The Resource Pennyroyal academy, M.A. Larson

Pennyroyal academy, M.A. Larson

Label
Pennyroyal academy
Title
Pennyroyal academy
Statement of responsibility
M.A. Larson
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A girl from the forest enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragon.There, given the name Evie, she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal than she could ever have imagined
Member of
Storyline
Review
  • Grades 5-8 Forget the notion of traditional princesses. At Pennyroyal Academy, princesses are trained to fight witches and save kingdoms, and, yes, knights learn to slay dragons. Which brings us to Evie’s dilemma: she is training to be a princess, yet she was raised by dragons and was brought to the academy by a dragon-slaying knight wannabe. Larson has crafted a dark Grimm-like fairy tale, with teens training to defeat evil, save villages, and find their own identities in the process. Familiar names like Cinderella and Snow White dot the landscape, while tongue-in-cheek characters like Rumpledshirtsleeves and the Fairy Drillsergeant are part of a no-nonsense faculty charged with readying the girls for combat. Yet the focus and detailed character development is on the young women, their hopes and dreams (sometimes dreadfully scary), their real fears, and their disappointments in themselves, their friends, and the adults around them. Since the book ends with some of the princesses and knights selected to return for another school year, Larson has left the door open for a welcome second year at Pennyroyal with Evie and her friends. -- Bradburn, Frances (Reviewed 10-01-2014) (Booklist, vol 111, number 3, p85)
  • Gr 5 – 8 — Pennyroyal Academy trains princesses and knights to battle the witches and dragons that encroach ever more rapidly on the kingdom's citizens. Cadet Eleven (Evie) does not know her name and fears sharing her past, but she desperately wants to succeed as a princess recruit. As she journeys to the Academy to enroll, she escapes a witch's clutches with the help of knight-in-training Remington, a boy who annoys and intrigues Evie. Once arrived, the heroine makes friends in her unit who support her through the Academy's trials despite the malevolent tricks of Malora, a princess candidate whose nastiness puzzles the protagonist. The Academy's final wilderness challenge forces Evie to face her fears and her past. The intriguing premise of Larson's first novel falters under uneven execution. Fantasy readers will indubitably relish the magical kingdom's fearsome witches and dragons, set in an enchanted landscape of pitfalls and beauties. The assigned challenges add a perilous element that advances the story's pacing. However, the way Larson reveals Evie's past is nothing short of confusing. Readers unravel the protagonist's backstory over time, but Larson's purposeful inconsistencies seem bungled rather than cleverly diverting. Erratic characterizations lead to mercurial behavior and odd comings and goings. Most awkward are the abrupt transitions from one scene to the next. The story lacks a narrative flow, making baffling jumps that leave events unconnected. Adventure fantasy readers would be better off with a Shannon Hale novel or Michael Buckley's "Sisters Grimm" series (Abrams).—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT --Caitlin Augusta (Reviewed July 1, 2014) (School Library Journal, vol 60, issue 7, p88)
  • Pennyroyal Academy is no place for a damsel in distress. Inside the boot camp–style training ground, Princesses of the Shield learn to harness the power of “courage, compassion, kindness, and discipline” to battle witches and other foes. Their greatest weapon is in knowing themselves, a difficult task for Evie, who stumbles into her first day without a name, a royal bloodline, or even a proper dress. First-time author Larson, a film and TV writer, uses strikingly crisp imagery to tell a coming-of-age story rounded out with a gaggle of fast-won friends who provide support and comic relief—like Basil, a boy whose mother so badly wanted a girl he was sent to become a princess instead of a knight. The author playfully nods to classic fairy tales, incorporating a Frog Prince, a witchy stepmother, and a jealous stepsister tearing a ball gown to tatters, but he also imbues the fantasy with an important, affirming message for readers: “You get to decide what you want to be. No one else.” Ages 10–up. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed September 22, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 38, p)
  • Larson weaves a patchwork mix of trite and truly excellent ideas into this chronicle of a young fugitive's first year at princess school. Having neither name nor past and first met racing through an enchanted forest clad only in spider webs, "Cadet Eleven" (Evie for short) finds herself enrolled in a school for combat princesses after rescuing hunky prince Remington from a witch's cage. Under the tutelage of a tiny but fierce Fairy Drillsergeant and other faculty, she learns how to fight witches with "Courage, Compassion, Kindness, and Discipline," along with ball-gown tailoring and other princessly skills. Meanwhile Remington and the other young men (except for one, who enrolls with the princesses because he was raised as the designated girl in a family of 22 boys) are in the school's other wing training to be dragon-killing knights. Romance ensues, as do sharp conflicts when Evie, whose past is illuminated bit by bit in arbitrarily timed visions and revelations, turns out to have been lovingly raised, though not by humans. By the end, Evie has won her way past tests and rivalries, fought several witches (scary ones, too), and caught hints of both her human parentage and a promising destiny among such warrior greats as Cinderella and Snow White. Flashes of inspiration light up a protagonist with plenty of spine, a plot too dependent on set pieces and a colorful but quickly sketched supporting cast. A sequel-worthy debut nonetheless. (Fantasy. 11-13)(Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10359724
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Larson, M. A
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
no index present
Intended audience
820L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
6.0
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Pennyroyal Academy
Series volume
0001
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Military education
  • Schools
  • Princesses
  • Knights and knighthood
  • Witches
  • Dragons
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Pennyroyal academy, M.A. Larson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
  • volume
  • sheet
Carrier category code
  • nc
  • nb
Carrier MARC source
  • rdacarrier
  • rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • cartographic image
Content type code
  • txt
  • cri
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
314 pages
Isbn
9780399163241
Lccn
2014014516
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
maps on endpapers
Label
Pennyroyal academy, M.A. Larson
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
  • volume
  • sheet
Carrier category code
  • nc
  • nb
Carrier MARC source
  • rdacarrier
  • rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • cartographic image
Content type code
  • txt
  • cri
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
314 pages
Isbn
9780399163241
Lccn
2014014516
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
maps on endpapers

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