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Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)
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Harriet the Invincible

(Hamster Princess #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,888 ratings  ·  474 reviews
Sleeping Beauty gets a feisty, furry twist in this hilarious new comic series from the creator of Dragonbreath

Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you'll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . du
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Dial Books
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,888 ratings  ·  474 reviews

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Lois Bujold
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new chapter-book readers, anyone else who isn't above reading kids' books
Well, that was fun. The assorted adventures of a hamster princess who figures out that if the christening curse is supposed to work on her 12th birthday, it must needs also keep her alive until then. Therefore...

I first encountered Ursula Vernon through her brilliant adult short story "Toad Words". (Late off the mark, true, for anyone who knew her from her long-running webcomic Digger.) This is Vernon in her kids'-book mode. Anyone who grew up on the "Fractured Fairy Tales" in Rocky and Bullwink
So this would have been my FAVOURITE thing as a kid. It's basically everything I would have ever wanted:

1. Fairy tale retelling
2. Fairy tale retelling with reversed traditional gender roles
3. Fairy tale retelling of fairy tales that are less common (The Princess on the Glass hill)
4. Fairy tale retelling with reversed expectations for villains (Crones baking cookies, ogres reverting to vegetarianism, etc.)

Any one of those things would have sold me, but all four? IT IS MAGICAL.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick, light-hearted, and fun fairy-tale twist, with delightful illustrations. I'll be passing this one along to my 10-year-old son for him to read next.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine a hamster princess who can do anything she wants because the curse she is under protects her from injury and death until the curse itself can claim her life.

Pretty badass, no? Indeed, Harriet is one badass hamster princess. She fights creature after creature, never showing fear. So much that at some point she becomes a hero to some and a nightmare to others (the bad creatures).

I could not stop reading this book. It’s fairly short and the font is big – plus it contains many images/comic s
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a princess story I like! Harriet Hamsterbone is cursed by the evil Fairy Ratshade to prick herself on a hamster wheel on her twelfth birthday and fall into a deep sleep. Once Harriet finds out about the curse when she’s ten years old, she realizes she can’t be hurt till then. So, Harriet takes to adventuring, jousting and ridding the world of monsters.
Harriet is wonderful, determined and doesn’t suffer fools. But while she’s gaining all sorts of great experience and learning to solve pr
Marie the Librarian
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was hillarious and original and I loved it! The world needs more stories about princesses who arent very princesslike but then are because they show that princesses can be kickass as well!!
Ms. Yingling
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Copy received from the publisher

Have to say that I was a little more excited just to get this book! Dragonbreath is so funny, and I knew this would be good!

Harriet is cursed soon after birth by the evil fairy Ratshade to prick herself on a hamster wheel when she turns 12. When she is ten, her parents tell her, and Harriet thinks it's great: she is invincible for two years. She takes off across the country, cliff diving, slaying mean Ogrecats, and generally having adventures. When she comes home,
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Can we talk about Harriet Hamsterbone, because I am in love with her.

Harriet the Invincible is the first book in the Hamster Princess series, which could only have been written by Ursula Vernon and is in fact her newest series. I love it already. I cannot say how much I love it. I have owned this book for two hours and I want it to make its home with me forever.

So Harriet is a princess (obviously) and since her father failed to invite the evil fairy to her christening (which is lampshaded) (of c
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This is a brilliant little sleeping beauty retelling with a quick glass mountain retelling wedged in the middle. Harriet is not your typical princess, she finds out she was cursed to fall into a sleep on her 12th birthday after a scratch from a hamster wheel... however this also leads to her discovery that the curse is so strongly pre-determined it HAS to occur, which means she's completely invincible! As such, Harriet sets off (riding her quail mount) and has amazing adventures. She returns for ...more
Girl power meets Sleeping Beauty in this middle grade graphic novel about a hamster princess with an attitude. Princess Harriet Hamsterbone is cursed as a baby to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she's twelve. This feisty princess quickly figures out she's invincible until she's twelve and breaks all the princess rules and goes adventuring. A laugh out loud funny tale that defies fairy tale stereotypes and leaves the reader wanting more.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. I love all of Ursula Vernon's stuff, but this retelling of Sleeping Beauty is so great! It's snarky and heartfelt and has A MAINSPLAINING HAMSTER PRINCE who is rejected as a love interest. Actually, there's no "love interest" because the main character is 12 and she doesn't want a betrothed. I can't wait to read the next one!
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Princess Harriet Hamsterbone has just found out a terrible secret. It seems like on her 12th birthday, she’ll be forced to prick her finger on a hamster wheel and…well, you know the story. Princess Harriet is our Sleeping Beauty and after her parents didn’t invite the evil fairy Ratshade to her christening, this curse ended up happening. The other three fairies also provide blessings to counteract it, practical things like making sure that the Princess doesn’t have to eat, drink or use the washr ...more
Ritika Chhabra
Follow Just A Girl High On Books for more reviews.

