Book Review: The Princess in Black

August 18, 2015


The Princess in Black
Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
90 pages
Hard copy edition

From the Publisher:
Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring!The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.


It’s not a secret, I love books by Shannon Hale, so when we went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the free books we earned for their summer kids reading program, and I saw this was one of the books that my daughter could pick, I just might have tried to convince her this was the one that she wanted.

My daughter LOVED this book.  She is entering 1st grade this year.  She is an excellent reader (ok…I might be a tad bit biased because I am her mom), but the girl has been reading so much this summer.  She can breeze through most picture books, but I have hard time finding a good chapter book that is on her level. This book is PERFECT!  She felt so proud of herself for reading a big “chapter book” like her brothers, but it still had pictures and was easy enough/and challenging enough at the same time.

I read through this book too and really found it enjoyable.  The pictures are fun.  The story is great.  Princess Magnolia is just like the girls at our house, they want to play with the boys and play rough and want to be a princess too.  Monster stories aren’t just for boys!

I can’t wait to read the next installment of the Princess in Black, which should be coming out in October.

We’ve had quite the challenge finding books like this one that my daughter is interested in. She’s not entirely girly/girl and wants a challenge of a chapter book, but still needs something a little bit easier.  A few other books that she enjoyed this summer that are on a similar level are: Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot books by Dav Pilkey, (She’s even read through a couple of the Captain Underpants books and thinks they are SO funny!) Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park,  and Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor.

I would love to hear more suggestions for her…What are your favorite early reader chapter books for girls?  (although I have to say, it seems like there are SO many more options for early reader girls than early reader boys)

Final Score for The Princess in Black:

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