Title: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Author: Jessica Day George
Published: 2009 Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers
I'll be honest. I almost didn't buy this book because of the cover. I much prefer a well illustrated cover to a photographed cover--the reality of the photograph outside the book sits in high contrast to the fiction inside the book and leaves me with a skeptical uneasy feeling. This post made me remember how I loved the Dragon Slippers series that Jessica Day George wrote, (which I bought and pre-read for my kiddos earlier this year,) and convinced me to give one of her other books a shot. What I didn't realize (silly me) is that it is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses--one of my absolute favorite childhood fairy tales.
Simply put, Jessica Day George is a talented lady. She has a great sense of balance--her characters are interesting but not overwritten, her plots are gripping yet evenly paced, she includes a love-interest without making it the focus of the book. I've read four of her six books, and my experiences have all been good. Because of the fluid writing and the captivating (yet tame) content, her books can be enjoyed by younger advanced readers as well as the older reader looking for a quick read. If you or your children have enjoyed Gail Carson Levine's retellings (Ella Enchanted, Fairest) or if you know someone who enjoys a good dragon story, please take a look at Jessica Day George.