Books: the goose girl
  Awards & Honors
  • An ALA Teens' Top Ten
  • 2003 Josette Frank Award for fiction
  • Selected by Justine Picardie of The Telegraph (UK) as her favorite childrens' fantasy novel of the year
  • One of the New York City Public Library's 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
  • A Texas Lone Star Book
  • 2003 Utah Children’s Book Award
  • 2003 Utah Speculative Fiction Award
  • Selected for the 2005-2006 Tennessee Book Award Master Reading List
  • Finalist for the Mythopoeic Award
  • A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003: My Favorite Book of the Year
  • Shortlisted for Ottakars Love of Reading Campaign
  • 2004 Humpty Dumpty Chapter Book Award given by the Mid-South Independent Booksellers Association
  • A 2005 Beehive Award finalist
  • A 2006 Great Lakes Great Books finalist
  • An ALA 2009 Popular Paperback
  • A 2010-2011 Oregon Battle of the Books selection
  • A 100 Best-Ever Teen Novel


"Hale’s retelling is a wonderfully rich one, full of eloquent description and lovely imagery, and with a complex plot, a large cast of characters, and a strong female protagonist. Fans of high fantasy will be delighted with this novel and impatiently await those to follow."
School Library Journal (starred review)

"In layer upon layer of detail a beautiful coming-of-age story emerges, a tale about learning to rescue yourself rather than falling accidentally into happily-ever-after. Hale uncovers her theme patiently and without preaching, focusing not on the moral but on the adventures her heroine must face in order to learn the lessons herself. The truly frightening moments are never gratuitous. Young readers may recognize parallels with their own lives in even her most magical adventures: the loneliness of feeling peculiar, the devastation of betrayal, the pride of sharing your talents and the joy of finding people to love and trust."
New York Times Book Review

"A fine adventure tale full of danger, suspense, surprising twists, and a satisfying conclusion. The engaging plot can certainly carry the tale, but Hale's likable, introspective heroine makes this also a book about courage and justice in the face of overwhelming odds. The richly rendered, medieval folkloric setting adds to the charm."

"A beautifully textured and deeply re-imagined version of the Grimm Brothers Goose Girl . . . luscious language . . . leads to a gorgeous, dramatic climax."
Kirkus Reviews

"Dare I say it this early in her career? Shannon Hale is already, after only a few books, one of our best writers of fantasy. She is also one of those rare storytellers who can bring a jaded old reviewer like me to well-earned tears. This is a novel that is every bit as good for adults as for children."
Orson Scott Card

"[An] affecting debut novel. Those who enjoy getting lost in an enchanted world will discover here a satisfying and richly embellished retelling of a classic that communicates values still pertinent to contemporary readers."
Publishers Weekly

"Everyone knows the Brothers Grimm tale...Hale transforms it to a full-scale masterpiece that will win a permanent place in children's hearts....the outcome is totally satisfying."
The Independent

"I was completely beguiled by her first book...Hale's writing is beautiful, with a vivid eye for detail...The book contains the longing that every child feels at some point, to escape from reality - a longing that lies at the heart of the best of children's literature, but in this case it takes the harshness of everyday life to give Anidori the belief in herself that she needs to be a princess."
The Telegraph (UK)

”A must read for high fantasy readers!”
Signal Journal, Fall 2003

"A charming retelling of the fairy tale...lead[s] to a dramatic confrontation and a happily-ever-after conclusion based on more than love at first sight, a nice variation on the original."

"Beautifully written and surprisingly suspenseful, with a touch of fairy tale romance, The Goose Girl will enthrall."
Bank Street Bookstore BOOKMARK

"Hale weaves a complex pattern of magic and romance in this intense coming-of-age tale. Lyrical language supplies a sensual energy that subtly infuses the text. Characterizations are multilayered and solid. This novel [is] a journey worth taking."
The Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books

"In this rich, layered, and enchanting fairy tale, love, loyalty, and hard work play as strong a role as magic. Both Ani's and Hale's are talents to celebrate."

"Like McKinley's and all the best fairy tales, Hale's book introduces us to a feisty female protagonist who must discover her own inner power in order to defeat her enemies. Hale is a talented new author."

"Packed with imaginative detail…strong on characterization…Hale's "The Goose Girl" has all those fairytale moments of tragedy, romance, passion and triumph."
The Japan Times

"A beautifully reworking of the Grimm’s fairytale, this is a hugely satisfying novel of suspense that steadily gathers pace and defies all attempts to be put down."
Waterstone’s Books Quarterly

"...a long, leisurely tale of danger, disguise and deception. Though fairytale motifs echo throughout, Hale has written her own strange tale, which explore’s nature’s mystery, jealousies, equality, identity."
Irish Times

"This YA novel will appeal to readers of fantasy and to all who enjoy seeing classic stories transformed by a creative author."

"In this stunningly beautiful retelling of the Goose Girl fairy tale, Hale melds the origins of the tale with a system of magic that explains away many of the inconsistencies within the original. Hale's adherence to the structure of the original fairy tale is always subtle, but unmistakable, and she weaves a careful plot of political intrigue into her rendition of the tale. The language is half ancient lay, and half high fantasy. It's a marvelous contribution to the field of fairy tale retellings."
Endicott Studio

"Whether you are a young-adult reader or an old adult reader (like me), you will find this book a delight. There is everything here that a good novel needs — suspense, clear and interesting plot, diverse characters and fine writing."
Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah

"Here’s a beautiful story with a sympathetic heroine who suffers adversity and is thrust on her own resources. It’s got all the resonance of a fairy tale and the charm of a love story. Highly recommended not only for teens, but also for children and adults. This one truly spans all ages."

"Hale is a talented new author."
Grainne Cooney, Bookseller Teenage Choice

"GOOSE GIRL is one of the most delightful surprises I've had this year. It's the kind of book that leaves you with a warm happy glow, and makes you feel better for having read it. Truly lovely."
bakka-phoenix science fiction bookstore

Return to main goose girl page