The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

October 16, 2009

Book review: Teen titles will help you ‘Read Beyond Reality’

Each October, libraries across the country celebrate teens and reading with Teen Read Week. This year’s Teen Read Week (which runs today through Saturday) encourages teens to “Read Beyond Reality.”

This can mean many things, but for this review, it means fantasy and sci-fi. For other suggestions, check out the library’s bulletin board located next to the Reference Desk.

“Princess of the Midnight Ball”

By Jessica Day George

Princess Rose and her 11 sisters are cursed. Each morning when everyone in the castle wakes up, the girls are completely exhausted and their special dancing slippers are worn through. Everyone, especially the king, wants to know why this happens, but the princesses lose their voices or start spouting gibberish any time they try to tell someone what they do each night to wear out their shoes.

Concerned for the girls’ safety and well-being, the king issues a promise to all the princes in the world: The prince who tells the king where the girls go and how they wear out their dancing shoes can marry any daughter he chooses and will be the heir to the kingdom. Of course, none of the princes who try to solve the mystery can. Galen, a former soldier who knits when he isn’t working in the gardens of the palace, might be different from an ordinary prince.

This retelling of the Grimm fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is so well written and so wonderful that I read it in a single day. The story is fascinating and the characters — even though there are so many of them — are fleshed out and realistic. It’s a very romantic tale that swept me off my feet.

“Need”

By Carrie Jones

What do you get when you mix together pixies, werewolves and an angsty girl who’s new in town? A pretty satisfying, fast-paced fantasy read that fits in well with the popular human/non-human romance genre, but is interesting enough not to get lost in the crowd.

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