I picked up Harriet the Invincible when a friend of mine recommended it to me because it was a graphic novel series that she particularly loved. And of course, I ended up loving this book. It was so hilarious and so...well, so...unusual. Here is a "hamster" princess who is cursed by the wicked fairy on the day of her christening because she wasn't invited to the occasion and instead of feeling sorry for herself for being the one who was cursed, s
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tales
2nd read: I wrote down some vocabulary for my mum, and, well. It's just as fun as the first time. And I'm super impressed by Ursula Vernon's writing style.

Harriet page 42

This is AWESOME. This has all usual sass from Ursula Vernon and we get absolutely no respite from it. It's non-stop awesome snark. This tome is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with a twist. The twist isn't that the princess is a hamster, it's much better than that. A perfect read for a day where my fevered brain is vetoing anyth
3.5 out of 5
Harriet the Invincible is a smart, funny and light-hearted feminist take on fairy tale stereotypes through an original and highly entertaining retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Don't get fooled by all that pinkness and glitter on the cover :)
Also, the format of this book (a chapter book with integrated graphic novel-like illustrations) is extremely effective!
Katy Vance
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! Amazing! Tongue in cheek! I want more of Hamster Princess Harriet! Seriously, what a great book for upper elementary. Feminist and funny, it is the anti princess story with an ass kicking princess, who yes, happens to be a hamster. :)
Kris Patrick
Jan 19, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I found it difficult to switch between graphic novel format and text narrative. Then again, I'm not nine.

Abby Johnson
Such a delightful, cute, and funny book! This is Babymouse meets Whatever After and I'm going to booktalk this one all over the place this school year. :)
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful book.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aty-2019
As a long time fan of Ursula Vernon (having followed her blog and had her follow mine for close to 15 years), I could not resist returning to her kids books for a bit of light reading, and I'm really glad I did.

Harriet the Hamster is my new hero. She's like Danny Dragonbreath but with more sass and spirit. This story is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty - but with a twist. When Harriet was born, she was cursed by a wicked fairy to prick herself on a hamster wheel and die on her 12th birthday. Lucki
Raquel Evans
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a fun and funny book as far as my own experience reading it goes. In fact, it was the joke about kale chips when I was flipping through the book that convinced me to give it a try.

It did irritate me a little that the one prince who's nice and not a jerk was also kind of a wimp. I get having strong female characters, but could we ALSO have strong male characters?

As far as handing it to a younger child, there's no real content, but I do wish Harriet had a bit more respectful relationshi
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I'm not sure I can adequately explain how well done this is. Like Vernon's other series, Dragonbreath, this is perfectly illustrated, contains rich humor that will appeal to both kids and adults, and walks a fine line between being about adventure and the reality of friendships and family relationships. This, however, also has that very 21st century 'girl-power' vibe going on, and using the notoriously passive Sleeping Beauty twist to show it is genius.
A perfect thing to put in the hands of any
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Where oh where can we go wrong with subverting the status quo, how things work, and gender roles? Certainly not here! Harriet leaps in with defining what a princess does and doesn't do as what she does or doesn't do, and from there it's great. She grabs life by the coattails and rides it to being a champion.

What's better is Harriet needs no prince, or does she.

Plenty of subvertions here, and, for people who are looking for a touch of that special thing most books don't have, there's some things
Theresa Poquis
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This feminist retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale was funny and smart and had just enough sass for Mom to enjoy while reading to seven-year-old daughter. Lots of tougher vocabulary, but with enough context that a strong reader could figure out the meaning via context clues.
C.E. G
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ursula Vernon's humor is top-notch, and I'd readily recommend this to any kids. It felt a lot like the kid's version of Digger, which I loved immensely.
This might have been the highlight of my birthday reading. I cannot wait for more Harriet adventures.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
7-year-old daughter disliked it. 11-year-old daughter loved it. So I split the difference.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this to my daughter and it's SO GOOD. Harriet is a strong, clever heroine and the book is hilarious. Will definitely be reading the next one. Qwerk!
Rachel Joy
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun!
Would recommend this book to older children, say middle school and older. The language and humor would be completely lost on a younger audience.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful book, but I have to mention the incorrect terminology used when describing reducing fractions - the main character loves fractions so this seems like an important thing to get correct.
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Ursula Vernon is a freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for the webcomic Digger and the children's books Dragonbreath and Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew. Ursula is also a prolific painter and the creator of the Biting Pear of Salamanca, a work which became an internet meme in the form of the "LOL WUT" pear.

Ursula's cover for Best in Show

Other books in the series

Hamster Princess (6 books)
  • Of Mice and Magic (Hamster Princess, #2)
  • Ratpunzel (Hamster Princess, #3)
  • Giant Trouble (Hamster Princess #4)
  • Whiskerella (Hamster Princess #5)
  • Little Red Rodent Hood (Hamster Princess #6)
“For a princess, you are a singularly bloody-minded little thug” 0 likes
“The assembled crowd shrank back when the wicked fairy appeared, for it was immediately obvious to all that this was no ordinary fairy, but in fact the wicked Ratshade, who had placed third on Fairy God-Mouse Today’s Most Wicked List for eleven years running.” 0 likes
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