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Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass
(book one)
by Ammi-Joan Paquette
July 21, 2015
In this royal adventure, Princess Juniper learns what it means to rule a kingdom–at least for the summer.
For her thirteenth nameday all Princess Juniper wants is a country of her own. So when rumblings of unrest start in his kingdom, Juniper's father decides to grant his daughter's wish and sends her to a small, idyllic corner of the Hourglass Mountains until trouble blows over. Once there, Juniper discovers that ruling a small country–even just for the summer–is a bit harder than she'd expected, especially when cousin Cyril challenges her rule. Still, the most difficult part is to come. Juniper and her friends discover that her father's kingdom is at war. The only way to stay safe is to remain in the Hourglass Mountains much longer than planned. Juniper may have her own country after all . . . but what will that mean for the kingdom of Torr?

This book is perfect for fans of Frozen and Brave, who like their princess strong and smart as well as sparkly. 

"I absolutely loved Princess Juniper of the Hourglass!  It's fantastically delightful, delicious, and satisfying.  You'll want to follow Juniper to her kingdom -- or even better, start your own!"--Sarah Beth Durst, author of Enchanted Ivy and Ice
“I adored Princess Juniper! Readers will cheer as she leads and defends her hidden kingdom in this deliciously charming fantasy.”--Julie Berry, author of The Secondhand Charm and The Amaranth Enchantment

“Princess Juniper proves that you can love your silk dresses and still be a hero. This is a smart, feisty kid with a thirst for experiences, and I loved watching her learn to lead. A fun and insightful coming-of-age tale.”—Ellen Booraem, author of Small Persons With Wings
"A gently adventurous and luxuriously detailed romp."--Kirkus Reviews

"With elements from William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies and Paul Fleischman’s Westlandia, this story can be enjoyed by those who love princess stories and adventure tales....A rollicking tale that will please a wide range of readers."--School Library Journal

"This...dramatic and humorous novel...involves some entertaining twists and paves the way for more lighthearted intrigue ahead."--Publishers Weekly 

"Paquette takes young readers gently by the hand into the adult world of responsibility, danger, and the unknown. The fully developed cast of characters is engaging, and readers will cheer the conclusion and happily await Juniper’s further adventures."--Booklist

Princess Juniper makes a grand wish for her thirteenth nameday: her own country, made up of kids her age, to rule. When a troublesome kingdom invades their country, Juniper’s father, the king, grants Juniper her wish and sends her, and a merry group of younguns, off to a quiet, lush part of the Hourglass Mountains. Princess Juniper and her subjects set out to make the newly dubbed Queen’s Basin the best country there is...but they soon learn that’s a lot harder than just dreaming about it. Princess Juniper’s nasty cousin Cyril makes big trouble and Juniper finds herself fighting for her beloved little country. And back at home at Torr, war is on the horizon. What’s a determined Princess to do?

This is the second middle-grade book I’ve read by Ammi-Joan Paquette, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite MG authors! Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, with its charming characters, enchanting settings, adventurous spirit, and sparkling storytelling, is a pure delight from beginning to end! Paquette creates lush, vivid, and enthralling settings in Torr and Queen’s Basin. Readers will fall in love with the grand castle in Torr and be swept away by the dazzling Queen’s Basin, which, with its rooms carved into a mountain, tree hidey-holes, and beautiful landscapes, feels almost deliciously magical. This an unforgettable world that young readers will want to run away to and explore!

There are so many wonderful, wondrous, endearing characters in Princess Juniper of the Hourglass! Princess Juniper is such a fantastic heroine, who is smart, brave, adventurous, thoughtful, isn’t afraid to get dirty and work hard, and has an impeccable sense of fashion. Juniper is surrounded by a merry and eclectic group of kids, from clever Erick, fierce Alta, feisty Tippy, weasely Cyril, and more. I found this group of young characters to be utterly charming, amusing, and full of surprises.

Princess Juniper and her new friends set out on an inspiring journey; a journey that is filled to the brim with fun, excitement, friendship, new discoveries, and valuable lessons to be learned.

my final thoughts: There is so much to love and admire about Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, and readers of all ages will enjoy this sparkling tale. Ammi-Joan Paquette has written a truly spectacular story and I can't wait for book two!

5/5 yummy cupcakes

Ammi-Joan Paquette has been writing stories since early childhood. She and her sister would spend hours creating masterpieces of stapled paper and handwritten words, complete with pen-and-ink covers and boxed illustrations. The road to publication was long and winding, peppered with many small successes including: a variety of national magazine publications, being a 2005 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award honoree, and receiving the 2008 SCBWI’s Susan Landers Glass Scholarship Award, for the book that would later become Nowhere Girl. Her first picture book, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, was published in 2009. She now lives with her husband and two daughters in the Boston area, where she continues to write books for children and young adults. She is also an agent with the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. 

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