#IMWAYR – March 7, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at BookDate, and was adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.


Title: Star Wars: A New Hope The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
Author: Alexandra Bracken 
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Novel

My Two CentsWhen I was in high school, THREE of my closest friends were Star Wars fanatics. These girls could quote entire scenes of dialogue from the original trilogy with ease, and possessed an encyclopedic amount of trivia knowledge. They also read extensively from the massive range of Star Wars novels available, which carried on the stories of Luke, Leia, Han Solo and their children.

Star Wars is big business at my library – the range of Star Wars books available for young readers has simply exploded in recent years. Children can pick from a range of early readers, picture books, graphic novels, encyclopedias, nonfiction guides and novels based on the original trilogy, the clone wars, Star Wars rebels, LEGO Star Wars, and even Angry Birds Star Wars. Unfortunately, many of these books seem designed simply to move product and make a profit, and they aren’t typically particularly well written or original.

I came across The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy while planning a series of elementary school book talks. I was looking for novels that would excite and entice young readers while still providing a bit of substance and quality. I was intrigued by the title and the cover, and decided to give this book a go. Boy, am I glad I did!

This book is pretty darn awesome. Alexandra Bracken brings some old-fashioned joy and excitement to this space-age fairy tale, fleshing out the three main characters (Leia Organa, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, in case you were wondering) and providing more insight into their personalities and their motivations. I really enjoyed getting to know more about Princess Leia, who always feels like a bit of afterthought in the original series. The destruction of her home planet is a major event in the original film, and The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy finally tackles this traumatic incident in more detail, giving more insight into Leia’s emotions and her experience. You really feel like you’re finally getting to know the individuals behind the movie tropes.

This fabulous title will appeal to all sorts of readers, both male and female. Existing Star Wars fans will enjoy the fact that the story remains true to the original movies while adding exciting extra details. Still, it’s written with enough skill and style to still be interesting to non-fans, who will simply get an exciting, entertaining futuristic fairy tale adventure.

As a children’s librarian, finding a book like this feels like a win – it’s got major cover appeal – STAR WARS!! – but it’s still well written. Definitely worth checking out if you like a good old fashioned adventure yarn. 🙂