Diary of a Would-be Princess
Product Code: 91660
Binding Information: Hardback
Ages: 9 - 12
Grade Highest: 7th
Grade Lowest: 4th
Availability: In stock
Price: $15.95 $7.98
Jillian James is not popular. She's not a Princess. She's not a Normal. Most of the Princesses and Normals think she's one of the Dorks.
In her classroom journal, Jillian records her thoughts about school, family, her friends, and her deepest wish to be in the Princess clique. Throughout the year she learns the true meaning of friendship and the value of being herself. An unexpected twist in Jillian's relationship with her teacher, Mrs. Bright, is an uplifting ending.
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Kirkus Reviews - January 15, 2007To be popular with the "princesses" in her Australian elementary school is not Jillian's destiny, especially with King-Nerd Nigel and the rest of the "misfits" tagging along. Then to top it off, her teacher reads her daily journal and makes unexpected suggestions about her writing skills - isn't a diary private? - and unexpected commentary about her life - is there no end to mortification? To be in the tick of things, Jillian tries to be lovely and smart, and then as the pièce de résistance, organizes a party and invites everyone. When even that isn't enough, she refocuses her life to help that rag-tag group who've become her bosom buds with what she can do - read and write, and infect their life with excitement. In the middle of her efforts, her own writing grows from a stunted ramble to the heartfelt record of her fifth year at Flora Heights Primary School. There she exemplifies to her true friends how to handle being chosen last in sports, and "the slings and arrows" of life, with grace. Green injects plenty of humor and turns Jillian's diary into a meaningful creative training ground for winning a prestigious speaking competition, as well as a turning point for the future of those less able. The writing is lively and fun, a humorous adventure in growing up among Australian schoolmates, family and friends. A mighty inspiring debut.
School Library Journal - March 1, 2007The journal that Jillian writes during fifth grade in a rural Australian town has a lot to recommend it and some problems as well. The girl progresses from being an unpopular loner who’s envious of the Princesses in class to the center of a group that is mostly outcast boys. They range from socially awkward Nigel to Sam, who needs Jillian’s help to complete schoolwork. Except for encouraging comments from her teacher, Mrs. Bright, the entries are all in Jillian’s voice and any dialogue is indirect. As a result, it can be hard to distinguish other characters and they end up more as types than real people. Jillian is a wry and entertaining writer. Her description of a disastrous party she throws is very funny. She develops from a somewhat unlikable character into a kind soul. When one of her classmates is caught shoplifting, she gets her friends to write letters to the authorities to support him. A speech she makes up about procrastination is delightful but almost too grown-up. A glossary at the end of the book clarifies Australian slang; it would have been more help at the beginning. Even with it, the difference in tone, customs, and wording may be too much to keep American children interested, which is unfortunate. Although Jillian is a character who takes getting used to, she’s definitely worth knowing.
Vanessa, Massachusetts, Age 10 - March 13, 2007Thank you for letting me read these books. I felt so joyful that I just kept reading! You asked me what I thought about the books and I think they're great! Diary Of A Would Be Princess was a great book because it teaches girls how to be themselves. That's what Jillian James is trying to do but she thinks too much about being popular. She really thinks outside of the box. Rickshaw Girl just blew me away. The book made perfect sense. Everything you did to make the book good worked! And what I like about Rickshaw Girl is that it teaches girls a lesson. The lesson I figured out was that girls can do anything just like guys can and that's what Naima the main character in the story does. Naima is a girl that was trying to help her father fix his rickshaw after she crashed it! All the books are wonderful and Charlesbridge publishes the best books.
A Teacher from San Jose Unified School District, San Jose, CA - May 1, 2007This is a great book that captivates the minds of readers. Absolutely adorable reading the pages of an innocent girl. Very high level of vocabulary used in the book and confuses me but learned a great deal. Interesting enough to want to read over and over again. This is one book I would wait in line for hours to buy.
The PlanetEsme Plan - June 5, 2007Diary of a Would-be Princessby Jessica Green shows us that mean girls and typecasts are an international malaise, as an Australian girl does some clumsy social climbing. Episodic writing is hilarious in parts, and readers sympathize with feel for the heroine as her party goes exactly as unplanned, she trips over her own true talents for public speaking and struggles with the making and keeping of friends...the best one being a boy. (11 and up)
Journal of Children's Literature - April 1, 2008Not only is fifth-grader Jillian James not a princess, but her quirkiness guarantees that she won't be popular with the school's in crowd. She chooses to ignore the latest fads in fashion and speech. However, there's something special about Jillian that her teacher, Mrs. Bright, recognizes. Jillian soon proves that there's more to succeeding in fifth grade than one might think. Especially effective are the journal exchanges between Jillian and Mrs. Bright and the emerging relationship that Jillian creates with the class bully, Raymond.
Booklist - March 1, 2007Jillian James wants desperately to fit in with the Princess clique at her Flora Heights Primary School in Australia. Unfortunately, she is terrible at math, a disaster on the playground, and her only real friend (though she won't admit it) is nerdy Nigel. Jillian recounts the ups and downs of her fifth-grade year in a funny school journal that includes weekly comments from her teacher, Mrs. Bright. As the year progresses, Jillian takes tentative steps toward getting out of her slump--she hosts a party for her classmates, struggles through a school athletic tournament, and writes an award-winning speech on the fine art of procrastination--emerging more confident of her strengths and comfortable with her social status. Australian vocabulary and idioms have been left intact (a glossary is appended), adding to the rich local color of Green's fiction debut. The author makes her point about friendship without ever becoming didactic, and her thoroughly delightful look at universal middle-grade concerns will work equally well for reading aloud or reading alone.
Book Links - January 1, 2009Australian fifth-grader Jillian keeps a school journal in which she relates the trials and tribulations of trying to become popular. Rich, with Aussie slang and local color, Green's story features a spunky, funny, and very likable main character.