What a sweet book. As you know if you follow this blog, I love to mix it up a bit with the stuff I read. This one was a little detour to youth fiction. I enjoyed it! The characters were endearing, the storyline interesting and the touch of fantasy involved was "just enough." As with most youth fiction, this was very easy to read. I sped through it.
I really love to read books about displaced girls who find themselves either outcasts or bullied by others and have to truly stand up for themselves. Think Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess and the like. This one had, like I said, a touch of fantasy (quarry-speech) that made it different and fun. Miri has a strength of character that I admire and hope to find in my own daughter as she gets older. Endearing, sweet and lovable, but not flawless.
Shannon Hale weaves a wonderfully appropriate story for tween girls. Miri and Peder and all the Princess Academy candidates won my heart. However, I had a super tender spot for Miri's father, Laren. Perhaps it's because I'm an adult instead of a spry teenager, I related to his sorrow and his relationship with his daughter. The book doesn't focus on Laren, but you get glimpses of his personality by the way he reacts to his daughter, how Miri thinks of her father and when he interacts with his other daughter, Marda, and the fellow townspeople. He has a lot of sorrow and weight on his shoulders, and loves his daughters so very much.
This book would make a really lovely movie. At the rate most books are turning into movies these days, I won't be surprised if this gets to the big screen shortly. I don't think that it's in the works or anything, but it's such a huge trend. Kinda bugs me. No original ideas out there?!? (Sorry - I know this isn't a movie blog.) Some books DO make great movies, though. I think this would.