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“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.”
Summary: In Thynneland, everyone, including the royal family, must maintain their weight and fitness levels. Failure to do so, results in expulsion to the “Hinterland.” Princess Volumina, pampered daughter of King Rollo and Queen Reeda, became obese. At 18, she was banished to the “Hinterland” to lose weight. Volumina not only faced a difficult personal challenge but discovered that Thynneland was in danger of collapsing and that King Rollo’s advisors had failed to advise him. Banned from Thynneland until she could meet her weight and fitness goals and fearing the threat of famine and starvation to the kingdom was imminent, Volumina had to do something…would it be in time?
This is an allegory for adolescents dealing with self-esteem issues.
Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 13; read yourself: 10 to 13
Young Reader Reaction: This book offers many wise life lessons for readers both young and old. At first Ms. Marsh’s style seemed too obvious and I was feeling reluctant to continue reading. Then I put aside my attitude and found myself enjoying the story and started to chuckle as I read. The story presents common present-day dilemmas families face and reveals healthy solutions for the characters and their kingdom. Ms. Marsh has creative and fairy-tale solutions that give the reader satisfaction and joy. At the end of this book, you get a good, warm, fuzzy feeling.
Adult Reader Reaction: This a very good story with a lot of potential for addressing questions and concerns that bother or concern young adolescents.
Pros: This is a very good story. It provides insight to how innocently parents and caring adults try to do the “right thing” for children, their own and others, and discover later that they actually hurt or confused the situation.
Cons: There are no short-comings in this work.
Borrow or Buy: This is definitely a “buy” recommendation. The good news is that it’s a hardback and can physically survive the many times that it will be taken off the shelf and read. The characters are believable, the plot and sub-plots are engaging, and the lessons are subtle but have strong appeal with for this age group.
Educational Themes: There are multiple sub-plots in this fairy tale that offer copious opportunities for the reader/listener to think about or discuss parenting, self-image, sibling rivalry, accepting responsibility, courage, honesty, etc.
Literary Categories: Fiction - young adult, adolescent, health, fairy tale