Princess Academy by Shannon Hale description from Amazon.com: "The thought of being a princess never occurred to the girls living on Mount Eskel. Most plan to work in the quarry like the generations before them. When it is announced that the prince will choose a bride from their village, 14-year-old Miri, who thinks she is being kept from working in the quarry because of her small stature, believes that this is her opportunity to prove her worth to her father. All eligible females are sent off to attend a special academy where they face many challenges and hardships as they are forced to adapt to the cultured life of a lowlander. First, strict Tutor Olana denies a visit home. Then, they are cut off from their village by heavy winter snowstorms. As their isolation increases, competition builds among them. The story is much like the mountains, with plenty of suspenseful moments that peak and fall, building into the next intense event. Miri discovers much about herself, including a special talent called quarry speak, a silent way to communicate. She uses this ability in many ways, most importantly to save herself and the other girls from harm. Each girl's story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, but this is not a fluffy, predictable fairy tale, even though it has wonderful moments of humor. Instead, Hale weaves an intricate, multilayered story about families, relationships, education, and the place we call home."
MY REVIEW: I love Shannon Hale. Her books are always a joy to read. This book is labeled for grades 5-9 but my friend Debbie from cranberryfries.blogspot.com had read it and I decided to give it a go. It's obviously written for a younger crowd, but it was still a fun read anyways. It's always exciting to read about princess stories that take you back to your youth. This would be a great book to read at bedtime with little ones as the chapters are relatively short and entertaining.