Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible

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This is an enjoyable story that will obviously appeal to kids with humor - even boys. There are times though when Harriet is not the best role model. When Harriet is annoyed by what she perceives as a rude butler she says to herself, "When I'm Queen, I'm conquering this stupid castle and turning it into a home for sick newts!" (p. 142) and her pet "left a steaming pile of quail poop on the doorstep". (p. 143) When she got upset at the next castle, "she proceeded to decapitate every single topiary rabbit she saw, as well as topiary lungfish and a pair of topiary parakeets." (p. 148) She also "wished she did have fangs" so she could "bite that prince's stupid ears off, and make him eat them. Without salt." (p. 150) When the going gets tough, "Both of them muttered bad words under their breath. Harriet's was much better, but then again, she'd learned it from a one-legged weasel pirate on the Seas of Terror, and they have much better bad words than you are likely to learn on a paper route." (p. 193-194) There is also some bathroom humor (p. 196) wondering how Ratshade could go to the bathroom with long nails.

On the good side, Harriet has to face that living life on her own terms instead of conforming to society's expectations for princessly behavior has provided her a reputation with which others are unwilling to cooperate. Just when she is contemplating changing her ways, she finds someone who knows of her reputation and needs her help - just as she is. (Ch. 16)

Round 1 Questions

Round 2 Questions