Selected and annotated by Colleen Melone
This bibliography features books about kings, queens, princes, and princesses. Books cover a wide range of genres including historical fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, science fiction, and short stories. The list includes books for preschool to high school.
Aveyard, Victoria. Red Queen. HarperTeen/Harper Collins, 2015. 400p. Gr. 8-12.
Mare Barrow is like other lowly Reds, living a life of poverty and pickpocketing, while Silvers, those born with supernatural abilities, enjoy lives of wealth and privilege. When Mare unexpectedly demonstrates powers of her own, the Silvers scramble to cover up the atrocity, and falsely claim she is a long lost Silver princess. However, instead of embracing her new role, Mare holds onto her Red past and secretly joins rebel forces hoping to overthrow the Silvers.
Castor, H. M. VIII. Simon, 2013. 432p. Gr. 7-10.
In this historical psychological thriller, Castor reimagines the story of young Henry VIII, or Hal to his readers. As Hal attempts to reach his goals of attaining an empire and an heir, he is haunted by the ghosts of his past. Castor offers an interesting back story for how the notorious Henry VIII came to be. A delight for readers who love ghost stories, thrillers, or historical fiction.
Craze, Galaxy. The Last Princess. Poppy/Little, 2012. 304p. Gr. 9-12.
In a futuristic world, natural disasters have plagued the earth, leaving little food and less hope for the people of England. In the despair, a violent revolutionary rises up and murders members of the royal family, and only the young Princess Eliza is able to escape. Hunted, Eliza disguises herself and joins the enemy forces, determined to reap revenge on the man who attacked the people she loves.
Hale, Shannon. The Princess in Black; by Shannon and Dean Hale and illus. by LeUyen Pham. Candlewick, 2014. 89p. Gr. 2-4.
During the day, Princess Magnolia is a proper royal: she wears glass slippers, doesn’t run, and has afternoon hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower. But when the need arises, Princess Magnolia becomes the Princess in Black and fights monsters. In the first book in this planned series, the Princess must protect her secret identity from the nosy Duchess Wigtower, while also protecting the kingdom.
Hart, Caryl. The Princess and the Peas; illus. by Sarah Warburton. Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 2013. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
In this charming tale, after refusing to eat her peas, Lily-Rose May is diagnosed by a doctor as having a case of princess-itis. She immediately goes off to live at the castle where she learns that the life of a princess isn’t all it’s hyped up to be and that an ordinary life with a father who loves her dearly is much sweeter than anything the royal palace has to offer.
Haskell, Merrie. The Princess Curse. Harper/Harper Collins, 2011. 325p. Gr. 6-9.
In this retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” Reveka is a thirteen-year-old herbalist’s apprentice determined to break the curse afflicting the princesses and claim the reward money offered for doing so. The story takes a darker, more mysterious turn as Reveka discovers that curses aren’t so easily broken, and that more is at stake than an impressive sum and some tired princesses.
Higgins, Joanna. Waiting for the Queen. Milkweed, 2013. 256p. Gr. 6-10.
In this split perspective novel, readers follow the lives of Eugenie de la Roque and Hannah Kimbrell. Eugenie is a young aristocrat who fled to America to escape the French Revolution with her familyand she waits in her new French village for the arrival of Queen Marie Antoinette. Hannah is a Quaker who has been tasked with preparing the village for the French aristocrats. As the two girls meet, they discover that while they are from different worlds, they have more in common than you would first expect.
Kraegel, Kenneth. King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson; written and illus. by Kenneth Kraegel. Candlewick, 2012. 34p. 5-8 yrs.
On the morning of his sixth birthday, Henry Alfred Grummorson wakes up, mounts his trusted donkey, Knuckles, and sets out to find a fearsome creature to battle. As Henry encounters a dragon, a cyclops, a griffin, and a leviathan, he learns that the real battle was having the courage to face terrible monsters and that the true prize of his conquests was making new friends.
LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy. Houghton, 2012. 528p. Gr. 9-12.
After being saved from an abusive arranged marriage, Ismae is whisked away to the convent of Saint Mortain, the pagan god of death, to be trained as an assassin and a spy. On one of her first missions, Ismae is tasked with protecting the life of the future queen of Brittany by posing as the mistress of the mysterious Gabriel Duval in order to ferret out those plotting against the crown.
Lee, Tony. Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur; illus. by Sam Hart. Candlewick, 2011. 158p. Gr. 7-10.
In this graphic novel retelling of the story of King Arthur, the young king’s fate was sealed at birth when his father refused to hand him over to the Unseelie court in promised payment of a debt. Now of age, Arthur must fulfill the prophecy of which he has dreamt and pull Caliburn from the stone in order to save the people of Albion.
Maas, Sarah J. Throne of Glass. Bloomsbury, 2012. 404p. Gr. 8-12.
Imprisoned eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is recruited by the crown prince to compete in a competition of the best warriors, thieves, and killers to find the next King’s Champion. Victory would mean release from prison and a place among the royal court. However, as contestants start mysteriously dying, Celaena must fight not only for freedom, but for survival as well.
Marr, Melissa. Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales; ed. by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt. Little, 2013. 368p. Gr. 7-10.
In this collection of short stories, acclaimed authors take the bones of classic tales and reimagine them with a new perspective. While not all the stories include kings and queens, readers will enjoy the tales inspired by classic fairy tale monarchs, such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The collection also includes illustrations depicting classics, like The King of Elfland’s Daughter.
Meyer, Marissa. Fairest. Feiwel, 2015. 220p. Gr. 7-10.
In the fourth book in her Lunar Chronicles, Meyer changes directions to focus on Levana, the Lunar queen and villain of the series. Readers are taken back to Levana’s childhood, where they discover the terrible abuse she faced at the hands of her older sister. While victimized, Levana is not easy to sympathize with, though she is entrancing to read about as she carefully makes each decision, always considering what is in her own best interest.
Miura, Taro. The Big Princess; written and illus. by Taro Miura. Candlewick, 2015. 32p. 5-7 yrs.
In this imaginative, original fairy tale, a king and a queen find a tiny princess in their garden one day. She immediately becomes the daughter they never had. Unfortunately, each day, the princess grows taller and taller, until she no longer fits in the castle! The king must find a way to break the curse, or else the kingdom will fall into ruins.
Nix, Garth. A Confusion of Princes. Harper/Harper Collins, 2012. 352p. Gr. 9-12.
In this intergalactic take on monarchies, Princes are scientifically modified to be stronger, faster, and more intelligent than regular humans. After Khemri is formally recognized as a Prince of the empire, his life is immediately at risk, as other Princes attempt to assassinate him in order to secure their place on the throne. Nix’s world is elaborately developed with imaginative gadgets and creative descriptions.
Rhodes, Morgan. Falling Kingdoms. Razorbill, 2012. 400p. Gr. 9-12.
After a thousand years of peace, the senseless slaying of a young peasant boy by a nobleman sets three kingdoms against each other. This book follows Cleo of Auranos, princess and fiancé of the murderer, Jonas of Paelsia, brother of the murdered boy, Lucia of Limeros, a sorceress, and Magnus, her brother and the heir to the Limeran throne.
Underwood, Deborah. Part-Time Princess; illus. by Cambria Evans. Disney/Hyperion, 2013. 32p. 4-7 yrs.
An ordinary girl by day, by night this unnamed little girl becomes a princess. Off she goes to her magical kingdom to put out fires, have tea with dragons, and play leapfrog in the Royal Mud Puddle. Readers will enjoy this unconventional princess and the diverse activities in which she likes to participate.