THE PRINCESS PROTECTION PROGRAM, by Alex London, Greenwillow Books, Feb. 13, 2024, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 8-12)
A princess decides she wants a different life than the one she’s supposed to have in The Princess Protection Program, by Alex London.
Every fairy tale ends with its characters living happily ever after, right? A valiant prince quests long and hard to reach the castle where the sleeping princess lies. And with a kiss, he awakens her.
But what if the princess does not think a kiss from a stranger is a very pleasant way to wake up? Yuck!
When Rosamund flees her prince, a Door of Opportunity opens, and she steps through it to the Home Educational Academy (the HEA for short). Rosamund has found the Princess Protection Program, where fugitive fairy-tale princesses escape unwanted affections, untimely ends, and all the other perils of their stories.
But the longer Rosamund lives in the real world, the more questions she has. Does anyone ever graduate from the HEA? Why doesn’t anyone seem to remember the former students? Is the kindly fairy headmistress all she appears to be? Is anyone? And the most important question of all: Can Rosamund change her story? —Synopsis provided by Greenwillow Books
The Princess Protection Program is sort of an anti-princess, define-your-own destiny type of book, meaning it should appeal to a larger cross section than what the title implies.
Author Alex London employs a snarky tongue-in-cheek tone that will immediately resonate with readers. London dismantles fairy tale tropes — prince saving a princess, true love’s kiss, etc. — giving princesses — and a prince — the chance at creating their own happily ever afters.
The star of The Princess Protection Plan is Rosamund, aka Sleeping Beauty. She’s an inquisitive young woman who knows the value of a good question. And when she doesn’t get answers to her questions, she keeps pushing.
At just over 200 pages, The Princess Protection Program is a fast-moving book that is perfect for readers who may be overwhelmed by longer novels. London’s pacing is strong and kids will love the humor laced throughout.
About the author: Alex London is the acclaimed author of more than thirty books for children and teens. His middle grade novels include The Princess Protection Program, Search & Rescue, Dog Tags, and two titles in the 39 Clues series. For young adults, he’s the author of the cyberpunk duology Proxy and the epic fantasy series Black Wings Beating, which were both named to numerous best-of-the-year lists. He has been a journalist and human rights researcher reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, a young adult librarian with the New York Public Library, and a snorkel salesman. He lives with his husband, daughter, and hound dog in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Visit him at calexanderlondon.com.
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