Camp Princess is just like any other summer camp. Okay, so it's not exactly summer, since the magical kingdom of Palacyndra has seasons that change at the drop of a tiara. And it's not exactly camp, since the princesses stay in fully furnished turrets, complete with chambermaids. But it is a chance to get away from home and enjoy activities such as arts and crafts (with diamonds, of course) and moat swimming (bathing tiara required!). It's a place where Princess Alicia makes real friends, Princesses Kristen and Gunder-snap.
And for Alicia, Camp Princess becomes much more. A place of mystery. Her turret seems to be haunted, and the golden bird that she captured for the songbird contest refuses to sing a note! It's all utterly frustrating -- until one shadowy night, when Alicia feels a ghostly presence in her room and begins to discover a destiny far more exciting than anything she could have imagined.
Lasky's (the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series) Camp Princess series is off to a sprightly start with this tale set at a summer camp attended by "forty of the most royal princesses on earth." At center throne, for her first summer at camp, is the proper, ribbon-and-lace bedecked Princess Alicia of All the Belgravias. She is assigned to the reputedly haunted South Turret with some rather unorthodox royalty: the gutsy, outdoorsy Princess Kristen of the Isles of the Salt Tears, who wears a tiara fashioned from shark teeth and is far more comfortable holding a jousting lance than a tapestry needle; and the down-to-earth, no nonsense Princess Gundersnap of the Empire of Slobodkonia, whose mother has invaded numerous kingdoms and who has "mud-colored hair that sprang out like corkscrews from under her iron tiara." Fans of princess-populated fiction will appreciate the fanciful flourishes and tongue-in-royal-cheek trappings (etiquette lessons include instructions on "muffling a belch" and swimmers must wear "regulation bathing tiaras"). Lasky adds intrigue to the story with Alicia's search for answers to a mystery. Passages from her favorite book (Love Letters of a Forgotten Princess), pleas for help she hears at night, and the ghost of a princess who died of a broken heart more than 100 years earlier all play a part in its solution. A light, quick-moving caper. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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April 24, 2006
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