Author: Christopher Healy
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication date: May 1, 2012
AR Levels: Interest Level: 4th-8th, Book Level: 5.0, Points: 12.0
Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12969560-the-hero-s-guide-to-saving-your-kingdom
In a nutshell: You've probably never heard of Prince Frederic, Prince Gustav, Prince Liam, or Prince Duncan, but I bet you've heard of Prince Charming, right? In a fairytale world where word travels via song, the heroic deeds of princes are often lumped under the fake title of "Prince Charming," and poor Frederic, Gustav, Liam, and Duncan get no fortune or glory. But when an evil witch threatens to murder the minstrels of five fairytale kingdoms, these unknown princes step in to save the very bards who stole their rightful fame. You'll love this swashbuckling, funny fairytale that combines the stories of Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. (Plus, it's going to be a series! No publication date yet though.)
I'll admit I was a bit skeptical at first about this book, but it turned out to be one of the best books I've reviewed to date! If this is ever turned into an animated movie (and it should), I hope someone will allow me to help with casting people to do the voices. I can best describe this book as a cross between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Shrek. It takes everything you thought you knew about classic fairy tales and turns them upside down.
I'd recommend it for grades: 4th and up. Not gonna lie, even adults will love this one!
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who loves classic fairy tales but doesn't take them too seriously. This book might change your opinion of a few of those princesses, and even Prince Charming.
What I liked most about this book: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book out loud (to myself, yes), but still it's hilarious. Hero's Guide doesn't have a dull moment, and it's chock full of daring adventures and close escapes.
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): I love the part of the book when the princes share the names of their horses. One of them is so random but fits the character very well. You'll know what I'm talking about when you get there.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars, hands down!!
I recommended to Chris that we read this book together as our next he says/she says review because it sounded funny, and boy was it! I hope they make it into a movie too!
I'd recommend it for grades: 4th and up (Ditto to what Chris says about adults loving this too! It will also make a fabulous read-aloud book for even younger children too. I definitely hope to read it to mine one day!)
I'd recommend it to: fairytale lovers and tween boys (They'll love the humor in it and will be able to identify with at least one of the princes. Plus it's got very little romance in it and lots of action!)
What I liked most about this book: The four princes in this book couldn't be more different, and yet I love them all, and they all grow so much during the course of the book. You've got Frederic, Cinderella's sheltered, scaredy cat prince; Gustav, Rapunzel's gruff, devil-may-care prince; Liam, Sleeping Beauty's handsome and genuinely brave and kindhearted prince (my fave!), and Duncan, Snow White's quirky, spastic prince (He's a hoot!). They really make the book what it is, but there are some strong female characters in this book too. Ella (Cinderella) kicks major butt, you love to hate Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), and my personal favorite is spunky little Lila, Liam's little sister, who is quite an adventurer in her own right! Also, the chapter titles are really, really funny.
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): I have lots of favorites, but some of my favorite scenes are the ones where Duncan randomly names animals on the spot. He'll see an animal in the woods, and he has to blurt out a name for it immediately, so he's forever randomly spurting out names, and it's hilarious! It reminds me of the dog in Up.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): oh definitely 5 stars!