The Princess And The Hound


Prince George knew the legend of King Richon, a cruel king who killed animals for pleasure and who, ultimately, was turned into a bear to wander the woods. He felt a connection to King Richon, but even talking about animal magic would mean death, so he had no one he could ask questions of. His whole life Prince George struggled with his own "curse" of animal magic. Now that he was betrothed to Princess Beatrice of Sarrey, would that change? Could he keep a secret from the woman meant to be his life partner?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This is a well-crafted novel that everyone can enjoy. Even though it is set in Medieval times, readers will connect with the characters. The book is written from the point of view of a boy, which makes it unique in its genre and engaging for both genders. It is full of surprises and is very creative.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

This is a highly imaginative fairy tale for an older child. The author is a skillful storyteller who weaves in elements of romance, drama, action, and occasional humor. The world in which the author so expertly creates is both entertaining and diverting from the world we live in today. The cover is very well done and intrigues the by stander to pick it up and examine its contents. The first chapter did not grip me like the cover did, and I was tempted to put it down. But this is one of those books you need to stick with if you hope to get anything out of it.

Parent Reaction

The author covers a lot of ground in the first few pages, quickly transporting us back to the Middle Ages. Her descriptions are eloquent, and even though the story is told in the third person, you feel you are a character that goes wherever Prince George goes. The back cover of the book compares the story to Beauty and the Beast, but I found it a much richer story than that classic tale.

Type of Book:
This is a high interest/low readibility fairy tale.
Educational Themes:

This is a novel meant to be enjoyed as a recreational read. That said, there are lots of themes you can draw out for discussion, from individual character choices, to tolerance (and how it has/hasn't changed over time), sovereignty and law, and family relationships. The Princess and the Hound also offers a model platform for talking about the fairy tale and romance genres.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 to 13
Recommended Age To Read Together:
9 to 12
Age of child:
Reviewed by a student at the Renaissance School (Charlottesville, VA) as part of a senior community service project. The review is part our Use Your ABCs initiative.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is an incredible story that will keep you turning pages to see what will happen next.

Title The Princess and the Hound
Author Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher HarperTeen, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2008
ISBN 9780061131899
Material Hard Cover
Cost $8.99
Genres Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fairy Tale
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