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Garden Princess

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Dig in to this middle-grade fantasy featuring a horticulturally minded princess, a beautiful but evil witch, and a magpie with a shameful secret.

Princess Adela is not a typical princess. She’s neither particularly beautiful nor particularly graceful, and she’d rather spend her days digging new plots for her garden than listening to teatime gossip. But when her friend Garth
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Candlewick Press (first published March 1st 2013)
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Brandy Painter
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Originally posted at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I am always excited when a new princess tale comes out. I unashamedly love them. Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup is a lovely new addition to this genre.

Garden Princess has an old fashioned fairy tale feel to it. There are enchantments that most be broken and an evil witch who must be defeated. Adela is not an average fairy tale princess though. She is not beautiful or graceful and her greatest love is making things grow in her garden. She
Becky B
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Princess Adela isn't you're average princess. Or rather, she is a very average-looking girl, just not what you expect in a princess. She isn't a great beauty. She doesn't get carried away by conversations about balls or gowns. And she spends more than average time with her hands stuck in the dirt and thoughts of designing gardens. In fact, Adela would be much happier planning a tour looking for new plants than planning her grand ball. So it is no surprise that when the gardener's son Garth gets ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Adela would rather work in the garden than participate in her stepmother Cecile's fancy plans, but when an invitation arrives for Lady Hortensia's garden party, she really wants to go so that she can get some plants. Garth, the gardener, joins the group going, along with Cecile's sister Marguerite. Once there, however, Adela is impressed by the gardens but horrified by how Hortensia treats people. She bewitches Garth so that he no longer seems to like Marguerite-- he is in love with Hortensia, a ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-books
Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup is an enchanting tale with a new twist on the traditional princess story. Princess Adela loves digging in the dirt and planting. She loves her garden more than anything in the world, and wishes someday to travel around and find new exotic plants. When her gardener friend Garth and her step mother’s sister get invitations to the mysterious Lady Hortensia’s garden party Adela knows she must crash the party. Lady Hortensia is said to have the most beautiful gard ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Garden Princess is a wonderfully refreshing twist on the typical princess story. The main character is not perfect as all princesses tend to be. She is not over the top beautiful, nor is she particularly graceful. She can be stubborn, outspoken and a variety of other things that made me love her. She is low maintenance and proud to be exactly who she is.

This book reminded me of the simple, elegant classics of the past, but with a more updated and modern feel. The characters are sassy and the re
Haworth Library
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Princess Adela isn't your run of the mill Disney type princess. She's not glamorous, skinny, or into proper princess behavior like other princesses and royalty. She is however very interested in gardening and working in the garden with the gardener's son, Garth.

When Adela hear's that Garth is invited to Lady Hortensia's garden party she begs him to let her come. Adela's stepmother, the Queen, allows her to go as long as she is accompanied by the Queen's sister, the very gorgeous Marguerite.

Clearwater Public Library Staff Picks
This book had an interesting premise, but it lacked character development and depth of plot. Adela is not your average princess, she is more at home in flower beds than at fancy balls. One day her and her friend Garth are invited to Lady Hortensia’s garden party. When they arrive though, they realize something is drastically amiss. It is October and all of Hortensia’s flowers are blooming. Adela and Garth set out to solve the mystery. There is also an added element of intrigue and magic in the f ...more
Kimberly Fields
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
I saw this while browsing the library's audiobooks and was intrigued because, like the author, I love gardens and princess stories. Sadly, this mix of the two didn't really work. It worked for easy listening material while I drove to work, but even then I was glad to be done with it. The premise was intriguing, but the plot was too straightforward and the characters, except for the protagonist, were all flat and boring. The villain could have been interesting, but she wasn't developed enough, an ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
There’s a pretty famous blog out there that coined the whole ‘put a bird on it’ term and I totally do not remember what blog that was. But you guys? That is how you get me to pick up a book solely based on the cover, PUT A BIRD ON IT. When I saw Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup in the Candlewick catalog, I knew I had to read it on the basis of the bird being on the cover and ALSO ALSO because it is a middle grade fantasy featuring a strong, young heroine and I am all about girl power sorts o ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Buzzwords: Magic, gardening, beauty (external vs. internal), princess behavior, love, adventure

Princess Adela loves gardening, so when her friend, the gardener's son, is invited to tour Lady Hortensia's legendary and rumored-magic garden, she is happy to be asked along. But what she finds there is nothing as innocent as she expected, and she must stop Lady Hortensia - with the help of an enchanted magpie - while she still can.

An adorable and light middle grade novel that teaches us the truth of
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: goodreadswins
I love fairy tales. This one was not disappointing. Good story line, great characters. I will be saving this one for when my little girl gets old enough to read it to her. Thank you for my ARC copy here on goodreads.
Elizabeth J.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a good fair tale story. It has similarities to the 12 dancing princess fairy tale.
A charming story in the vein of a traditional fairy tale (though without traditional gender roles). The princess is active, intelligent, and far more interested in botany and travelling than in finding a husband. She needs to keep her wits about her when she and her friends are captured in an enchanted garden. A tale of love, kindness, and true beauty.

