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Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  66,674 ratings  ·  6,561 reviews
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, a
Paperback, 314 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published January 1st 2005)
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Popular Answered Questions

Nikki try the book 'Book of a Thousand Days' it is in diary format and is one of my all time favourites
Evendim No, this is not a classic. There's certain books we mean when we say "classic" and this is not one of them.

You can "The Giver" or "Number the Stars"…more
No, this is not a classic. There's certain books we mean when we say "classic" and this is not one of them.

You can "The Giver" or "Number the Stars" for your book report. They're both very good and not too long.(less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Young Adult Books
61st out of 9,069 books — 57,694 voters
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
25th out of 1,482 books — 6,579 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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AUGUST 2012: Just re-read (technically re-listened) to this one in anticipation of the sequel coming out this month. Loved this book all over again!


MAY 2007: So the latest books I’ve read … I haven’t exactly enjoyed. I mean, I do finish them and everything, so they must have been okay, but it’s not like I was ever reaching for my book multiple times a day, binging on pages. I’ve kind of missed that.

But all that changed with Princess Academy! Seriously — I loved this book.

(I should probably on...more
Oct 17, 2009 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love fairy tales and children's books
Shelves: 2009, fairy-tales
Sometimes you just want to take a break from endless angst and sexual tension of currently popular both adult and YA books and read something light and inoffensive. "Princess Academy" is an excellent choice for this purpose. Although this is an obviously children's book, it is not silly or overly simplistic. The fairy tale is very imaginative and teaches many valuable lessons (importance of education is among many of them), but never in a preachy way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found mys...more
HT Goodwill
Jun 29, 2007 HT Goodwill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women and girls from the age of adolescence and up, those who enjoy adolescent fiction
Overall, the book was well written and appropriate for a young adolescent audience. It was certainly not written for someone in my demographic!

I enjoyed a number of aspects of this book and also a few disappointements. Specifically,

1) The resolution of the primary conflict (who gets to be the princess) felt too much like a plot-device (I can't say more without giving away the ending) that the author threw into the story to avoid a painful conflict between the characters.

2)The culture of the moun...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
The linder quarries on Mount Eskel make for hard labour, but the villagers who mine it wouldn't trade their life for anything. The linder stone takes skill to extract in whole blocks from the mountainside, and its qualities enable them to converse without speaking.

Fourteen year old Miri wants nothing so much as to join her father and older sister in the quarry. But she's small, and her father has forbidden her to set foot in the quarry. Instead, Miri tends the goats; teases her childhood friend,...more
Tamora Pierce
I really liked it when the girls started pulling together and thinking past the fairytale, deciding that was in their best interest.
Lisa Vegan
I found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, a lot.

I loved the little poems at the start of each chapter; they gave such a good feel for this mountain community and its people. I was completely charmed by this culture and its people.

There is a very inspiring main protagonist and most of the characters were interesting. I really liked Miri (the main character) and her spunk and her ingenuity, e...more
Jun 26, 2007 Cindy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Girls
(warning: spoilers)

Ok, so I hate it when people hype up a book so much that there's no way you can ever enjoy it. That's what happened to this book. Everyone told me I would love it so much, and so when I read it I was, I couldn't help but be...disappointed. It was good, don't get me wrong! I enjoyed it. I read it fast, it was a book that I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. But I found it to be very predictable and it felt very confining. She mentioned that the mountain was beaut...more
Sep 22, 2008 Kathleen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 9-adult to read alone, read aloud to 5 and up
I've been reading this to my 8.5 year old daughter at night before bed. She is eating it up - and I am too. In fact - I read ahead just to see what happens. . SHHHHHHHH.

Though the title is appropriate, I'm afraid that some people will not pick up this book because they think it is froofy and shallow. . 'Tis not. The protagonist is a real, rich character with an inner life and traits both admirable and unfortunate. The world she lives in is believable and complex economically and socially, and wi...more
I think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book.

The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secrets). Also it shares the "speaking" theme.

What I love most about Princess Academy is the growth the characters experience. Miri began as a scrawny quarry girl who didn't know her place in the world. She developed into a brave, intellegent girl who knows her heart. The road of growth is deep in plot and emotion which makes of a very meaningful and to...more
Mar 11, 2008 S rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle School girls
Shelves: young-adult
An interesting title that I chose because my twelve year old refused to let me read the copy she'd borrowed from her BFF.

