender, beautiful, and gentle - and poor Amy doesn't fit the bill. At her christening, Princess Amy's fairy godmother decided to proclaim her "ordinary," so instead of growing up like her six perfect older sisters, she turns into a freckled tomboy that no respectable prince wants to marry.

That suits Amy just fine. Being ordinary, she can run off and have adventures her sisters couldn't even dream of - and she winds up with the best husband in the end, just being herself.

I have to admit this book was one of my inspirations for Thorn of the Kingdom - though it's much funnier and more clever than anything I've ever written.

If you've ever read Kaye's The Far Pavilions you might be surprised to know she also wrote this children's book in such a completely different style. I hate this cover art, by the way, because it makes it look like Amy's about 5. She's actually a teenager through most of the story.

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