Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress. – Kiera Cass
One of my favorite library stories to tell is about the day I read The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch aloud to a group of first graders. There was one particular girl in the class whose reaction I wanted to see. Mina LOVED Disney princess books and was excited to see a princess on the cover of this book, even the eponymous princess was wearing a paper bag. Her reaction at the end was priceless. She was speechless, and possibly horrified at the unexpected ending. I don’t think it ever became her favorite book, but I hope it planted a seed.
As I aired out the house very early yesterday morning, I picked up my library copy of I am Princess X by Cherie Priest and started to read.
Publisher’s Summary: Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.
Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There’s an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby’s story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon — her best friend, Libby, who lives.
This was a great summer read. It has strong female characters, mystery adventure, clue following and a story within a story. It was a quick read and, although it is marketed as YA, I’d say it was on the younger end of the YA spectrum, so middle grade readers looking for something a little more should give it a try.