The Wide Awake Princess
by E.D. Baker
Pub Date: May 11, 2010
Magic, fairy tales, and fun fill the pages of this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Only this time, the real hero is not the prince but the faithful younger sister of the ‘most beautiful princess in all the land.’
Princess Annie is not like any of the other princes, princesses, kings, and queens that she knows. All the others, including Annie’s parents and older sister, were blessed by fairies to be beautiful, charming, and amazing dancers. After Annie’s older sister was cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and cause all the castle to fall asleep, Annie’s fairy felt it was better to bless Annie to not be able to have good or bad magic affect her. In daily life, this means that all the magic around Annie diminishes, so her parents and sister do not like Annie to be around them for too long or they lose their fairy gifts. Fortunately, Annie is rather resilient considering her family neglect.
When the entire castle falls asleep under her sister’s curse, Princess Annie realizes that she cannot let her family stay asleep for 100 years. She needs to wake them up before someone tries to take over the kingdom. So, Annie goes on a journey to find the witch that can reverse the curse and to gather as many princes as she can to see if any of them can give her sister a true love’s kiss and wake the castle full of snoring people.
Princess Annie is a great example of someone who finds herself and her strengths by helping others. She has an optimistic attitude and a great ability to see the truth behind the lies. E.D. Baker has a great way of showing people realistically without delving into the darker side of humanity. She shows human weaknesses of jealousy, envy, anger, and fear; yet, these traits make the characters more loveable and seem braver because of the way they still do what is right despite these feelings. I highly recommend this book to young girls or those who are young at heart, especially for those who want to find a good story with a strong female protagonist.