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Most little girls dream about being a princess. For Mia Thermopolis
this dream, has not only become a reality, it has become a nightmare.
This is the premise behind, Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries. Written
in the format of a teenage girl's diary, it charts her progress
towards growing acceptance and maturity in coping with her rather
Mia Thermopolis is an average ninth grader growing up in Greenwich
Village. She is concern about getting along with her friends,
avoiding her tormenters, attracting boys, and passing algebra.
When her mom starts dating Mr.Gianini, her algebra teacher, she
though her world could not become more miserable or complicated.
Then her absentee father calls with the unexciting news -- his
cancer treatment has left him sterile. So what, Mia yawns, she
has more important issues to deal with, like passing algebra.
When her father suddenly arrives to drive home the point, she
still does not quite see the significance of this "important"
news. So she is his heir, big deal. Finally he puts the pieces
together for her. He is a prince. She is a princess. With no male
heirs possible, she is next in line rule Genovia!
Thus begins Mia adventure as princess-in-training. Unlike the
fantasy dreams of little girls, Mia experience is a nightmare.
First, she must meet with her Grandmere everyday after school.
Grandmere is determined to make her over into a princess in mind,
body, and action whether Mia wants it or not. Second, there is
Lars, her bodyguard, who follows her every where she goes. Third,
she has suddenly become the center of media attention and is being
followed by camera-happy paparazzi. To make matters worse Mia
has had a fight with her best friend, Lilly Moscovitz, who refuses
to talk to her. Lana Weinberger, her worst enemy, wants to be
her new best friend and Mr.Gianini is starting to sleeping over!
All is not lost, however, Josh Richter, heartthrob of the senior
class, is finally talking to her, but still she is flunking Algebra
and is the only one among her friends without a date for the Cultural
Diversity Dance. What is a princess to do?
Mia confronts the issues facing most young people of even quite
ordinary circumstances. She learns about the importance of accepting
family responsibilities, no matter how strange or inconvenient
they might be. She learns the value of "true" friendship
and how to sort out real friends from false friends. And, she
learns that surface images are often far from the deeper reality
hidden beneath. As Mia struggles to "self-actualize",
she works out her issues in words, thoughts and feeling common
to teens growing up in today's world.
Mia's Princess Diary is an absolutely delight! It is witty and
real. It will make you laugh and cry - all at the same time -
as only the trials of a fourteen year old can do. This humorous
book written in youthful vernacular and diary format will enchant
the little princess in teens and adults alike.
© 2001 Suzanne Garrison-Terry
Education: B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S.
in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S.
in Religious Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University,
and a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological
Seminary. She is currently completing a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual
Direction from Sacred Heart University (July 2001). She is a Licensed
Minister of the United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor
in Library Science at Dowling College, Long Island, NY.
Interests in Mental Health: I am interested in the interplay between
psychology and spirituality. My current research focuses on the
role of hormonal fluctuation during puberty, pregnancy, and peri-menopause
as a stimuli for mystical experiences. Through the study of autobiographical
accounts of the mystical experiences of "historically accepted"
female Christian mystics and additional biographical information,
I am analyzing the connection between the onset of mystical experiences
and biological data/symptomology for the potential existence of
hormonal fluctuation or irregularity. If this sounds like an unusual
topic, nota bene how many medieval female mystics began having
"vision" on or about the age of 40!
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