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Raising the Griffin Hardcover – January 13, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (January 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385730950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385730952
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,545,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up--Alex, a carefree 16-year-old British schoolboy, discovers suddenly that he is heir to the throne of Rovenia, a former Communist country. The monarchy has been restored and his father wants to return to his homeland to become king. Alex is understandably confused and resents having to leave his familiar life to study Rovenian history and learn his princely duties. He thoughtlessly becomes involved with a beautiful and titled jet-setter with her own agenda. Tragedy strikes in the form of an assassination attempt, forcing Alex to grow up, to admit that he has made serious mistakes, and to acknowledge his responsibility toward Rovenia's citizens. This is not a male version of Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" series (HarperCollins), despite its plot similarities. It is a darker, more realistic look at the perils of being a public figure who has to deal with death threats, the paparazzi, and hordes of rabid fans. There are no easy answers in this powerfully affecting novel that avoids cliché and the expected fairy-tale ending. The characters, while not always likable, are real and complex, even the secondary ones. This is a compulsively readable book that lingers in the mind long after the final page.--Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway Public Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-12. British-born Alex Varenhoff discovers at the age of 16 that he's about to become the prince of his ancestral home--the fictional Rovenia--from which his family was exiled when the Communists took power. It seems that a majority of Rovenians now want their royal family back. Alex is a reluctant prince, however, and he is angry that he's being pulled from a world he understands and thrown into a new and confining existence. Adding to Alex's difficulties is a Eurotrash princess-in-exile, who romances him and then sells her story to the tabloids. It takes politically motivated violence and a serious injury for Alex to begin to finally accept his duty and destiny. Other recent stories about ordinary kids who discover their royal roots have played for laughs. In contrast, this serious, realistic debut novel will draw plenty of young readers with Alex's taut, first-person narration of his predicaments, as well as the detailed creation of a nonexistent yet totally plausible Eastern European country. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Melissa Wyatt was born in York, Pennsylvania. In addition to writing, she has also worked as a sculptor and professional photographer. She lives with a bunch of men (husband and two sons.) For some reason she can't adequately explain, she still lives in York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There seems to be a wave of royalty books for teenagers right now, most of which play for laughs. Wyatt comes at the subject from the opposite side, giving us a prince rather than a princess, and one who must seriously consider what his role means to the impoverished country that needs him.
Alex Varenhoff grew up in England, knowing that his family once ruled Rovenia, a former Soviet state. Now that Rovenia is independent once more, they call on Alex's dad to return as king. That makes Alex Prince Alexei and turns his life upside down. Alexei tries but is soon overwhelmed by the demands of public life. Let astray by a publicity seeking princess, his bad behavior puts his life in danger.
RAISING THE GRIFFIN is a suspenseful, thought-provoking look at what it's really like to be a prince.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wyatt's book takes a completely realistic look at the life of a prince. Alex Varenhoff has always known he was royalty -- his grandfather was the last in a long line of kings of Rovenia (a fictional former Soviet country). However, the monarchy was overthrown years ago (Think Anastasia). Now, Rovenia has decided to reinstate the monarchy, and 16-year-old Alex is next in line for the throne! Having become used to the ordinary life of a British commoner, Alex is none to thrilled with having to move into a dank Rovenian castle, take Rovenian history lessons with a sour-faced Baron deBatz, or be called Prince Alexei. But there are some advantages, including his friendship with Sophy, his new publicist's daughter, and a romance with the beautiful Princess Isabella. I think fans of THE PRINCESS DIARIES would probably enjoy this book if they're into the royalty thing. However, people who did *not* like PRINCESS DIARIES may prefer RAISING THE GRIFFIN because it is more realistic. A winner!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "selkiekit" on March 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have read in like a year. Alex/Alexei and the problems he faces are so real. You feel like you are right there with him. I hope there's going to be a sequel. I want to know what happens to Alexei and Sophy. Bring Sophy Back, Ms. Wyatt! I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read that will almost break your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tamela Mccann TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is not the Princess Diaries, as others have stated. It is a truly believable account of Alex, heir to the throne of Rovenia, and the adjustments demanded of him as his father returns to take the throne lost by the family after WW2. Alex is a typically spoiled rich kid who has been raised in England with the knowledge of his lineage, but never in his wildest dreams did he expect that the Rovenian government would choose to reinstate the monarchy. Alex comes across as a confused, angry young man who only wants his old life back. The use of present tense, at first minorly irritating, became a plot device that brought the tragic surprise to the surface in complex, truthful ways. Alex is a sympathetic character, and the author does a credible job bringing him to life and making us understand his needs as he grows to accept his destiny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tabloids and "people" sections of newspapers chronicle the lives of the rich and infamous. In a country that rejected a monarchy more than 200 years ago, why are we so interested in the lives of "royals?" It seems I see Prince William's visage on the cover of some publication almost every week.

Melissa Wyatt examines what it is like to be the subject of that paparazzi. Alex is a happy British teenager who enjoys his school and loves his horse. He has always known that his father is the "would be" heir to the throne of Rovenia but that country has been under Communist rule for decades. When the people of Rovenia vote to restore a constitutional monarchy and Alex's father agrees to assume the throne, Alex must leave his old life behind in order to become Prince Alexis.

He is resentful and resists his family's "duty first" attitude.

The book is a realistic look at life behind the castle walls. This is not a "prince's diary." There are hysterical and adoring crowds, the threat of assassination, and the daily battle with his tutor DeBatz who is trying to teach him about his country and his duties.

Alex is unprepared for his attraction to a Jet-Set princess who has him in her cross-hairs. He is an innocent in the high stakes world of tabloid journalism and pays a high price for his missteps. Alex must ultimately make a decision about his life, his future and his identity.

I picked up this book in a high school library and found I could not stop reading it. As a grown up, Alex's attitude was a little wearing but I think teens will identify with the confusion and conflicting emotions Alex is experiencing.

It made me reflect on the price that royals and celebrities pay for their lives of privilege.
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