I love books where people have a chance to rise from rags to riches and stories about non-royal people becoming royalty, but most of those books seem to involve girls as the main characters. So, when a student told me about The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Lexile: 710; Interest Level: Grades 4-9), I was excited! Yes, this is a book about a boy who is chosen to compete in a plan to become the new king of the land.
Sage is escaping from a butcher from whom he has just stolen a whole roast when we first meet him. When he arrives at the orphanage with a kindly gentleman who bought the roast for him, he discovers that the man has purchased him. Of course, he doesn't want to belong to anyone, so he is bound and carried off. After awhile, he finds out that he and three other orphaned boys have been chosen because they look so much like the prince who is believed to have been killed by pirates four years before. The man who gathered the boys, Conner, has a plan to have one of the boys pose as the prince and take the throne. Now Sage has 2 weeks to learn everything he needs to know about being the lost prince, and to convince Conner he is the orphan for the job.
If, like me, you enjoy a good underdog story with lots of action, swords, humor, and danger, you will enjoy this story. It is the first book in the Ascendance Trilogy. (352 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.