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.*
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