The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

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Being different can make a person unique and special and can inspire creativity. In The Goose Girl, written by Shannon Hale, Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee (Ani), the crown princess of Kildenree is about as different as one can be. But in Kildenree, being different is frowned upon. Ani is expected to be just like her mother, who is graceful, regal and proper.
Ani was raised by her aunt who taught her how to speak to birds and a horse. Her aunt told her stories about how, a long time ago, all things were able to talk with each other, but now only a few people have special gifts of either people-speaking, animal speaking or nature-speaking. Someone with 'people-speaking' can make people believe her, love her, and want to please her. Animal-speakers can talk with animals or birds. Nature-speakers can understand the wind, the fire and the trees.
After Ani's beloved father died, Ani's mother told Ani that she would be sent off to a foreign country called Bayern to marry a prince who she had never met before as a peace offering. On the way to Bayern, she finds out that her lady-in-waiting, Selia, who has always seemed like a great friend, and more than half of her guardsmen, have been planning to kill Ani and pretend that Selia is the princess. She has to disguise herself as a goose girl and adopt her grandmother, Isi's name in order to survive.
I recommend The Goose Girl to teenage girls who like fantasy. The beginning is a little slow but once I got into it, I could hardly put it down. This book is part of a series of three books but they don’t necessarily have to be read in a certain order. I loved all of the characters. My favorite was definitely Ani's horse, Falada. I love the idea that Ani and Falada share a secret language. This book is one of the best books I have ever read.





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