|From the notebooks of a middle school princess (From the notebooks of a middle school princess)|
Author: Cabot, Meg
A middle-grade spinoff of The Princess Diaries, about the long-lost sister of Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 176324
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/15)
School Library Journal (06/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2015 The popular Cabot introduces a delightful new protagonist in this Princess Diaries offshoot for younger readers. Since her mom died when she was a baby, 12-year-old Olivia has had to live with her aunt Catherine’s family in New Jersey. Though life is not always easy—including dealing with her not-so-charming stepcousins—aspiring wildlife-illustrator Olivia considers her life, and herself, pretty average. Then one fateful day, life changes again when superceleb Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia appears, reveals she’s Olivia’s half sister, and takes Olivia to Manhattan to happily meet, and be invited to live with, their royal dad in Genovia. However, not everyone supports Olivia’s good fortune, as intrigue and opportunists are revealed. Ultimately, though, exciting times await, as Olivia’s Genovian adventure begins. Olivia is a lively, biracial character whose wry, diary-style narrative details her experiences and progressive discoveries about her background, royal life, and the true meaning of family. Interspersed with Cabot’s black-and-white illustrations, Olivia’s texts with BFF Nishi, and contemporary pop-culture references, this entertaining, quickly absorbing read will have readers anticipating the sequel.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cabot’s perennial popularity ensures that younger readers will receive strong word of mouth from moms and big sisters. Be sure to have a couple of copies on hand. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2015 This Princess Diaries spinoff aimed at a younger crowd reveals that Mia Thermopolis was not the only missing princess of Genovia. Just as twelve-year-old Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is about to receive the beatdown of a lifetime from bully Annabelle Jenkins, a limo pulls up in front of their middle school and out steps the beautiful and famous Princess Mia. The crowd parts (well, after demanding some selfies) and Mia whisks Olivia away, informing the young girl that she is Mia’s half sister and the daughter of the prince of Genovia. At first, Olivia is stunned but delighted—who wouldn’t want to be a princess?—but as Mia discovered before her, becoming royalty is not all that easy. The press is hounding Olivia, asking if the prince abandoned her because she is black (he didn’t; it was her now-deceased mother who requested that she have a non-royal childhood), her aunt and uncle who raised her are demanding that she return home (mainly so they can keep getting the checks the prince was sending to them for Olivia’s care), and Annabelle Jenkins’ lawyer father is threatening to sue after Annabelle has a run-in with Olivia’s new bodyguards. Of course, this is Cabot and the Princess Diaries, so everything ends with a happily ever after and some major wish fulfillment (including a very cute poodle for pet-deprived Olivia), though fans of the earlier series may find this too familiar of a retread. Still, Olivia has an amusing and self-deprecating wit that makes the narration breezy and accessible, and Cabot’s black and white illustrations liven up the tale. Youngsters who aspire to be the next Kate Middleton will find this enchanting and perhaps instructional. KQG - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2015 Gr 3–5—Return to the world of Cabot's widely popular series in this sweet and sassy spin-off featuring the younger half sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis, Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison. Olivia, a biracial sixth grader with dreams of growing up to be a wildlife illustrator, believes herself to be completely ordinary and average. In fact, that's how she's being raised by her Aunt and Uncle O'Toole. Consumed with texting her BFF Nishi and avoiding an afternoon scrape with Annabeth, the most popular girl in middle school, Olivia's world is about to become a reality show when her sister Mia arrives in a chauffeured limousine, ready to whisk her back to her rightful home in Genovia. Readers familiar with Cabot's previous books know that these princesses are made of tough stuff and use their brains (as well as their bodyguards and limousines) to save themselves and make the world a better place. Olivia's voice comes through strongly in the text, though her overuse of exclamatory phrases can be a bit off-putting. VERDICT This bubble-gum flavored contemporary tale will be a perfect fit for Fancy Nancy alumni and readers not quite ready for Cabot's longer novels.—Meg Allison, The Moretown School, VT - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.