Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede


This book has all you could ever want in a middle grade series. It's funny, smart, unique and full of strong women.

Cimorene is not the proper princess. She is easily bored by the mundane princess activities, like practicing screaming and embroidery. She wants to cook. And fence. And practice magic. But she isn't allowed to do any of those things as a princess. So when a magical talking toad gives her a new choice of life, she takes it.

Now she finds herself to be a dragon's princess. She cooks and cleans and practices magic--all the things she wasn't allowed to do in her Kingdom. She doesn't want to be saved by a prince, she just wants to live her life. And when the dragon world begins to have trouble, it seems as though Cimorene might be their only hope.

Dealing with Dragons is a fantastical novel that plays with the well-known and loved fairytales and myths that we all grew up with in one way or another, whether it be through movies or reading the actual tales themselves. But the most encouraging and best part of this novel, is the way it disagrees with those stories. Stories that tell young women that their life is meaningless and incomplete without a man to save them and direct their life goals. This is a story about young women choosing their own destiny, and not just accepting their fate. Pick your goals and go after them. It was a true joy to read, and truly inspiring.

I really enjoyed the writing in this novel as well. It's written like a fairytale is, with declarative statements and straightforward statements. It truly just chronicles the actions of Cimorene, and the situations she finds herself in.

However, I know I would have liked this book even more if I was at the age of the directed audience. I don't read a lot of middle grade fiction because I don't relate to it, and this book is a little younger than what I usually choose. But even so, Cimorene was a character all could relate to. She was strong and sarcastic and very smart. I enjoyed her snark immensely.

I think all young girls should read this novel. It shows them that society doesn't have to form you if you don't want it to. You can choose your own destiny.

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