The Princess Diaries: Volume I

Cabot, Meg. (2002). {Kindle 2.0.3 version]. Retrieved from

Mia Thermopolis has enough to worry about as a regular freshman girl. She tall and flat-chested, has a crush on popular Josh, who doesn’t know she exists. She’s flunking Algebra, which is exacerbated by the fact that her best friend Lily is a genius, and worse, by the fact that her mom, an absent-minded artist, is dating her Algebra teacher. Mia deals with these challenges by recording them all in her diary. Then suddenly, things get worse, when her European ‘businessman’ father, who can’t have any more children due to his now-cured cancer, reveals that he is the Prince of Genovia, and Mia is now heir to the throne. Mia, more given to overalls and boots than tiaras, is not thrilled, especially when her dad announces she must move to Genovia to begin preparing for her role. This problem is solved by a worse one—Mia’s formidable Grandmere arrives at the Plaza to give Mia ‘princess lessons’. The demands of her secret role begin to cause problems for Mia; she quarrels with Lily when Mia can’t help to film an episode of Lily’s public access TV show, and now that a chauffeur/bodyguard Lars is driving her to school, Mia has to eat lunch with the other school body-guarded weirdo, Tina Hakim Baba, whose father is a wealthy Arab. Also involved in the story is Lily’s also-a-genius brother Michael, who seems surprisingly willing to tutor Mia in math. When her secret is disclosed Mia has to learn who truly values her for herself.

Reader’s Annotation
Nice Manhattan high school freshman Mia Thermopolis has to deal with problems: she is flat-chested; her mom is dating her Algebra teacher; she is the princess of a small European country. Cabot’s lighthearted and charming novel is the first in a long series.

Way more substantial than the frothy movie, but still lots of pink cover and tiara fun. Cigarette smoking, sidecar-drinking Grandmere is no Julie Andrews, and there is some real emotion evoked as Mia learns what a true friend is, and just how far she can depend on her father and his family. Mia is not a prodigy of diary-writing, but she has funny observations—the body guards comparing favorite weapons was a highlight, and it’s always enjoyable to read New York stories, where there is a doorman, friends’ parents are psychotherapists, and people have to go to the Plaza for tea with their grandmothers. The story also makes way more sense when set in Manhattan, where accessible public transportation makes geographic freedom for teens more of a norm.

About the author
Cabot’s actual first name is Meggin. She comes from Indiana and moved to New York to be an illustrator, but she ended up managing a dorm at NYU instead. Now there are over 15 million copies of her books in print and she lives in Key West Florida

Teen Chick-Lit/Contemporary (Genreflecting)

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Would you be more excited to be a princess than Mia is? What would you do?
New York Navigation
Prince Charles, MIa's dad? Why aren't princes charming anymore?

Reading Level/Interest Age
Middle through high school (Genreflecting)

Challenge Issues

Why Included?
Genre project; sparkly tiara

Selection Tools
Best Books Young Adults--YALSA

No comments:

Post a Comment