« A few more voices on sex, consent, and rape | Main | Bio before beauty »

May 06, 2013


Sam Taylor

I love the title of the Spanish version! "The Princess who Speaks with the Wind." Beautiful!

Emily Clawson

I've read all your other books but had never started the Bayern series. I picked up Goose Girl at Writing for Charity and I just started it. I am in love with the characters and the writing. It is a delicious story that you want to savor, rather than swallow down in one gulp and I appreciate that. I don't need gimmick, fake cliff-hangers and grittiness just for shock value. I love beautiful storytelling and that is what I'm finding in Goose Girl. Happy tenth birthday Ani and Shannon!


I'm three books short of your diehard fan club (working on it) but my favorite is Forest Born and the thing about Forest Born is that it does not exist without what comes before it. I can't tell someone to just pick it up and ignore Goose Girl and Enna Burning and River Secrets, it wouldn't be the same. Thus I love Goose Girl for what it is and for what comes after. It's like this amazing safety blanket or something that is always a comfort.

Plus it's one of the only MG/YA books I read when I was actually the target age. Probably because it wasn't part of the "edgy" fad. A friend and I just discussed how much we love your work, thank you for writing it.

Mallorie Mecham

I think my favorite part is that one of the publishers said they didn't believe it would hold someone's interest for the entire story. I read Goose Girl a year ago on a family vacation. I had downloaded it on my Kindle after reading Princess Academy (and Austenland and Actor and the Housewife) and falling in love with your story telling. My sisters finally hid my Kindle so I would do something besides read the entire time. What an incredibly well told and compelling story. As it came to a close, I was THRILLED when I remembered that I didn't have to leave the characters behind completely.

Debbie Barr (Celes)

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about how The Goose Girl changed my life. You can find it here: http://debbiebarr.blogspot.com/2011/01/books-that-change-you.html

Reading The Goose Girl, meeting you, Shannon, and learning about your writing journey was my first introduction into the publishing industry, which I am absoultely passionate about.

Two years later now since I wrote that blog post, and I still want to be a writer, but I don't know if I will ever be published.

But I do have an incredible job at a small independant bookstore, where I am lucky enough to send books into the hands of readers every day. Often that book is The Goose Girl, and I have had several parents return to say their child absolutely loved it. There are very few things that give me a thrill like passing along a favorite book to a new reader. Thank you for giving me a book I can reccomend to anyone.


I read The Goose Girl in 2006; now, I mostly think of how it changed my life in terms of how it helped me define what I wanted to do with my life. It introduced me to book blogging and the publishing industry more generally and helped me realize that I want to work in book publishing. I'm about to graduate from college and so far I have had limited success, but I will always be grateful for the influence reading that one book has had on my life.

Stella Michel

I had The Goose Girl in my library and some of my better readers picked it up and loved it. Finally, I read it, too and loved every word. It's hard to believe it was rejected so many times. Kudos to Victoria Wells Arms for publishing it and for your agent for being so persistent. I own my own copy now and occasionally reread it.


Oh my goodness 10 years! I read and then listened to the audio version. You are such a great author. I can not tell you how many people I have told to read The Goose Girl...and then the voraciously read everything else you have written.


The Goose Girl was the first book of yours I read, but you had several out by then. I loved it the first time I read it. I love it as a stand alone book and as the first of a series. I have read it several times. I bought my daughter a copy so we can read it together like a book club. Maybe we will do yours with you. I really love Goose Girl, and could go on gushing about it. I'm so glad it's still in stores, I tell anyone that will listen to read it.


I first read The Goose Girl for a book club in 2006 and LOVED it. I then voraciously read everything else you had published, and have tried to keep up since. I just recently introduced it to my daughter who is nearly 8, and she is LOVING it! I'm very much enjoying sharing the love of (your) books with her. (She also just read Princess Academy, and we had a great time discussing it.) I'll be looking forward to the book club reading of Goose Girl later this year!


Shannon, this book was an instant favorite, and one I keep passing along to other readers.

My niece love to read (she's read the first three "Anne of Green Gables" books so many times, the covers are worn and tearing away from the pages... books I let her borrow and she's never going to give back). I passed "the Goose Girl" along, and she's now become a Shannon Hale fan, too.

Two of my sisters have also enjoyed the Goose Girl, as well as my mom. Friends and co-workers. Strangers, through conversations on the bus, in the lunchroom, waiting in lines, etc: "What should I read next?" "Have you read 'the Goose Girl' yet? What are you waiting for?!"

I love this book. I love what I take from it. I love getting lost in it. And I love sharing it.

Happy Anniversary!


What sticks out in my memory was when I reread it I was just as enthralled and even stayed up late to finish it, like I already didn't know what was going to happen.

Nicole Hannel

This book earned me my first library fine. I picked it up from my local library years ago at a friend's recommendation. I read it, re-read it, and read it again, loving every word, character, and moment. It brought magic back into my world. Thank you, Shannon. Never has putting myself in debt been more fun.

S Blackburn

How exciting that The Goose Girl has been out for ten years! It is the first of your books that I read. I saw it on the shelf at the library and was instantly attracted by the beautiful art by Alison Jay. I had seen The Princess Academy at the library too but assumed I wouldn't want to read a princessy book. But I immediately loved The Goose Girl and had to read all of your books. They were a delightful surprise and discovery. The Goose Girl was my daughter's favorite book when she was in fifth grade, and she read it over and over. We recommend your books to everyone we can. My son has read them too and liked them. I know you're busy, but thank you for still writing and for writing books that introduce us to new worlds and ideas. Congratulations on your success with The Goose Girl!