The story provided an opportunity for a sequel although I don't think one was written. I'd like to read more by the author but some of her works
Miss Amanda
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-gr-4-6
gr 4-6 261pgs

Princess Adela would rather be working in her garden than attending a garden party, but when her best friend gets invited too, she agrees to go with him. Princess Adela discovers that the garden is actually under an evil spell, one that she must break if she ever wants to return home.

Interesting story. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed her other books including "The Nutcraker Mice"
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has the feel of old fashioned fairy tales - princess, villain, balls, etc. This princess loves to garden and is happiest when she's among her plants. She invites herself to a mysterious garden party and, of course, magic and evil happen there. The hero is a flawed young man who has been changed into magpie by the witch.
The story moves a little slowly and the characters are a bit one-dimensional but it pushes beyond the damsel-in-distress message.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some of it was typical. Loved the flowers/gardening aspect of it. :)
(view spoiler)
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I couldn't stop reading it. I wonder what will happen with Garth and Marguerite, and Adela and Edward.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
An early elementary school child would probably really enjoy this book. Cute story line, but plot was very simple and didn't really keep you guessing or anything.
Hereabouts Honey
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-shelf
Wow! I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed every moment, every page and all the characters. It's definitely a winner.
Myra Blake
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I found this to be a charming and delightful little book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-fiction, seba
A sweet fairy tale princess story featuring a garden, an evil witch, and a romantic ending.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, magic, child
a little slow, but a unique premise, especially for plant lovers.
Sandy Eichelberger
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is not the Secret Garden but it certainly holds many secrets. Princess Adela loves gardening and wants to learn more about a mysterious garden where flowers bloom all year long. Garth, the son of her father’s head gardener, receives an invitation to a party at this perennially flowering garden and Adele asks if she can attend with him. Once in Hortensia’s garden, Adela is excited to see the luscious blooms but overhears something most unusual in this strange garden. Doubting her ears, Adele ...more
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Lexile/Grade Level: 720/5th & up

Pages: 261

Summary: During a time of kings & queens, Princess Adela would rather garden than go to grand balls to find a husband. When the royal gardener gets an invitation to Lady Hortensia’s garden party, she decides to go with and see the legendary place were the blooms never wilt. When a talking magpie tries to steal jewels from the party guest, Princess Adela thinks there is more than just amazing gardening occurring on Flower Mountain.

Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, field-review
**This review refers to the Advance Reading Copy of this title, NOT the finished book. **

17 year-old Adela is a princess with a passion for flowers and gardening who would rather spend her time digging in the mud than taking dance lessons, much to her stepmother’s dismay. When her friend Garth receives an invitation to a garden party being held by Lady Hortensia, who is rumored to have the most beautiful and unusual garden in the entire kingdom, Adela jumps at the chance to attend the party with
If you're in the mood for a fairly traditional, sweet and innocent fairy tale, this will probably right up your alley. Though the main characters are all somewhere between sixteen and nineteen years old or so, it's definitely more of a story for middle graders than it is for young adults--like I said, sweet and innocent. But I really liked Princess Adela, and found the plot not entirely predictable while still feeling...comfortable. My only real complaint is just all the "we just met, but now we ...more
Garden Princess was largely unremarkable. It's a fairy tale and mildly clever, but not particularly spellbinding. The first half deals with a magic-y situation which resolves and then the second half is more of a romance. So it was just fine. Except, I really have to give credit for there being a heroine who is not considered attractive (not unattractive, just plain), eats whatever she wants and undergoes no physical transformation before the end of the story. She believe people can and do love ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup
Candlewick, 2013
272 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

A wonderful book for those girls that are starting to look at that boy in math class with new interest. That is, this is a good fit for those boy crazy girls, as protagonist Adela becomes rather obsessed with a love interest in the second half of the story.
Overall the book did not wow me. It was immediately evident what the mystery of Lady Hortensia's garden was, and since the magic garden was the most
Teresa Bateman
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is no such thing as magic. At least, that's what Princess Adela has always been told. She's a practical sort of princess who loves gardening, so she believes it. Then a friend is invited to a mysterious garden party and Adela invites herself as well. After all, gardening is her forte. Once there, however, she discovers the hostess is a wicked enchantress who turns the female guests into flowers for her garden, and bewitches the male guests into blind lovesick slavery. Adela must find a way ...more
In a land where magic is only heard of in fairytales, a plain princess would rather garden than live a courtly life. When her friend, a fellow gardener gets an invitation to a garden party, she invites herself along to see the flowers. She finds a garden with a sinister cultivator Lady Hortensia, a magician with a cruel and narcissistic streak.

This was a pretty straightforward chapter book except for two jarring things: the princess is 17 and at the very beginning of the book, the gardener Gart
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Kristin Kladstrup is the author of the middle-grade novel THE BOOK OF STORY BEGINNINGS and the picture book THE GINGERBREAD PIRATES. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

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