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.
Mrs. Archers Rating: Four of Five.