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Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1)

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4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  87,016 Ratings  ·  7,758 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. Sent to an academy to learn how to become a princess, Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and even bandit ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 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
Maryam Yes it's okay for 5th or the years are 8 9 10 and 11. E.T.C.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lola  Reviewer
description

3.5 stars. If only…If only my eleven-year-old younger self had read this book. I know she would’ve shrieked with happiness at holding Princess Academy against her innocent little heart. Miri and younger Lola might’ve shared a stronger and more vivid level of connection and this latter probably would’ve eagerly pressed five stars as rating. (Well, it certainly isn’t every day that I refer to myself in the 3rd person.)

But I’m not eleven anymore, and, even if I enjoy some middle grade and younger r
...more
Beth
Nov 10, 2007 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tatiana
Oct 10, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
$1.99 Kindle sale - 12/7/16

This is a favorite comfort read, and a delightful older middle grade/younger YA fantasy that was nominated for a 2006 Newbery Award. Miri is a teenage girl living in a small, simple mountain village, where everyone makes a living quarrying a lovely marble rock that is found only on their mountain. It's a sometimes harsh life, with everyone kind of scraping to get by, but filled with love and close friendships. One day the simple life ends: the priests of their country
...more
Diane
Jul 06, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, girl-power
Every now and then 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 of the girls are sent to an academy to be educated.

Miri is a spunky girl: she studies hard, she tries to make friends and she stands up for the ri
...more
Sherwood Smith
Had a very long drive ahead of me yesterday, so took this lovely book along to reread it.

It was never very surprising to this old reader; I could see the plot turns coming a few chapters before they did, but the true pleasure is in the relationships of the families in the mountain village where Miri lives, and of course the relationships of the girls as they develop.

This reading, I appreciated how Hale takes the time to give all the girls at least some personality, and some chance to change and
...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
Sep 03, 2008 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it when the girls started pulling together and thinking past the fairytale, deciding that was in their best interest.
Donita Luz
This was such a wonderful fairytale read!

A prince, selecting a girl to marry! The Selection? Read this instead!


Experience a fantastic adventure to knowledge and True Love with small but Terrible Miri!

FULL REVIEW TO COME!
Jocelyn
This might sound weird, but I have to admit that what attracted me to this book in the first place was that almost every major character was a girl. (Oddly enough, the bad guys are all male, but that is totally beside the point--I do NOT mean to give the impression that this is a girls vs. guys thing, because it's not! --just a random thought that spontaneously occurred to me.)

I mean, as a girl who grew up constantly reading stories about boys, it shouldn't be too surprising that I'd eventually
...more
Kathleen
Sep 22, 2008 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Krista Wright
I thought this book would be cute, fun, and kind of similar to The Selection. Unfortunately, it was really boring. No action, no adventure, and definitely not enough romance. Even for a children's book, this still felt really flat. It was well-written, certainly, but it just didn't hold my 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
Kellyn Roth
This was one of the first (contemporary-written) fantasies I ever read, and I was swept away. Fantasy isn't my favorite genre, but I still found this story fascinating.
Kate Willis
Mar 01, 2017 Kate Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I waited too long to read this book. The little snatches of writing style I had seen didn’t look that good, and the description gave me the suspicion that it would be The Same Old Story. I was happily wrong and discovered one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. ;) The worldbuilding was really good and not too bizarre. It felt almost like somewhere straight out of Alps with hardworking, friendly (if slightly quarrelsome) neighbors. I loved the descriptions of the desolately beautifu ...more
SheWunders
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
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
Faith Hicks
Mar 06, 2017 Faith Hicks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! I was assuming it would be something ... well, maybe more "Disney" due to the title (not to knock Disney, love their animated movies), but instead it was a thoughtful and genuinely touching story of a brave kid dealing with societal obstacles and winning the day with kindness and resolve. Really enjoyed this.
Cindy
Jun 06, 2007 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Meli
Aug 24, 2015 Meli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagínense algo como La selección, pero sin romance y bien escrito :)

No me mató, pero me gustó, toca temas un poco raros para un middle grade (¡economía? WTF), pero también tiene un lindo mensaje de amistad y ser uno mismo.

Kyra
Mar 30, 2008 Kyra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jacqueline
Mar 19, 2008 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are trying to discover who they really are—whether a preteen, teenager, or adult
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Amazon.com
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
Heidi
Mar 06, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here.

Unfortunately, Princess Academy is one of those books for which my enjoyment suffered because of the format I chose. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Princess Academy, I most certainly did, but I would also almost certainly have enjoyed it more had I read it. The audiobook of Princess Academy was produced by Full Cast Audio, and like their name, they use a full cast to read their books. Instead of a book narrated from different perspectives using various narrators (whi
...more
Nola Redd
Mar 26, 2008 Nola Redd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica
Oct 01, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery, utah-author
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
C.B. Cook
Apr 28, 2015 C.B. Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this all in one day, guys. Seriously. Okay, so I read twelve pages of it this morning... Also, is it already June??? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN???

The Good
-The characters. Oh my gravy, Peder. Can I just steal him? And Miri and Britta and Knut... Bascially, I just want to kidnap all the characters.
-The setting. Basically, the setting was just plain awesome. I WANNA MOVE TO MOUNT ESKEL.
-Linder/Quarry-speech. That was sooo awesome. From the blurb, I wasn't even expecting that. But then again, I'm n
...more
Juli
Oct 14, 2008 Juli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
  • The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Princess Academy (3 books)
  • Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2)
  • The Forgotten Sisters (Princess Academy, #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.” 552 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.” 274 likes
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