I have to admit that I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales, and the following book certainly did not disappoint! In the first book of the Princesses of Westfalin Trilogy, Princess of the Midnight Ball (Lexile: 830; Interest Level: Grades 5-9), Jessica Day George poses the story of the twelve dancing princesses in a new light. The princesses don't sneak away to enjoy dancing all night; they are forced by a curse, or more accurately, by a promise their mother made years ago. So every third night, whether they like it or not, they must descend to the land of King Under Stone to dance until dawn, wearing out both their dancing slippers and their feet. If only they could tell someone and ask for help!
When the king is at his wit's end, he offers a daughter's hand in marriage to any prince who can discover where the girls go at night and why their shoes are tattered in the morning. This turns out to be a very dangerous undertaking. So, when a lowly commoner comes asking to be allowed to uncover the secret, the king has no choice but to let him try. Can Galen, the strange knitting gardener's assistant, do what noble princes could not? Read this great story to find out! Oh, and if you are a crafty person who likes to knit, you can find some patterns at the end of the story! (304 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.