Princess of the Midnight Ball
Jessica Day George
2009; Bloomsbury; 978-1-59990-322-4 (hardcover)
Summary: Every night, Princess Rose and her eleven sisters have a ball to attend. Yet it's not a normal ball: they go because they are cursed, forced to attend by the King Under Stone. And as part of the curse, they can't tell anyone about dancing all night. When their father grows tired of his daughters wearing out their dancing slippers every three days, and the princesses can't tell him why, he starts a contest. Any prince who can solve the mystery will get to marry the princess he chooses and be named the heir to the throne. Yet it appears that it won't be a prince who saves Rose and her sisters . . . but a gardener.
An enjoyable retelling of the fairy tale of the twelve dancing princesses, Princess of the Midnight Ball creatively reimagines Europe, heightening the fantasy elements. Yet the descriptions aren't overdone, allowing the reader to see the action in their minds while still allowing for their own perspective. Many of the characters are well-drawn, particularly Galen. The use of both Galen and Rose as protagonists helps the reader explore the story from two different sides. Not too scary and not too romantic, Princess of the Midnight Ball is a great choice for middle schoolers in search of a fairy-tale retelling.