In this third (and final) installment of the Princesses of Westfalin trilogy, the youngest Princess Petunia goes to visit a neighboring duchess, and on the way, her carriage is stopped and robbed--by Wolves! Well, they were really men who dressed as wolves, but they even called themselves Wolves. The leader decided that he must take the Princess home with him when she snuck up on him and heard his real name!
The unlikely friendship between Petunia and this young, penniless earl-turned-bandit name Oliver is a crucial part of the story as he may hold the secret to escaping the King Under Stone forever! Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George (Lexile: 860; Interest Level: Grades 4-8) tells a remarkable story of sisterly devotion, young love, magic and bravery, and is certainly a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy (although I wouldn't have minded one or two more). As with the other two stories, this one also includes knitting patterns. (352 p.)
I just couldn't help picking up the second Princesses of Westfalin book right after finishing the first! Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George (Lexile 890; Interest Level: Grades 5-9) picks up the story of Cinderella as Princess Poppy of Westfalin visits a cousin in Breton as part of a diplomatic exchange between her country and those nearby. Although she refuses to dance (after being forced to dance all night every night for years, she thinks she deserves a break!), she still attends several balls, and breaks tradition by choosing to play cards with the gentlemen instead of dancing!
Soon, her enjoyable time becomes complicated by a new maid named Ellen (who is actually Eleanora, an orphaned daughter of a nobleman), who never seems to get anything right, not even the most simple of tasks. When the king of Breton decides to throw a ball, hoping to marry a visiting prince to someone in his kingdom, things get even weirder with Ellen, who starts disappearing at night and returning covered in soot. The mysterious girl who shows up at the royal ball doesn't fool Poppy, though, and she begins to suspect that foul play is at work! Who is this mysterious "patron" Ellen claims to have? And why does it seem like Ellen's feet are turning to glass? Can Poppy help her before it is too late? (272 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.