Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book review: My Story: Wartime Princess by Valerie WIlding

My Story: Wartime Princess by Valerie Wilding (Published by Scholastic UK, March 1, 2012)

This book is written as the fictional diary of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret begins her diary when she is eight years old, shortly before World War II breaks out. Margaret is young, so she doesn't understand much about what is going on in the world, but she knows that Adolf Hitler is a bad man and that there may be a war with Germany. Soon her worst fears come true when the Nazis invade many countries in Europe and England must go to war.

Even though Margaret is a princess, she too must make sacrifices because of the war, which goes on for many long years. Food is rationed, and there are few parties and no fancy new clothes. Worst of all, she and her sister, Elizabeth, rarely get to see their parents, as the two princesses must live in safety in the countryside because of the Germans bombing London and other cities. However, there are still some fun times, too, despite the war, and there is also the beginnings of a romance between Elizabeth and their cousin, Prince Philip of Greece.

When I ordered this book online I expected it to actually focus on Elizabeth as the main character, since she's on the cover and the summary made it sound like it was her diary and not Margaret's. And while she is certainly an important character, and her romance with Philip is an important part of the story, I'm not sure why she's on the cover when all the other books in the series show the diarist on the cover. Margaret is closer in age to the target audience for this series, anyway, so it does make sense to have her tell the story, but I think the cover should have been more accurate and shown the main character like all the other books in the My Story series do. So I guess the cover issue is a minor complaint, since I really enjoyed the story, it's just bothering me a bit! The book seems to be historically accurate and I think the author did a good job at imagining what Princess Margaret might have been like as a young girl, and what she would have thought about the war and all the changes in her life. Readers who enjoyed other books in the My Story series and the similar Royal Diaries series will probably enjoy this book as well.


Mer said...

Did it seem strange to read a fabricated diary of a person who is still alive?

Rebecca Herman said...

Since you didn't leave an email I'll reply in case you check back. While Queen Elizabeth II is still alive, her younger sister Margaret, who narrated this book, passed away ten years ago, in 2002. Perhaps that is why Margaret was chosen as the main character - they didn't want to publish a fictional diary of a living person. However, I still think the cover art should have shown Margaret since all the other books in the series show the main character.

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