A spunky heroine, a not quite human boy, and a little sprinkle of magic make Stephanie Burgis’s middle grade fantasy, The Princess Who Flew with Dragons, charming.
Sofia knows that she’ll never equal her older sister, Katrin. She isn’t as good at smiling or talking or anything remotely princessy, so she’s perfectly content to stay hidden away in her room with just a stack of books. But then her oh-so-perfect sister decides to send her on a diplomatic mission to a faraway kingdom. After things go terribly wrong and Katrin is captured, it’s up to Sofia and a few unexpected allies to stop the chaos and prove that, while Sofia isn’t the same kind of princess as her sister, she might just be the kind that’s needed to save the day.
With Sofia acting as a witty and engaging narrator, the pages fly by, right alongside dragons. Action is plenty, but never at the expense of character development. Philosophy and the power of thought are major themes, and the sometimes daunting subjects are broken down into easy-to-understand ideas that show why Sofia makes the choices that she does.
Sofia’s struggles with who she is, and who the world is telling her to be, will resonate with every audience, but especially middle schoolers. The young princess tries to find the right balance between her duties and desires, but it isn’t just Sofia who has a thing or two to learn. There are lessons in store for all of her friends as they grow to understand what it means to be brave, to love, and even to forgive.
Filled with exciting chases and tender moments, The Princess Who Flew with Dragons is a fantastical read for any and all brave enough to enter.
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