Reviews for Diary of B. B. Bright, Possible Princess

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
Sweet, sassy and mystical, this novel deftly melds an old-fashioned story of princess preparation with the modern twist of body image and self-esteem. B.B.'s plight unfolds in a diary format. At 13, she has grown bored with life on a secluded island with her doting, albeit squabbling Godmommies. B.B. is in exile because her royal parents feared for her life. Rather than fearing for her safety, however, B.B. is more concerned with having friends, meeting a boyfriend and wearing stylish clothes. What works best is the classic storytelling voice. Randall (The Wind Done Gone, for adults, 2001) and Randall Williams create characters who feel authentic and familiar even as they inhabit a fantastical, supernatural world. The Godmommies are a hoot, coloring B.B.'s world with their homespun wisdom. B.B.'s constant comparisons between herself and Photoshopped images in the magazines she reads sometimes feel jarring, although they are certainly timely. At its heart, this is a tale of a girl straddling two worlds--the safety and comfort of what she's been taught with the promise of who she really wants to be. Young readers will respond to the voice as well as the predicament, while grown-ups will appreciate the values. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 6-8--The Godmommies tell Black Bee Bright, 13, that there are Three Big Rules: no man can step foot on the island, she can't step foot off the island until she's met eight princesses, and she can't tell anyone that she is the Raven King's daughter. Through diary entries, B.B. details her life on Bee Island, where she spends her days listening to her squabbling Godmommies, preparing for the OPT (Official Princess Test) with Mamselle, and reading magazines while wishing for a boyfriend or even just a friend. B.B. feels stuck. Stuck on an island she has been exiled to and stuck between the Raven World, where she would be a princess, and the Other World, with great clothes and people her own age. The catalyst that moves B.B. from her stagnation is a trip to the East side of the island, which is supposedly covered in prickly thickets and populated by poisonous snakes and a Great Pale Bear. But B.B. must make the journey to discover the eight princesses, her purpose, and herself. The diary format ensures that Black Bee's narrative voice is clear and strong, though some of the elevated language and cultural references may be difficult for the intended audience. Black-and-white drawings are scattered throughout. This is a delightful tale of a girl who inhabits a world like readers' but is also very different. What remains true whether on Bee Island or the Other World is her search to find herself and her path in life.--Naphtali L. Faris, Missouri State Library, Jefferson City, MO

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