The Thirteenth Princess

The Thirteenth Princess
Diane Zahler
Juvebile Fiction
Lexile Reading Level: 850L

My Recommended Age: Based on ability 8 and up


We have all heard of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, but how many of us are familiar with their youngest sister Zita, the thirteenth princess.  Because her father desired sons, and received only daughters, Zita was sent to the kitchens to be raised by the servants and as such was treated as one.  The story begins as Zita learns of her noble birth and the circumstances surrounding her role as "kitchen help".   Upon realizing her noble birthright, she secretly seeks out her sisters and is excited to find that they love her as a sister just as much as she loves them.  The story unfolds as Zita's older sisters mysteriously fall ill.  The only clue to the illness being their worn out shoes.  With the help of her friend Bracken, one of the stable boys, Zita sets out on a magical adventure in a place where magic has been banned for years.

Being the first to admit that my only experience with the Twelve Dancing Princesses involves the Barbie movie, I can honestly say that I enjoyed this story.   I  opted to listen to the audio book with my daughters,  all three of them (ages 8-12), and was pleased with the reader as well as the story.  A fun twist on a classic fairy tale, it was an enjoyable, entertaining story for all of us.   Bear in mind it is a little slow at first, but quickly turns into a charming tale with nothing inappropriate or worrisome.

Happy Reading
~Liz

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