This Newbery Honor book is the tale of Miri Larendaughter, misunderstood and misunderstanding, a girl who loves her mountain home and family, harvesters of a rare, marble like rock called Linder.

A prophecy is made that the Prince's future wife will come from their home, and all the girls from 13 to 17 are rounded up and forced to go to school under an awful teacher. Fairly sta...more
Mar 30, 2008 Kyra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone looking for a great book!!!!!!
This book is really seriously a great one!! I love how there is so much to the story and how you never want to put it down!!!
Oct 14, 2008 Juli rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of nontraditional fairy tales (or, you know, anyone who can read.)
Recommended to Juli by: Katie O'Neill
The main character is Miri (named for a moutain flower), who lives in the poor mountains of a rich kingdom. None of the mountain people can read or write, and their only source of income is a product of the mountain itself, which they have to mine, and they're dependent on traders who come from the lowlands with basic goods to swap for the precious mountain stone. The king's priests determine that the prince's future bride will come from Miri's mountain village, so all the eligible young girls h...more
May 26, 2008 Nola rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young adults, girls
Recommended to Nola by: Sesika
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
After hearing a number of people recommend Shannon Hale's The Princess Academy, I couldn't resist trying it out myself. I found it to be a delightful read, perfect for children and young adults, and rather engaging even for us 'big people.' More than your average fairy-tale, the novel creates a protagonist that exceeds the usual boundries.
The premise of the novel is fairy-tale typical. When the priests of Danland determine that the prince's bride will come from the slopes of Mt. Eskel, an acad...more
Dec 07, 2013 Jacqueline rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who are trying to discover who they really are—whether a preteen, teenager, or adult
Recommended to Jacqueline by:
Old review written in 2008 or something like a million years ago:

Everyone who has been or is a teenager has to admit it: one of the most trial times of your life is in your mid- and early teens. If you think about it, these are the times when you have the most conflicts in your life--those with family, friends, neighbors, and probably the greatest, with yourself. Young adult fiction writer Shannon Hale takes a look at these same conflicts. Though the main character of the novel Princess Academy...more
V. Gingerich
Another book that makes me go, "Where have you been all my life?"

Expect lots of similes and other figures of speech, lovely and well drawn characters, and a fantasy setting that feels real as the page.

Miri fights against prejudice and ambition and worries about things like fitting in and how important she really is to her family. She struggles to know the difference between being happy and being chosen for something important, and, as a reader, I struggled, too. I really wanted Miri to be chos...more
I love Shannon Hale - and get sucked right in to her books from the beginning. This book is certainly no exception.

I'm trying to remember though - I have read a book similar to Shannon Hale's style - it was about a girl stuck up in a tower with her maiden. Does this book sound familiar to any of you? If so, can you remind me of the author? I'd like to check out more of those books.

Nevermind...I just found it. It's called Book of a Thousand Days and yes, it is written by Shannon Hale and not so...more
Dec 01, 2008 Amma rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amma by: no one
This is the greatest book I've ever ever ever ever read. It takes place a longggg time ago in Scandanavia and it is so like real life it's scary. It very interseting, a book you can't put down.
My friend Chris Dufort LOVES this book. He is has every bit of Princess Academy merchandise that he can find. He told me that he has read this book 5 or 6 times. I took him up on it and I liked it.
this was adorable! i loved it!

review to come!
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The people who live on Mount Eskel mine linder, the marble-like substance that’s highly prized by those who live in the lowlands. Even though they’ve always supplied the linder for the King’s palace and other important buildings, the mountain folk have their own culture and know very little about what happens beneath their mountain. Therefore, they’re just as surprised as the lowlanders are when the priests ordain that the prince’s bride will come from Mou...more
Literary academics love to debate definitions. When did the Victorian era of literature really start? To which nation should an ex patriot’s writing be accredited? What is young adult fiction? Stephenie Meyer, one of the most recently popular young adult authors, noted her opinion that young adult books merely have young adult protagonists, while adult books have adult protagonists. That may be true, but YA plots also usually involve some kind of bildungsroman.

