by Garth Nix
Grades 4 & up
Princess Anya just wants to sit in the castle library, read books, and learn magic. But when her step-step-father, an evil sorcerer, turns her older sister’s latest love interest into a frog, Anya begins a Quest to change him back. Since he is not her true love, she needs to create a magic balm, the recipe for which was given to her by the castle librarian (and sometimes owl). She sets off with Royal Dog Ardent. Like with all of the Royal Dogs, the princess can both speak to and understand him. As they begin their Quest, they come across several other transformed creatures who need help changing back. Anya also learns of society of robbers who are trying to restore law and order to the land. She is unsure at first about tackling a problem that large, but as she continues to meet others, her Quest evolves. Full of humor, adventure, and magic, this book also tackles the greater issues of power and responsibility. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up.