Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Birthday Ball (MG)

The Birthday Ball. Lois Lowry. With illustrations by Jules Feiffer. 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 186 pages.

When Princess Patricia Priscilla woke on the morning of the day that was five days before her birthday, her first thoughts were not Oh, I am almost another year older, hardly a child anymore! or I wonder what fabulous gifts will be presented to me at the Birthday Ball six nights from now! 
No. Her thoughts were Bored, bored, bored.

Princess Patricia Priscilla was bored, bored, bored until a conversation with the seventeenth chambermaid, Tess, inspires the Princess to make a change...for the better. She decides to become a peasant and attend the village school. As "Pat" she finds life worth living. The fact that the school teacher is young, handsome guy, well, that helps a little. She enjoys spending time with these "peasant" children so much, she decides they must attend her birthday ball. She plans on gifting each one. Her special friends get extra special presents.

When the Princess turns sixteen, she is supposed to choose a husband from among her suitors. Three--or four--suitors are coming just to meet the Princess. Each hopes to woo her at the Birthday Ball. There is Duke Desmond from Dyspepsia, Prince Percival of Pustula, and then there are the conjoined Counts--Cuthbert and Colin--from Coagulatia. Each suitor is inappropriate, at least inappropriate for the princess. But choose she must...

If only she didn't have to marry nobility...

I liked this one. I'm not sure I loved it. But it has a certain charm to it. It's meant to be a funny book. (My favorite scene? The procession of Duke Desmond who has an entourage of 'splashers' to disturb the lake's surface so that his reflection can't be seen as he passes.) It has a certain exaggerated style to it, much like The Willoughbys, I think. At the right time, for the right reader, I think this one would work well.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cleverly Inked 2:34 PM  

This sounds cute. Hmm Need to add it.

proseandkahn 5:11 PM  

Interesting post. I recently read it, enjoyed it, but wondered who the audience was. It begs to be read aloud. I loved the play on words and the alliterations. But there was some gruesomeness. The whole princess trope getting a working over was cool, but sorta sophisticated. Who is the audience?


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP