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The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) Hardcover


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The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) + River Secrets (Books of Bayern) + Forest Born (Books of Bayern)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Series: Books of Bayern
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books (August 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158234843X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582348438
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-A magical retelling of the Grimms's fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen. Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, is born with the ability to speak to animals, a gift that is nurtured by her aunt. When the king dies, the queen announces that Ani's younger brother, not the crown princess, will succeed her on the throne. Unbeknownst to anyone, the queen has promised Ani in marriage to the prince of neighboring Bayern. The devastated teen is sent with a retinue over the mountains to Bayem and is betrayed by Selia, her lady-in-waiting, and most of her guards during the journey. Ani escapes, takes the name "Isi," disguises her distinctive blonde hair, and becomes a tender of geese to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim her crown from the imposter, Selia. Ani meets and falls in love with Geric, who is, conveniently, the prince she is to marry. She is able to convince him and the king of her identity, marry, become queen, and stop a war between the kingdoms. This retelling retains many similarities to the original tale, including the gruesome punishment for treason. Hale's retelling is a wonderfully rich one, full of eloquent description and lovely imagery, and with a complex plot, a large cast of characters, and a strong female protagonist. Fans of high fantasy will be delighted with this novel, the first in a planned trilogy, and impatiently await those to follow.
Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land. Barely escaping with her life, Ani disguises herself as a goose girl and wanders on the royal estate. Does she have the pluck to reclaim her rightful place? Get ready for a fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale's likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

New York Times best selling author Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and never stopped, eventually earning an MFA in Creative Writing. After nineteen years of writing and dozens of rejections, she published THE GOOSE GIRL, the first in her award-winning BOOKS OF BAYERN series. Her standalone book for young readers, BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS, won a Cybils award. The Newbery Honor winner PRINCESS ACADEMY was followed by bestseller PRINCESS ACADEMY: PALACE OF STONE. She is writing a third in this series as well as the first three EVER AFTER HIGH novels. Her most recent young adult novel, DANGEROUS, is a superhero adventure.

Her books for the adult crowd are AUSTENLAND (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell), MIDNIGHT IN AUSTENLAND, and THE ACTOR AND THE HOUSEWIFE. With her husband Dean, Shannon wrote two graphic novels for young readers: RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE, an Eisner nominee, and its acclaimed sequel, CALAMITY JACK, as well as an early chapter book series beginning with THE PRINCESS IN BLACK (fall 2014). Shannon spends her days corralling four young children near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#95 in Books > Teens
#95 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

It was a wonderful story with great and engaging writing.
Muirnin
Shannon Hale's Goose Girl is a good fantasy for kids who like to read classic fairy tales that are retold in novel format.
A Bookfair Mom
You are drawn to the story and it is hard to predict how the happy ending will come about... I love this book.
Maribel Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on October 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Debut author Shannon Hale succeeds wonderfully with her first novel, "The Goose Girl." A retelling of the moderately well-known tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, she reinvents the story for a modern audience.
Ani, a crown princess, learns at an early age that her special gifts are not those valued by her queen mother and her future subjects. She is eventually sent to marry a prince in a different kingdom, but along the way is overthrown by her lady-in-waiting. Ani becomes a servant, tending geese, while she searches for a way to return to the marriage and throne that is rightfully her own.
Hale has reimagined the story in such a way as to give us a strong, if flawed, heroine with a conscience. In this book, the reader isn't left wondering how a princess could allow herself to be displaced so easily from her birthright. We are also given a magical reason for Ani's successful sojourn with geese. Ultimately, Hale's prose is the book's greatest asset. Ani and her world are vivid creations, ready to be shared during a long, quiet read.
If you enjoy fairy tale novelizations, such as those by Robin McKinley and Donna Jo Napoli, this book will make a great addition to your bookshelf. If you simply like historical fantasy, forget the fairy tale, this novel will also please. Royalty, deception, intrigue, treason, and redemption make up a story that doesn't obviously derive from a fairy tale.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my very fave fairy tales as a very young Mir was "The Goose Girl". I especially loved reading aloud the rhymes--'Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it/Sadly, sadly, would she rue it," and "Blow, wind, blow." I was horrified in that particular, sensitive way of children that someone would decapitate a lovely horse such as Falada, the beloved, talking horse of the princess protagonist. Clearly, evil was afoot if such a dastardly deed was conscionable. I imagined Curdken's chase for his cap. (In my chikdhood's version of the tale, that was his name. In other versions--and in this retelling--it's Conrad's hat that goes rolling over hill and dale, sparking his pursuit. And I delighted in the horrible, terrible justice that befell the villainess. Just thinking about it makes me feel 6 all over again, feeling the magic of the story--all the stories--and how to a child, all this was so plausible: that a horse should talk, that the lock of hair should speak (some versions have drops of blook on a hanky), that a princess should command the wind, that justice would prevail.

Shannon Hale has taken that brief, bloody, magical tale that may be familiar to you and fleshed it out in a story written for a YA audience, but sufficiently skilled, lyrical, and well-plotted in the telling that an adult like me was engrossed and loath to put it down even to have supper.

In this retelling, the Princess Anidora-Kiladra (Anifor short) is a misfit in her own family. Even as a newborn she evidenced a strangeness: She didn't open her eyes for three days, not until her aunt (gifted with a special "speech") spoke her into wide-eyedness. This hint of a special power of speaking is hinted at from the opening, but develops beautifully.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gratz on May 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Shannon Hale just won a Newbery Honor for her latest book, The Princess Academy, and my wife raves about Hale's The Goose Girl - for good reason. An extrapolation of the Grimm brothers' tale of the same name, Goose Girl chronicles a princess' fall from power and long climb back up from where she lands - tending the royal geese in the far-off land where she was supposed to marry the prince.

Goose Girl matches the tone and magic of fairy tales, while delving more deeply into character and consequence. I fell into the no-nonsense prose and moved swiftly through the tale, happy that the story's slower, more poignant moments didn't necessarily read that way. Unfortunately, Hale's even style also dulled some of the more exciting moments; there were at least two occasions where I felt serious action in the book demanded more electric, exciting prose. It almost felt as if surviving a rather vicious coup carried the exact same weight as playing chase with a goose.

But the narration always reminds us that what we are reading is a fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, this one has its pleasingly predictable ups and downs, and its happily ever after. I did think the end game was a bit messy though. I accept those "I have you now, Mr. Bond - but I'm not going to kill you until you've had a chance to escape/be saved" moments in some fiction (see for example, um, well, almost every James Bond movie) but in books like this I am a bit disappointed when the protagonist puts herself in a bad position, and then lives to tell the tale only because the bad guys didn't run her through when they had the chance.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim Dawes on August 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I agree with many of the reviews for this book, that Ms. Hale created a world full of unique characters. They had their own voices and their own and varied lives. But at the center of the tale, we find so often the characters are petty when they should be bold and petulant when they should be weighty.

Yes, Ani suffers much. She's sent away from her home, her friends are killed, she loses her horse, and lives in a village. And as she is the heroine, I kept waiting for her to rise above, to earn or learn poise and gravitas, which she seems never to do. When the tide, the King, and the court, seem to turn against her, she falls apart and pleads. When she ultimately must plead for her country, she ends by stomping from the room. Is that the action and bearing of a queen? I kept putting myself in the place of Bayerns, wondering why they would believe her. She never held herself regally. She rarely marshaled herself to put together even the most obvious defense for herself or her country.

Its understandable for a girl to be afraid. But she supposedly wasn't any girl. She was the crown princess, trained from birth to have regal bearing, poise, perspective, control. She displayed almost none of that throughout the book. Even at the end, she couldn't drum it up.

I found myself never in sympathy with her. And wondering why others followed her. Even though I knew the truth of her.
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