The Ruby Princess Runs Away

Scholastic. (Jewel Kingdom: Bk. 1). May 2020. 96p. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781338565676.
Gr 2-5–The first book in a princess fantasy series for young readers. Author duo Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner transport readers to the world of the Jewel Kingdom, where each princess has a dedicated jewel and special powers to match. Princess Roxanne is about to be crowned the Ruby Princess. The day of her coronation arrives, and Roxanne becomes anxious about the stresses that this new position will bring. Instead of addressing the problem, she runs away. While she is in hiding she discovers a plot by the evil Lord Bleak to steal the Ruby throne. Roxanne, with the help of her animal friends, must stop Lord Bleak before it’s too late. Magical and filled with sparkly adventure, this title will appeal to many early chapter book readers. Many children will relate to Roxanne’s feeling of pressure when faced with change. Supporting characters (a dragon and a bird who acts as her royal secretary) enhance the book’s whimsy. A series that will be very popular with young fans of light fantasy.
VERDICT A sound recommendation for those who enjoy the Daisy Meadows’s “Rainbow Magic” series. Short chapters and engaging illustrations make this title a gem for any elementary school library.

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