The Birthday Ball

The Birthday Ball


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Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fate—for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, “Pat,” and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome schoolmaster. Disgusting suitors, lovable peasants, and the clueless king and queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Priscilla calls the shots. What began as a cure for boredom becomes a chance for Princess Patricia Priscilla to break the rules and marry the man she loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547577104
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 444,801
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors including Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at

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The Birthday Ball 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
socraticparenting More than 1 year ago
The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry is a lighthearted fairy tale, designed for pure entertainment. About to turn sixteen, Princess Patricia Priscilla must select a husband from the most dreadful assembly of suitors. The princess disguises herself as a peasant girl named “Pat” (because all peasants must have short names) and attends several days of school in the village. With her goes her cat named Delicious, who is always vicious, malicious, avaricious, suspicious, or at the very least in need of something nutritious. The princess’s options expand when she persuades her royal parents to invite all of the villagers to her birthday ball. Lowry fills each page with funny plays on words, puns, and alliteration. One suitor, Duke Desmond of Dyspepsia, has a warthog-like countenance that only an orphan could love. Black of heart and attire, Prince Percival of Pustula believes he and Princess Patricia Priscilla would make a perfect pair, but each time the prince pronounces the letter p, a glob of saliva accompanies the sound. The third suitor is a pair of Siamese twins, the coarse and crude Counts Colin and Cuthbert of Coagulatia. Jules Feiffer’s whimsical pen and ink illustrations suit the story perfectly. Although the amusing farce bears no resemblance to Lowry’s Newbery-Award-winning books The Giver and Number the Stars, her dedication to diversion is consistently clever and often hilarious. Even so, Lowry spins several genuine teenage issues into her yarn for her regal protagonist to address. The bored princess seeks adventure and gains an entirely new perspective on herself and the people in her Domain when she temporarily trades her silk gown for a plain brown dress. Those who are simply not in the mood for fun would do well to pass on this charming novel. Everyone else, enjoy! Laurie A. Gray Reprinted from the Christian Library Journal (Vol. XIV, No. 5, October 2010); used with permission.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lighthearted take on the classic Prince and the Pauper, Princess Patricia Priscilla switches clothes with her chambermaid to enjoy the daily life of a village schoolgirl. "'I'm a poor peasant girl only recently come to live in the village because my mother was killed by a wild boar and my pa has to take in washing'...The children, each one seated at a small desk, giggled. I said it wrong, she thought. 'I mean my pa was killed, that's what, and it's my mother that has to take in washing. I mean my ma.'"With her birthday approaching and an impending marriage to one of several undesirable suitors, the princess is determined to make the most of the time she has left. Conjoined counts, singing triplet serving maids, a distracted king and his hearing-impaired wife - Lois Lowry and illustrator Jules Feiffer are having some fun with this humorous fairy tale jaunt with a predictable, yet satisfying ending. Pure entertainment.
phh333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The princess finds herself stuck with three grotesque suitors at her 16th birthday ball. Princess Patricia Pricilla must find a way to break the rules and marry the man she loves. A fun book that would make a good selection for mother/daughter book club.
girlsgonereading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lois Lowry is best known for her book The Giver-a dystopian YA novel about the roles we give each other and the complexities of human interaction. The Birthday Ball is nothing like The Giver.Luckily, I agreed to review this novel because I was looking for a quick escape. Well¿I not only got a good, fun read, but Lois Lowry took everything that I thought I knew about her writing style and changed it. For The Birthday Ball Lowry added numerous tricks to her resume. She added images to her story-scratchy drawings that just hint at the character¿s appearance. She focused on satire, following in Shrek¿s footsteps for its mockery of traditional fairy tales. And she wrote a novel that was written for a different audience than The Giver. The Birthday Ball is, in my opinion, primarily for young girls whereas The Giver always appeals more to my male students.At the beginning of The Birthday Ball, Priscella is not a feminist. Instead, she is a victim, and she is told that she must marry one of the suitors who attend her ball. Not willing to play that role any longer, she grabs her independence by doing the only risky thing she has ever done-she pretends to be someone else. And it is in this costume, that she then finds herself. So, it is this main lesson that I think will be good for the young audience that Lowry writes for. Priscella does not wait to be saved-she finds a way to save herself. She is a modern princess, and her ¿prince¿ is a self-made man who loves her because she is the smartest girl in the class.Now I admit that I like the Twilight saga, but there is one area (okay there are many but I like the books anyway) that really irks me. Bella is a victim. She is constantly waiting for Edward to tell her what to do, for him to protect her, and for him to agree to the choices she has made for her life. Priscella doesn¿t wait for anyone. She wants to try something, and she does it.Princess Patricia Priscilla might be the main character in a satire, but there is nothing funny about the independence that she shows and the wonderful example she is to young readers.
