Princess Juniper of the Hourglass

Posted on Jun 5, 2016 in BR Library

9780399171512By Ammi-Joan Paquette
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Pages: 288
Lexile: 850L
Age Range: 8 – 12 Years

In this royal adventure, Princess Juniper learns what it means to rule a kingdom—the perfect story for girls who love princesses AND adventure!

For her thirteenth nameday all Princess Juniper wants is a country of her own. So when rumblings of unrest start in his kingdom, Juniper’s father decides to grant his daughter’s wish and sends her to a small, idyllic corner of the Hourglass Mountains until trouble blows over. Once there, Juniper discovers that ruling a small country–even just for the summer–is a bit harder than she’d expected, especially when cousin Cyril challenges her rule. Still, the most difficult part is to come. Juniper and her friends discover that her father’s kingdom is at war. The only way to stay safe is to remain in the Hourglass Mountains much longer than planned. Juniper may have her own country after all . . . but what will that mean for the kingdom of Torr?

This book is perfect for fans of Frozen and Brave, who like their princess strong and smart as well as sparkly.

“I absolutely loved Princess Juniper of the Hourglass! It’s fantastically delightful, delicious, and satisfying. You’ll want to follow Juniper to her kingdom — or even better, start your own!”
—Sarah Beth Durst, author of Enchanted Ivy and Ice

“I adored Princess Juniper! Readers will cheer as she leads and defends her hidden kingdom in this deliciously charming fantasy.”
—Julie Berry, author of The Secondhand Charm and The Amaranth Enchantment



“This spirited be-careful-what-you-wish-for story opens on an enticing note as King Regis grants the request of his daughter, Princess Juniper, to rule her own country as a present for her 13th “Nameday.” Paquette’s (Rules for Ghosting) dramatic and humorous novel sends Juniper off with a ragtag group of children to establish her kingdom in the remote Hourglass Mountains. “Being queen, it turned out, was rather easier thought than done,” Juniper observes as she copes with her “wild and unruly” subjects, who include Cyril, the son of her father’s chief advisor. But Juniper’s gumption and optimism prevail as she reassures her followers, “We’re going to build the very best kingdom there ever was. We’ll have fun, too, as we go.” Though the fledgling queen’s confidence flags in the face of Cyril’s scheme to usurp her sovereignty and ominous signs that her father’s palace has fallen to enemies, readers won’t doubt her eventual triumph, which involves some entertaining twists and paves the way for more lighthearted intrigue ahead.”
Ages 8–12. Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (July)
Publishers Weekly

“Gr 3–6 — Princess Juniper is always hurrying from comportment lessons to riding to training and class and never quite on time, according to her hourglass. Such is the life of the Princess of Torr. Juniper, however, wants a break this summer and makes it her task to convince her loving but extremely busy father to let her start her own practice kingdom with other children as her subjects. She recruits a guard’s son, Erick, as her chief advisor; a baker’s daughter, Alta, as her guard; and other children ready for a summer of adventure. Then suddenly the king wakes her in the middle of the night and sends the 13-year-old off with her small band of willing cohorts—all under the cover of darkness, with strange sounds of battle in the distance. Much to everyone’s displeasure, the king’s advisor sends along his sniveling son, Cyril, along with Cyril’s two compatriots. The group heads to a secret valley, rich in land, sun, and water that they soon name the Queen’s Basin. With hard work and direction from Juniper, they work without break to create a community complete with kitchen and bedroom caves. But all is not right with their homeland of Torr. An invasion has laid waste to the land, the king is captured, and worse, Juniper’s lost control of her kingdom to Cyril and has been imprisoned. But Juniper is her father’s child and she is driven, intelligent, and able to use her few loyal subjects. In the end, she realizes that she friends instead of subjects, and the motley crew might be able to save Torr. With elements from William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies and Paul Fleischman’s Westlandia (Candlewick, 1999), this story can be enjoyed by those who love princess stories and adventure tales. The characters are not necessarily realistic, but the plot carries the story along and leaves hints for a sequel. VERDICT A rollicking tale that will please a wide range of readers.”
—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
School Library Journal