Monday, September 24, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Royal Princess Academy--Dragon Dreams, by Laura Joy Rennert--and a giveaway!

I can't believe I got organized enough to put together an MMGM--this makes two weeks in a row! (and the week before KEEPER's release no less. Credit this sudden efficiency with a lack of sleep from all the ahhh--my book is releasing panic!)

ANYWAY, today I'm featuring a book I anxiously awaited the release of for a very long time and am so glad to finally own my copy: ROYAL PRINCESS ACADEMY: DRAGON DREAMS, by Laura Joy Rennert. Look at this adorable cover:

And here's how the publisher describes it:

She's sporty, funny, and brave — meet the one-of-a-kind Princess Emma!

Emma is not your typical princess. She dislikes pink, would rather play soccer than go dancing, and secretly dreams of being a dragon rider. And so, when she hears the news that dragons in the kingdom are becoming ill, does Emma quietly wait around for her fairy godmother to save the day? Of course not! She makes a plan to solve the dragon mystery herself. With a helping hand from her best friend, Rapunzel, and a surprising new pal, Emma might actually manage to save her favorite mythic creatures...and possibly even the whole kingdom.

In case you can't tell, this is a bit younger of a middle grade than I usually feature--but that doesn't mean it's not every bit as awesome. This is one of those: man I wish this book had existed when I was a kid kind of stories. I mean, Princesses? Dragons? Not to mention amazing illustrations all throughout the book? Oh yeah, kid-Shannon would've been alllllllllllll over that. Somewhat-grown-up Shannon is just as big of a fan.

And I know, some of you are probably looking at the author name and thinking wait--I've heard that somewhere before... And you're right. Laura actually happens to be my literary agent. But I can assure you that has not biased my opinion in the least. For one thing, I didn't tell her I was doing this, just in case I ended up not liking her book when I read it. And for another, considering the lengthy revision letters Laura always gives me, you can bet I read her writing with a hyper-critical eye. :) But alas, not only could I not find any flaws--I enjoyed every word. 

This is a sweet, fun story with tons of heart and all kinds of awesome adventure. It's just the right mix of classic fairy tale nods and modern ideals, headed by a main character who is brave and smart and not afraid to be herself, even if that means being different. I loved Princess Emma and her friends, and I can't imagine any kids who wouldn't feel the same. And to test that theory out I'm giving away a copy to one lucky winner.

If you would like to enter, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm pacific time on Saturday, September 29th. I'll draw one random winner and post their names on Sunday, September 30th. International entries welcome!

For more awesome middle grade recommendations, check out these other MMGMs floating around the blogosphere.*
- Heidi Grange is feeling THREE TIMES LUCKY. Click HERE to see why.  
- Susan Uhlig has two features for us. WORDS IN THE DUST is featured HERE. And INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN is featured HERE
- Michelle Isenhoff is burning up for THE FIRES BENEATH THE SEA. Click HERE to see why.  
- Dorine White is hosting the next blog tour stop for the amazing Amy Feller Dominy. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Jessica at Book Sake is thrilling for THE HUNT OF THE UNICORN. Click HERE to see what she thought! 
- Susan Olson let's her daughter cover the feature this week. Click HERE for to see what a kid reader thought of THE HOURGLASS ADVENTURES: ROSEMARY IN PARIS.
- Gabrielle Prendegast also has a guest blogger. Click HERE to see what an eight-year-old thought of THE SISTERS 8.  
- Brennan and Meyrick Murphy are spotlighting KATY KAZOO SWITCHEROO GOING BATTY. Click HERE to see what these two middle grade readers thought of it. 
- Jasmine is sharing all of The Book Highlights From Mrs. Ko's Class . Click HERE to see what they are.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing WARRIORS IN THE CROSSFIRE--with a SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for more info.  
- Laurisa Reyes is interviewing author A.J. Hartley--with a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to enter.   
- Michelle Mason is captivated by THE SECOND SPY. Click HERE to read her review.  
- Barbara Watson is showcasing BUTTON DOWN--with an ARC GIVEAWAY. Click HERE to enter. 
- Joanne Fritz is seeing TRUE COLORS. Click HERE to see why. 
- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week! 
- The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome 
- Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!  

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)

NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time


  1. My daughter would LOVE that book! She HATES pink, would rather do soccer than anything else, and has dragons painted in her room. Perfect!

  2. That cover is so darn cute! Sounds like a wonderful story. I want to read this one. Thanks for sharing about it.

  3. Ooh, that looks adorable! I'd love to win a copy for my niece :)

  4. How fun to feature your agent's book! As an adult who reads many, many kid books, there is much to love about them no matter a person's age.

    And look at that list of MMGM participants! Wow! The MG love continues to grow and spread. I've got my work cut out for me as I jog through the blogosphere today.

  5. I'm always looking for fun chapter books for my younger students. This sounds like a series my girls would love.

  6. I would love to share this with my daughter. She's a little into everything. She loves girly stuff(pink/purple, princesses,...) and dinosaurs, dragons, soccer...


  7. Great thinking to match a girl with dragons. I found inspiration as a teen reading Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels. It seems MG children might just find the same with this book.

  8. Love the cover and the sound of this one. Adding to my to watch for list. AND---

    one week, Shannon, one week!

    Thanks for the chance to win Laura's book.

  9. Princesses AND dragons -- too cute! I saw this book before I left the bookstore. And I knew she was your agent. How cool!

  10. I think my granddaughter would love this book! Thanks for running the giveaway.

  11. This sounds like a fun, cute book! Love the mix of a girl with dragons for a change : ) Thanks for the giveaway!!

  12. This sounds like a cute book. Awesome that Laura writes too. I'll let someone else win who has a younger kid.

    And congrats on the start of your blog tour. I saw the great review on The Story Siren. Yay!

  13. What a cute cover! Thanks for the giveaway! And congrats on the blog tour! :)

    Jasmine @ the bookish mama
    thebookishmama at gmail dot com

  14. Gosh, I bet you can't sleep!

    Isn't it amazing how many agents are also writers?! Where do they find the time.

    Counting down with you....

  15. I'd love to read ROYAL PRINCESS ACADEMY: DRAGON DREAMS with my daughter. It looks wonderful.


  16. I know a couple of girls who will LOVE this story! The cover is completely adorable too! :)

  17. What a fun book! And thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Ha, Emma sounds just like a whole bunch of the little girls I know these days. Funny kids who play soccer must be trending worldwide. Thanks for putting this one up for giveaway, any one of them would love it as a gift I'm sure.


  19. This sounds like a really cute read - I'll have to tell my niece about it!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  20. I would be excited to win a copy. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this.

    ~Trish Fletcher

  21. Thank you for this awesome giveaway. <3 This book seems perfect! Would love to win it :D *fingers crossed* <3
    Love, Carina

  22. This looks like a super little book. I love stories with fairy tale nods and I love illustrations too!


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