Booklady123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Birthday Ball is a quirky little story by Lois Lowry. It is very different from her Newbery winning books (The Giver and Number the Stars), but it is an enjoyable in its own right.Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with being a princess. Ignored by her parents, faced with the dreaded birthday ball where she must choose a suitor from among three horrible prospects, she goes seeking excitement on her own by pretending to be a peasant school girl. Disguised as "Pat" she soon makes friends with an orphan girl and finds herself falling for the handsome schoolmaster. Will Princess Patricia Priscilla escape a life of boredom and choose her own path or will she be paired with one of the gruesome suitors? Read the book and see.More lighthearted than some of Lowry's other books, this story is more in line with her books about Gooney Bird Greene, though not quite as absurd. There is some foreshadowing of events that younger readers might not catch. Overall the writing is fast paced and light hearted. The publisher recommends this book for ages 9-12. AR slates it as at a 5th grade reading level. It would make a nice read aloud for third ¿ fifth grade girls.
lindamamak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Princess Patrica Priscilla turns sixteen and must select her husband at her Birthday Ball
resugo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun book. Not deep on plot, but that wasn't really the point of the book. I loved the characters and the sweet love story. My favorite characters were the three suitors who come to Princess Pat's birthday celebration. So unique and ridiculous -- they made me laugh.
nomadreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Birthday Ball is the latest novel by Lois Lowry, but it bears little resemblance to the Lowry novels I've read before. One of Lowry's greatest talents as a writer is to break new ground and somewhat defy categorization. The Birthday Ball is a delightful fairy tale of sorts. Our heroine, Princess Patricia Priscilla, is a feisty princess who longs for a normal life. She soon devises a plan to swap clothes with her nursemaid and begin attending school. The story is a funny, wacky fairy tale. I was absolutely transported to this land of magic. For Princess Patricia Priscilla, the kingdom and its riches were ordinary, and she was transported to her fairy tale: being a peasant girl in school able to help make dreams come true. For her nursemaid, she was given days of leisure to read Alice in Wonderland, a wacky fairy tale in its own right.Perhaps the best part of The Birthday Ball was it's humor. Some jokes may go right over the heads of the younger readers, but if parents choose this story as a read-a-loud title, they'll enjoy them. There's also a fair amount of gross humor sure to delight young readers as much as it bothered this reader. It's a quick tale with familiar, but important, themes. It's not a revolutionary Lowry book, but it is a good one, and it's sure to be a winner with young readers if not literary award panels.
CatheOlson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun juvenile novel about a princess who is just so unbearably bored with her life. To make matters worse, in five days she will turn 16 and have to choose between the Duke Desmond of Dyspepsia, Prince Percival of Pustula and Lords Colin and Cuthbert the Conjoint (who never bathe because no tub is big enough to fit them both) for her husband. She disguises herself as a peasant and sneaks off to attend the village school where she befriends the young, handsome schoolmaster. At the big birthday ball, she choses the schoolmaster -- not to wed but to help her become a teacher.Though the story is not terribly original, the writing and characters are wonderful and the story was just so funny, with many laugh out loud moments. I immediately passed this on to my 8-yo daughter who loved it as well.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Princess Patricia Priscilla is getting close to her sixteenth birthday, at which time she'll have a Birthday Ball and choose a suitor to marry. The problem? The princess is bored! She longs for a life outside the palace, and so she ventures out to the village school, pretending to be a peasant student. This is a funny little ditty of a book and the humor will please its target audience. I'd recommend it for grades 2-5.
RefPenny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Princess Patricia Priscilla is a princess with a difference ¿ she is bored with being a princess so disguises herself as a peasant and starts attending the village school. She has only a week before the ball where she will have to choose her husband. In the days leading up to the ball we also meet her 3 prospective suitors ¿ all of whom seem decidedly undesirable.This plot of this story is modelled on that of Cinderella but with plenty of humour added. This book would make a great read aloud as parents will enjoy this as much as the young girls it is aimed at
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This book is intereting and humorous. It is also kind of confusing because it has lots of things going on but so far good
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It is good
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