Sunday, March 23, 2008

To be, or not to be...a princess

It is the beginning of the fifth grade school year for Jillian James. She would love to fit in with the "princess" clique at her school - they seem to have a lot of fun together, and they are all interested in the same things. But whatever she does, it seems she is destined to make a mess of things and cause infinite amusement to the princesses, much to Jillian's shame and annoyance. Nigel, one of the boys in the class, is nice to her, but that only makes everyone tease her more - so how can she be friends with him? Even if his interests do have more in common with hers than those of the princesses?

Mrs. Bright, the teacher, is tired of all the cliques and nasty behavior of the students, and she has the children write journals in class and gives them projects to try to get them to work together. Jillian's progress from envious loner to a much more self-confident and independent girl is recounted in the pages of her journal, along with occasional comments and remarks from Mrs. Bright.

This is another pick for my library's summer reading program, and I enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of Jillian's life in Australia. It was a bit unbelievable to me that she would write so frankly and honestly in a journal that she knew her teacher would be reading, especially when her teacher reprimands her for some of the things she writes about, but it was still a very fun book that would certainly appeal to young readers, particularly those who love reading school stories.

The Diary of a Would-Be Princess by Jessica Green (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2007)

Other blog reviews:
Confessions of a Bibliovore
Rave Reviews Log


  1. I know what you mean about the character being so frank and open in a journal she knew would be read, but I had a teacher in high school who made us journal (gave us the opportunity to journal, I should say) and she read them periodically. But I found that simply writing my 3 pages, or whatever, I did tend to be open and honest without a thought to it being read. You get caught up in the activity of journaling.

  2. That's a good point, Anonymous. And there is also the fact that Jillian likes to write, and where the other kids tease her about her vocabulary, Jillian seems to like showing off a bit for her teacher. Still, you'd think that being scolded for what she writes might put a slight damper on her enthusiasm for admitting certain things she's getting up to!


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