Princess Academy is no exception. T...more
It was cute that when I read and finished the book we were on our road trip to Utah. all the mountains around were quite the setting. Of course we're staying this week at Quarry Lane. I will try quarry speech with the rock wall on the patio.

(And we drove through Badlands right after I read "Peace like a river", kind of freaky to drive the same road.)

I think she does well creating intensity, just enough to be entertaining for adults but not too scary for younger readers. I like her balanced writi...more
Every now and again I like to read a good children's book, especially if it has a smart heroine. Princess Academy was perfect reading for a Sunday afternoon. It tells the story of Miri, a 14-year-old girl living on a mountain that mines a valuable stone. One day, it's announced that the prince will choose his next princess from Miri's village, and all the girls are sent to an academy to be educated.

Miri is a spunky heroine -- she studies hard, she tries to make friends and she stands up for the...more
I loved this book. I thought the premise interesting, and it did turn out to be a great story, but it had so much roundness and depth beyond the interest of story and setting and character. The exploration of the need to belong, the value of accepting differences and working together, of doing good to those who have not treated us well, are all explored here. Mis-communications and misunderstandings, struggles with self worth, and feelings of being unloved and left out, and the resolutions of th...more
I was surprised how much I liked this. I would've absolutely loved it when I was an 11 yo girl. This cover evokes the originality of the story, and the atmosphere of the mountain home of the girls, much better than the other cover with the close-up of the girl's head.
This book was such fun. Who hasn't dreamt about being a princess at least once in their life? I loved the characters and it was just a sweet story. I am looking forward to reading more of Shanon Hale's books.
I LOVED this book. The title makes it sound more like a fantasy fairy tale, but the book is so far from it.
Shannon Messenger
This was probably the 5th Middle Grade book I bought and read (I started with the Newbery winners) and if I'd had any doubts that this genre could have beautiful prose and deep, powerful stories they were erased here.

Don't be fooled by the title into thinking this is some fluffy fantasy about pretty dresses and fairy godmothers. The story is based off a fairytale, and there is a slight magical feel, but this is an emotional, rich story about a poor, uneducated mountain village that learns they...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Review originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

On the surface, Princess Academy seems a silly tale, a story of a Prince choosing a bride, an obvious read-a-like for Kiera Cass' The Selection. Of course, that is the crux of the story: the prince of Danland is to choose his bride from among the twenty girls of the proper age in Mount Eskel, a small territory town full of quarriers. The girls are required to spend a year in training for the Prince's coming. However, Princess Academy is so much mo...more
This book has great re-read quality. Even rereading it twice in say, a month, like I sort of am, is worth it. You catch little details and tiny foreshadowings you don't catch the first time around.
...........October 14th 2010........
Shannon Hale's books affect me in very odd ways. Occasionally I have to wipe tears out of my eyes. I squeal and laugh and pound my feet on the floor. I have just finished re-reading two of her books in a row, and I am practically in a state of overload. Her books ar...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Would you rather be a lowlander or a Mountain person? 47 97 Oct 23, 2014 12:01PM  
Would you rather go to princess academy or stay in the village 9 23 Oct 23, 2014 11:58AM  
Chapter Book Choice #1 1 4 Sep 26, 2014 12:47PM  
Chapter Book Choice #1 1 3 Sep 26, 2014 12:32PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale - Starting September 6th 2014 2 12 Sep 01, 2014 09:15AM  
  • Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)
  • Fairest
  • Once Upon a Curse (Tales of the Frog Princess, #3)
  • The Truth-Teller's Tale (Safe-Keepers, #2)
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
  • Listening for Lions
  • Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
  • Fortune's Folly
Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng...more
More about Shannon Hale...
The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1) Austenland (Austenland, #1) Book of a Thousand Days Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2) River Secrets (The Books of Bayern, #3)

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“There you go...let it all slide out. Unhappiness can't stick in a person's soul when it's slick with tears.” 475 likes
“I keep thinking about a tale my nurse used to read to me about a bird whose wings are pinned to the ground. In the end, when he finally frees himself, he flies so high he becomes a star. My nurse said the story was about how we all have something that keeps us down.” 249 likes
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