Princess Academy – Palace of Stone
by Shannon Hale, published 2012
“What to do? She thought of History, Ethics, and Diplomacy, as well as Peder and Esa’s ma, who said ‘Truth is when your gut and your mind agree.'”
After discovering how much I enjoyed Princess Academy, I was curious to see if a sequel could hold up as well. This second children’s book, Palace of Stone, actually has even more depth and substance than the first, if that’s possible. The author tackles a very interesting dilemma of ethics, as we follow Miri torn between her loyalty to her friend Britta, and the ideals that can inflame revolution. What a substantial topic to present in a children’s book.
Going by the Waldorf Curriculum, this children’s book is more closely aligned with the 8th grade, and in fact, it would make a fabulous classroom book for eighth graders studying revolution. However, I do think that the 12-year-olds could get some benefit from this book, especially the deep thinkers. The questions of how one makes decisions and the issues of loyalty, secrecy, and integrity are well worth pondering.
Shannon Hale has a wonderful writing style, and she uses her literary talents to make the characters and events quite compelling. There’s also a good bit of insight into the nature of a young girl’s infatuation, and how she finds out what is really meaningful. I look forward to exploring more of Shannon Hale’s writing. (Note at this time the book is not yet in paperback, but I expect it will be soon.)