Monday, November 26, 2007

Book Review: Diary of a Would-Be Princess by Jessica Green

Book: Diary of a Would-Be Princess
Author: Jessica Green
Published: 2007

Jillian James wants to be a Princess. Not with the crown and the throne . . . a Princess, one of the exclusive girl-clique in her 5th-grade class. She tries, she really does. But after episodes with using diaper pins for friendship pins and the elastic from her underwear for jump-ropes, she figures out it’s pretty much a lost cause. Still, she hasn’t sunk so low that she wants to hang out with dorky Nigel, brutal Raymond, thuggish Vincent, or tough-girl Amanda.

But friendship sneaks up on her, and before she knows it, Jillian is the Princess of 5-B . . . the kind of Princess who rules because she’s loved, not feared.

Written in journal format, Jillian’s fresh, frank voice isn’t one bit deterred by her teacher, who leaves weekly notes after reading the entries. Sometimes the teacher came off as gloriously clueless, and sometimes she came off as perfectly wise and perceptive. Which is pretty accurate to a fifth-grade experience.

While the friendship message got a little anvilly toward the end (and I also started to forget who people were as Jillian’s unusual friend group grows), I closed the book and put it down with a huge smile. Jillian is just the kind of girl I would love to have as a friend myself. Give this to your favorite fourth or fifth-grade girl who’s making her own way through the jungles of classroom politics.

No comments: