Cover image for Once upon a Marigold
Title:
Once upon a Marigold
Author:
Ferris, Jean.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, Inc., [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
266 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
A young man with a mysterious past and a penchant for inventing things leaves the troll who raised him, meets an unhappy princess he has loved from afar, and discovers a plot against her and her father.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
840 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 8.0 62564.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.2 13 Quiz: 31860 Guided reading level: W.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/har021/2002000311.html
ISBN:
9780152167912
Format :
Book

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X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

Who knew love could be so amazing--and stupefying? Not Christian. He was clueless when he started spying on the royal family through his telescope. He lives in a cave with a troll for a dad, after all. If his dad had only warned him about all that mind-boggling love stuff, maybe things wouldn't be such a mess. But then, maybe, Princess Marigold would be dead.

But Christian wasn't warned. And now that he's fallen for the princess, it's up to him to untwist an odd love triangle--er, rectangle --and foil a scheming queen who wants to take over the kingdom, even if it means bumping off her own daughter.

With echoes of William Goldman's modern classic The Princess Bride, Jean Ferris's hilarious parody of "Once upon a time . . ." overflows with oddball characters and sage observations--and ends with a slapstick happily-ever-after that's full of surprises.


Author Notes

JEAN FERRIS has written more than a dozen popular books for teens, including several ALA Best Books for Young Adults and one YALSA Teens' Top Ten Best Book. She lives in San Diego, California.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-8. Seventeen-year-old Christian has lived in a forest cave for 11 years with Ed the troll, who found him wandering in the woods as a child. When Christian turns his telescope on the nearby palace and falls in love with Princess Marigold, he wins her friendship through his carrier pigeon correspondence, a technological advance known as p-mail. But to win her heart and hand is another matter, one involving imprisonment in the dungeon, a surprising triumph of engineering, and the revelation of his royal lineage. Though this is a love story, it's not the soppy sort. Winning characters, unabashedly lame jokes, and a fresh, energetic telling will appeal to boys and girls alike. And for traditionalists, the story features a true fairy-tale ending, with happiness for those who deserve it and justice for all. Ferris, whose Of Sound Mind (2001) and Eight Seconds (2000) dealt with more serious subjects in more complex ways, shows her versatility in this bright, entertaining romance with elements of fantasy, adventure, and humor. --Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

A boy raised by a troll decides to see the world one day and discovers that lovely Princess Marigold, with whom he has corresponded, is about to become betrothed. "The author breathes new life into archetypal characters by adding unexpected and often humorous dimensions to their personalities," wrote PW. Ages 10-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-As the cover proclaims, this story is truly "part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink." Readers first meet Chris when he is a strong-willed, clever child of six. He has run away from home, determined to live on his own in the forest. Edric, a troll, finds him and gives him shelter but cannot make him go back home, and Chris grows up with Edric and his dogs as his family, guided by an etiquette book found in the forest and Edric's own wisdom. As the boy grows, he continues his interest in inventing and watches the princess in the castle across the river. She is headstrong but lonely, and when Chris contacts her by carrier pigeon (or p-mail), they become best friends. When he takes work at the castle, there is no way that Chris, a commoner, can tell Marigold who he is, and he can only stand by as she is to be married to an unsuitable suitor. When he learns that her life is in danger, he must find a way to save her and the kingdom. This complex, fast-paced plot, a mixture of fantasy, romance, comedy, and coming-of-age novel, succeeds because these characters are compelling, well developed, and sympathetic. Quirky personalities and comic subplots give the story additional texture. Readers will be drawn into this world and be satisfied by the denouement. This blend of genres will appeal to a wide range of readers, and it's all great fun.-Shara Alpern, The Free Library of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

1Edric knew he should head for home. It would be dark soon, and even though he was as familiar with his part of the forest as he was with the back and the front of his hand, there were dangers when the lights went out-wild animals, evil spirits, big glowing eyes attached to who-knew-what, stuff like that. But Beelzebub and Hecate were having such a good time sniffing under every bush and barking all the grouse out from their hiding places that Ed was reluctant to spoil their fun. Besides, he'd been having a very good day of gathering.Some days there was nothing; nobody passing through the forest dropped a thing. But today he'd found a ring with a big shiny pink stone, a collapsible telescope, a book of Greek myths, an almost-new leather jerkin, and a flask half full (he knew there were some people who would have said half empty) of a quite palatable wine-rather frisky, with some floral notes and a nice, lingering, jaunty sort of finish. It had been a very good day indeed.He heard the dogs yapping their heads off up ahead. Not an encouraging sign. He could tell Bub was working himself into a state, trying to act as fierce as he looked, and Cate was overemoting, as usual. Whatever they were barking at must have gone straight up a tree, taken off for parts unknown, or had a coronary."Hey, you guys!" Ed yelled. "Cut that out!" He came through the trees and saw the two dogs-big shaggy Beelzebub and petite well-groomed Hecate-in front of a clump of bushes, carrying on as if they didn't have a brain in either of their heads."Hey!" he yelled again. "Stop that!"Abruptly they stopped barking. But both noses were pointed at the bushes, both tails out straight and quivering."What's in there?" Ed asked nervously. The light was fading through the trees, casting long shadows that wavered and fooled the eye into thinking threatening things lurked in the gloom. Or maybe the shadows weren't fooling at all."Come on," Edric said in a low voice. "Let's go home."The dogs didn't move."Would you listen to me?" he pleaded, peering anxiously around as the light grew dimmer. If only he'd thought to bring along some squirrel knuckles, their favorite treat, he could have lured them away easily.He wasn't supposed to be snaring squirrels, of course, since these were King Swithbert's woods, or maybe King Beaufort's-it was hard to tell where the boundaries between the two kingdoms lay-but who was going to miss a few squirrels when there were so many? Well, the other squirrels, maybe, but he didn't let himself think about that. Hayes Centaur, King Swithbert's gamekeeper, was conscientious (unlike King Beaufort's more laid-back Claypool Sasquatch) and would love nothing better than to catch Edric poaching a squirrel, but even he couldn't keep count of all the squirrels, or tell which were Swithbert's and which were Beaufort's.Ed pushed his way between the dogs, who were quivering so hard that they sent up a faint hum. He extended the collapsible telescope and poked it Excerpted from Once upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.