readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rgz Street Team: Olivia reviews The President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White

The rgz Street Team is a group of teens who bring YA reviews to our blog, led by Postergirl Miss ErinFind out more.

Today, Olivia reviews The President's Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White, which has been a readergirlz featured series!

"Though the relationship between a famous mother and her teenage daughter seems to be a common theme in many young adult fiction novels, the President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White provides a refreshing take on this situation.

"The four novels in the series focus on Meg Powers, who is a 16-year-old high school student in Massachusetts at the beginning of the first book. Meg’s relatively normal life is completely transformed after her senator mother successfully campaigns to become the next president of the United States, and Meg and her family move into the White House to begin their new life. 
"But though some teenagers might embrace the fame that comes from being the president’s daughter, Meg resists the attention and has difficulty with the acclimation. And while Meg seems to admire her mother’s grace, she secretly takes issue with some of her mother’s decisions and desires a stronger connection with her.
"While the first two books of the series (The President’s Daughter and White House Autumn) are engaging, a more intense and gripping storyline develops in the third book (Long Live the Queen), when Meg is kidnapped and held hostage by terrorists. Meg’s relationship with her mother takes a riveting turn as Meg has to come to terms with the fact that her mother did not stray from her policy ('can not, have not, and will not negotiate with terrorists') even when her own daughter was kidnapped. The repercussions of this unexpected attack continue through the most recent and longest book, Long May She Reign, which follows Meg as a student at Williams College attempting to recover. Interestingly enough, the first few books in the series were published in the 1980s, while the last was published after an 18 year break in 2007.
"Though the plot lines themselves are enthralling, the series is taken to a new level by the impressive characterizations and the author’s ability to bring Meg’s situations to life, especially in some of the more dramatic moments of the serires. The character of Meg, witty and somewhat cynical, is a spirited heroine that pulls the reader in to her story. Meg’s supporting cast, including her younger brothers, friend Beth, and father, are also well-developed and help to add humor and background to Meg’s path in the novels.

"Perhaps most impressively, Emerson White was able to create a relatable story out of Meg’s unique situation. Though Meg could easily act spoiled, pompous, or distant from normal teenage issues as the daughter of the president, she is grounded and many of her experiences in high school are typical for a teenage girl. Her less common experiences, such as her kidnapping, remain believable as Meg responds to these situations in a way that most readers would likely envision themselves responding, and though she is the president’s daughter the author makes it very clear that she is a real girl with real feelings and reactions.

"The novels are also refreshingly unpredictable: the reader is unsure of how each novel will end, and is compelled to keep reading to find out. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction, and the last two books especially to those interested in psychology and post traumatic stress disorder."