Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Review: The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010
Borrowed from library 
Challenge: Just for Fun Reading Challenge

Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fate--for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, "Pat," and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome schoolmaster. 

This actually wasn't my favorite. I couldn't tell if I liked the Princess or not. Or if we're even supposed to like her. I believe the more charming characters were the "lowly peasants" and the school teacher. Unfortunately, we were following the Princess' story most of the time.

And when we weren't following her, we learned about all three of her gross suitors. One who was so ugly he banished mirrors, another who was so vain that he checked the mirror as often as possible and lastly, crass, Conjoined Counts who made their village add an -s to the end of everything even it it made no sense. That last part led bit of crude humor that I'm not sure was actually for MG readers ("Know where we're going? Huh, huh? Balls!" Colin said "Balls!" Cuthbert echoed with a rude gleeful laugh). Either that or my mind is in the gutter.

While this book OBVIOUSLY doesn't hold a candle to The Giver (or even The Willoughbys), it was still a mildly cute story albeit forgettable. The illustrations are also pretty gross. I recommend this for Middle Grade readers who like stories about kingdoms with zany characters and a little bit of potty humor.

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