Monday, January 22, 2007

Princess for a Week

Wright, Betty Ren. 2006. PRINCESS FOR A WEEK. Ill. by Jacqueline Rogers. New York: Holiday House. ISBN 0823419452 [Suggested Grade Levels 2-4]

Roddy is ecstatic to learn that “Princess” is coming for a visit. He assumes Princess is a dog sent for him by his father based overseas. Much to his chagrin, Princess turns out to be the daughter of one of his mom’s friends, and her name certainly fits. Typically reserved Roddy knows that Princess is mischievous and unruly, yet he gives in to her demands for fear of disappointing his mother. She even persuades him to enter the neighborhood haunted house in order to solve a mystery. Together, they both bite off more than they anticipated.

Wright develops Princess, Roddy, and friend Jacob so well that readers will think they know them. The sly and bossy girl, a shy and tentative boy, and the pal along for the adventure are all prevalent in children’s lives. Rogers’ frequent pencil drawings add to the familiar feel of these kids. Wright’s typical spooky mystery sense is perfectly appropriate for this age reader, and the plot develops quickly. This title is a wonderful addition to the chapter book collection.

Talk with readers about what they like and dislike about mysteries. Read other age-appropriate mysteries and determine the common elements. Read other books about haunted houses. Are the houses really haunted in these stories? Compare how authors resolve a haunted house mystery.

Chapter Book Mysteries:
Bauer, Marion Dane. BLUE GHOST. ISBN 0375831797
Cirrone, Dorian. LINDY BLUES: BIG SCOOP. ISBN 0761453237
Conford, Ellen. CASE FOR JENNY ARCHER. ISBN 0316014869

Haunted House Mysteries:
Hayes, Joe. GHOST FEVER / MAL DE FANTASMA. ISBN 0938317830

By Rebecca McKee

No comments: