Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series was one of the book series out there that made young teens first fell in love with reading. With the present title’s gripping plot, fancy settings and charming writing style, it is no wonder why many readers were hooked with the original series and its characters.
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess follows 12 year-old protagonist Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison as she realizes that her rather long princess-styled name is not just a ridiculous name but a name that actually reflects her true self – a princess! As she reunites with long-lost sister Princess Mia Thermopolis, she begins to understand why things have not been adding up all through her life.
Ashamed to point out that I myself had not finished reading The Princess Diaries series, I thus miss out some of the references that fans of the young adult series might discover and enjoy. However that does not makes this title any less appealing to me as the book itself is a fantastic middle grade fiction.
The protagonist is shaped wonderfully with all her characteristics, including her worries and habits, being presented clearly and sharply to the readers. This is really impressing, especially in such a short book. Olivia’s desire to be a good student and her constant fear of being given a demerit are both portrayed accurately and vividly.
Meg Cabot should also be praised for her effort in creating diversity in middle grade fictions and in general, books. Though not involving LGBT community, which is understandable as it might be too heavy for middle grade fictions, by creating a biracial character who turns out to be a wonderful princess, Meg Cabot has already brought much needed diversity to the fictional world.
The writing style is also hilarious and witty. It brings out the tone that one would find in a middle grader and it is thus absolutely fantastic. It makes it very easy to connect to the characters as the reader either is a middle grader currently, or has been a middle grader himself/herself.
Regarding fans of The Princess Diaries, they might most be either young adults or adults now but it certainly will not hurt checking this title out. The setting may be very different than the setting in the former series, yet it makes an awesome spin-off book as it still makes enough references to the original series. Some of the characters from From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess are the beloved characters that people have loved, such as Mia and Grandmere (yes I did my research!) and I am sure that this will add to the appeal of this title.
Overall, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess is definitely a smart choice for parents who have middle grade children for kids. It is an incredible introduction to reading and the enjoyment that it provides certainly will have children reading in no time.