Born to Rule – Kathryn Lasky

acadcacdBorn to Rule” is a cute book written for girls ages 8-12. Our main character is Princess Alicia, a young lady who is leaving behind her castle home to attend Camp Princess for the first time. Camp Princess is a fun summer camp designed especially for princesses. Each year, the girls learn how to work tapestry and to train songbirds. They do archery and other royal-type sports, and they sleep in every morning and have their breakfast in bed. It’s a break from the rigors of castle life (you know, where they have to have breakfast in bed and sleep in . . . )

One item Alicia brought from home is a book written by a princess who was separated from her love. At Camp Princess, she learns that one student at the camp many years ago had a sad story, and she begins to put the pieces together, deciding to solve the mystery of the sad student and also the tapestry she made that disappeared mysteriously. With the help of her roommates, Kristen and Gundersnap, she gathers the necessary clues.

Of course, we read descriptions of ball gowns and tiaras, elegant dances and rich food. What story about princesses would be complete without these?

This book is reminiscent of Harry Potter, in that the girls are divided up into groups and compete with the other groups, each represented by a color. There are headmistresses and teachers, the girls have schedules and classes to attend, and they pretty much have whatever they want—not attained by magic, but by money, as they are all very wealthy. Beyond that, the comparisons end—there’s no witchcraft or dangerous elements. A lighthearted and fun read, I recommend this book for your preteen readers, and if you’re in the mood for a distracting story, for yourself as well.

(This book was published in 2006 by HarperCollins.)

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