Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Anti-Princess Club

The Anti-Princess Club book series, Samantha Turnbull

From Miss 12:

In the HQ of Emily, Bella, Grace and Chloe, princess is the P word, tiaras are NOT allowed, and fairytales become unfairytales. These four girls, age 10, are all tired of being called princess and being treated like one. All Emily wants is to be a mathematician, while Bella wishes to design amazing architecture. Grace wants to be an athletic superstar and Chloe dreams of becoming a scientist. All four of them couldn’t be more different, but are all best friends. Together, they form the Anti-Princess Club, where Emily, the president, leads the group on missions to prove to the world that girls can do more than wear a tiara.

Each of the five books is from the perspective of a different Anti-Princess, with the last one narrated by them all. Emily, a computer genius, codes the Anti-Princess Club website, where girls all over the world can join up to chat and get help from her with maths homework. At first, some of their parents don’t understand, know, or accept that they don’t want to learn ballet or go into beauty pageants. Emily’s mum runs a beauty salon and her dad’s in the army. Bella’s parents are doctors, and they live in a mansion, and the HQ of the Anti-Princess Club meets in her backyard. Grace’s mum and dad are soccer nuts, just like her and her three brothers but they don’t think she should play sport. Chloe lives with her yiayia (grandma), her parents and brother, however she believes they only want her to run their restaurant because she’s an amazing cook.

These books, written by Samantha Turnbull and set in Australia, are great. Girls ages 6-12 could enjoy them.

Miss 10’s extra comment:
“I like them because they are interesting, the girls have adventures, there is a bit of tension and they are like me and my friends.”

I've now read two of these myself and I quite like them too. They are definitely aimed at girls around age 10 and contain the type of messages I want mine to receive:
[From Emily's mum as she tries to fit her into a pageant dress] "Don't be sooky, Emily, she says. "Beauty is painful."
That, I think to myself is exactly what the anti-princesses are fighting against and why I have to pull off this mission. There are so many more important things in life than prettiness. And girls definitely shouldn't have to hurt themselves to look good.
The second book covers some bullying that results from their antics in the first book, which is a good reminder to kids that all actions have consequences. And while acknowledging the tensions which can exist between boys and girls at this age; thankfully they discover in the end that they are more alike than they realise.  

It's a good series if you have an anti-princess yourself who is sick of some of the other princess books out there; or if you want to reinforce the message that it's OK to be sporty, academic or just a bit different.

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