The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton

Book Review #220

Title: The Restless Girls

Author: Jessie Burton

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Publication Date: September 27, 2018

Pages: 160

Jessie Burton’s first children’s book with Bloomsbury’s Children’s Books will be a feminist reimagining of the Grimms’ fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”, entitled The Restless Girls.

The original tale tells the story of 12 beautiful princesses whose dancing shoes are worn through every morning, despite the princesses being locked in their bedroom every night by their father. In a bid to solve the mystery of how the shoes are becoming so worn, the king promises his kingdom and his daughters to any man who can solve the princesses’ secret within three days and three nights. Burton said the story “completely captured” her imagination as a child, but “when I revisited it as an adult, I could see that there were bits of it that just wouldn’t do”.

She added: “I hope a new generation of readers take this tale to their heart as I once did; it’s an irresistible tale of sisterhood, survival, fun and freedom.”

The book will be illustrated by award-winning fine artist Angela Barrett. Burton described working with Barrett as “a dream come true . . . No one can match her for the beauty and detail of her work, and it is a privilege to have her illustrate my words. It’s been a thrill, giving those girls back their dancing shoes, and watching as Angela gives them life.”

Burton decided to turn her hand to children’s books after Bloomsbury Children’s Books’ editorial director Ellen Holgate approached her with the idea of rewriting the role women and girls played in popular fairytales.

This book seems like a reimagining from 12 Dancing Princesses with feminist characters who demand equal rights. I love reading books especially when it comes with strong and emporing women that makes me want to fight along with them. We need more of this kind of books because it has left me feeling like I can conquer anything in this world and I’m sure other readers might find it the same too.

I love how the writer made up a magical universe such as The Tree Palace, the forests and the singing animals. It makes the princesses forget about how dull and uneventful their daily lives are, being cooped up in a room with nothing to do but be in each other’s company. I really love how this story was wrapped up, everything just falls in place.

This book has taught me so much and opened up my eyes to some stuff that I may have overlooked everyday. This book was a short read and perfect for those looking for a book that could bring you hope and joy in our dull reality.


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