Title: The Goose Girl
Authors: Shannon Hale
Year Published: 2003
Number of Pages: 400 pages
Date Read: 6/30/2010
Series: The Books of Bayern #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Content Rating: Ages 12+ (Some Intense Moments)
Wow!!! When I first started reading this book, I thought that it was going to be boring because I must admit that the beginning of this book did have a slow start with little action going on with the main characters. However, when I started reading more into the story, I just started to love this book immensely as the story got more exciting and more emotional as I read through this book. Shannon Hale has done an excellent job at making the characters extremely memorable, especially the main character Ani, who was at first a very passive character who would do anything that anybody told her to do, especially as she easily tries to accept the responsibilities of royalty in Kildenree without thinking about the secrets of her kingdom. However, when Ani’s life is threatened by Selia and Ungolad, Ani becomes a stronger character as the book goes on as she realizes that she is on her own and she must figure out a way to convince the king that she is the real Crown Princess without the aid of her mother. Now, many people may think that Ani is a bit too passive as she easily will do anything that anyone tells her to do, even during her moments of bravery and I do agree to some extent that Ani can be too passive towards other characters. However, when Ani realizes the possibility of having a manipulative person like Selia as princess, Ani goes out of her way to protect the people she love while revealing her own identity about herself that she has never known existed inside of her. I find this revelation that Ani makes about herself extremely reassuring as many people in real life sometimes have problems trying to discover who they truly are and Ani’s character has done a great job at explaining the trials that many people would face whenever they are trying to pluck up the courage to say what is really on their minds. What I loved the most about this book was how Shannon Hale made this book extremely dramatic and exciting at the same time as the audience can feel tension for Ani’s safety and how she is nearly captured by Selia and Ungolad many times in this book. I must admit that there were times that I actually thought that Ungolad, Selia’s guard, would be very close in capturing Ani, even though Shannon Hale makes sure that the audience knows that Ani does everything in her power to escape her captors.
“The Goose Girl” is truly a fantastic book about the power of courage and discovering who you truly are on the inside that many people who also want to discover the courage to stand up for what they believe in, can easily enjoy for many years.
* 2003 Utah Book Award for Children / Young Adults
* 2004 Josette Frank Award
* 2010 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children's Literature
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