Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Princess

Happy Princess is the final book in the Carmen Browne series. Written by Stephanie Perry Moore, it is the story of a preteen girl dealing with all the bumps and challenges of growing up. As the story opens, one of Carmen's best friends gets her period. As Carmen watches her friend deal with this new sign of becoming a woman, she is both anxious and eager for this to happen to her.

Carmen deals with many situations as the book progresses. She feels anxious about the changes that she knows are going to happen to her body. She doesn't want to be a little girl, she wants to be a woman! She has to stand up for what she believes in when she goes to a sleepover and her friend Imani turns on a movie that Carmen knows they shouldn't be watching. She even has to deal with classmates gossiping about how wealthy her family is. Her parents quickly tell her that even though God has blessed them, true riches are found in Christ.

Carmen also watches her parents live out their faith in example to her. Her dad has to put his trust in God when things at his job turn a little sour. In turn, Carmen tries to be a help to her little sister Cassie, and her older brother Clay. She realizes that even at her age, she can be used of God.

Carmen's big day comes when her parents were away on a trip. She is thankful for the care her Grandma gives her, and can't believe that she has finally gotten her period! One day, Carmen and her best friends Riana, Layah and Imani are pulled out of school and whisked away on a mysterious trip by their moms and grandmoms. They are excited to find out that they were in for a special day of celebration of their friendship, and their growing into young ladies. Carmen realizes that they are trying to live out the Titus 2 relationship that older women are to have with younger women in the Bible.

When Carmen gets to go on a road trip with her father, she is blessed by a visit with her old friend Jillian. She is filled with excitement when she realizes that Jillian has recently become a Christian.

As the book closes, Carmen is able to help her friends come to a knowledge of Christ, and they become Christians. Carmen dreams about being a happy princess, and truly she is one. She realizes as her year in sixth grade closes, that she can truly trust God with every aspect of her life.

What I Like: It has been a while since I was eleven, but as I read, I found myself being able to identify with Carmen's feelings and struggles. Also, I like the fact that Carmen's relationship with the Lord is real and so much a part of her life. She is constantly praying about little difficulties that come up. For example, when she is feeling frustrated that no one seems to have time for her, she says inside, "Okay, Lord. I don't want to be in a sad mood. Help me out here." Also, the book is full of tips for young girls about the female cycle, and ways to keep oneself clean during menstruation. The relationship between Carmen and her dad is such a sweet thing to read about.

What I Dislike: Even though I appreciated the details included in this book on the topic of menstruation, I felt that there was a bit too much of that subject in the book. However, if a girl was currently going through these changes in her body, she would most likely appreciate the emphasis.

Overall Rating:
Very Good

Age Appeal:

Publisher Info: Lift Every Voice, 2007; ISBN:080248171X ; Paperback $5.99.

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Special Info: The main characters in the book are African American. Also, parents may want to take not that there is a lot of discussion of menstruation, and the female cycle. We've reviewed another book by this author!

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