Princess Academy was actually the first book of yours that I read, and it started me reading. Next I read The Goose Girl, and had my sisters and mom read it. I then devoured all the rest of your books. But here's a cool story: I was at the King's English a few days ago, and a grandmother was in there asking the worker for recommendations for her thirteen-year-old granddaughter. First the worker recommended Goose Girl, and second another book that is very good (but whose name I won't mention here). I had been talking to the worker earlier, and she and the grandmother asked me my opinion. I said hands down, the grandmother should get Goose Girl. I told her Shannon Hale got me reading, and that's all the grandmother needed to know. She got your book, and I've no doubt her granddaughter will love it! And now, as of a few months ago, I've started a blog about clean literature, books without swear words. I've already reviewed Princess Academy, and have been rereading Goose Girl to give it as much justice as possible. Thank you for your wonderful stories, for opening up the magical world of reading that I can't imagine being without.


Thank you Shannon for sharing your incredible thoughts and ideas, in book form, with us. Goose Girl became a comfort book for me also. I lived in Mongolia for 2 1/2 years, and whenever I got homesick, I pulled out Goose Girl. It made me feel loved and at home.


Goose Girl was the first of your books I read, and it's still my favorite. I've read it half a dozen times now, maybe more and these are the scenes that still make me cry every time:

When Ani finds Talone alive in the forest
When Ani gets kneed in the back over her fresh scar
When the Forest boys finally get their shields and Finn (or Razo?) cries unashamedly about it

It's such a rich book, so nuanced and luscious and real. Ani is a heroine I will point out to my daughters, along with Hermione Granger and Meg Murray and Ella of Frell and Sara Crewe and my own beloved Anne Shirley. These are girls who are unsure or ashamed or foolish or proud or prickly, but they are also brave and loving and fiercely loyal and funny and brilliant little women. (Add Jo March to that list. How could I forget her?) And I want my girls to read these stories and take courage. We are all a mess of contradictions, beautifully melded.


I read Princess Academy first. My memory of that first read is that that story was kind of slow for me until a certain place, and then I was hooked all the way until the end. I loved the idea of the ordinary girl who could do extraordinary things, and I looked for more from this author. That's when I read Goose Girl for the first time. I guess I'm a late Goose Girl bloomer, but once I found your stories, I kept reading. Since then I've read all but one of your stories, attended a book signing with you and Dean here in Huntington Beach, and have created a little display of my Shannon Hale signed copies on my bookshelf (including the second copy of Forest Born I had to have to match all the artwork on the first three). I'm sure some would call me a nut of a fan, but I truly respect an author who can write a compelling, original story with a great message (and a clean one to boot!). There is strength inside each of us, and I am inspired when I read about ordinary girls who find extraordinary strength within when they need it. My oldest loved Goose Girl, and my second daughter is almost at the right age to read it I have also recommended Goose Girl and have a paperback copy to lend when the occasion arises. We're spreading the love around here. Congratulations on this special anniversary!

Becky Allen

The Goose Girl has been right up there with Pride and Prejudice in my favorites since I found it in 2004... I recommend it to everybody that is looking for a good book. Thank you for writing such a thought provoking and yet fun and adventurous story! Isi is one of my favorite heroines, and I cannot wait till my little girl is old enough to read it to her at bedtime! All of your books are favorites, and immediately bought because I know they will be something worth reading and thinking about! Thank you for what you do! Congrats on your anniversary, can't wait for your next book whenever that is! You and your books are worth the wait!


I read The Goose Girl when my daughter was a wee babe and I was feeding/pumping nonstop. I had just finished (and loved) Princess Academy, so I had to hunt down and read all of your books. It's such a beautiful story, and I can't wait to share it with my now-4-year-old daughter. I recommend it to coworkers and friends all the time, both for themselves as well as their children. Here's to many more years of The Goose Girl!

kristine a

The Goose Girl was my first Shannon Hale book and my favorite. Happy Anniversary Ani & Shannon!


I can't remember when I read The Goose Girl. Maybe right after it was published - 10 years is a long time ago. It was definitely the first Shannon Hale book I read. I have since read all your books; the graphic novels are a huge hit with my 4 daughters. I love that I have been able to suggest a book to my girls that I know will help them remember how great they are, that they each have something unique to contribute to the world. My girls have read all your YA books now and look forward to whatever else you come up with. Thanks!


The Goose Girl was amazing, and the first time I enjoyed was when I listened to it on CD. Now I have the book, and I'm thinking that I need to read it again soon. It's a deep story with a perfect setting and beautiful imagery, great characters and dialogue, and an awesome plot. In Ani we find desperation, grief, sadness, but also find joy in friendship and happiness in love. As a young writer, I know that this is the story I want to write some day. Shannon Hale, you inspire me and encourage me and I am proud to call you my favorite author! Thank you so much!

Kate O'Brien

I read The Goose Girl years ago. I was familiar with the old story, and I love this imaginative and emotive retelling of it. I loved the characters. I loved the magic. I loved the tragedy and fear and triumph. I loved the words. It awoke an old love of classic fairy tales -- and also made me think about what they lack. Old fairy tales are never about people. There is plot, and morals and good and evil but nothing feels real, or complex. The characters are as thin as the page they're written on. But your goose girl (was it Ana? Isi? It was one, or both of those, but perhaps spelt differently) felt like she breathed, and of course the wind came with her.

Tiffany Trent

Ten years! And even longer since we met. I am still so honored that I was one of the first sets of eyes on this and that maybe, just maybe, our little challenge to each other midwifed something so gorgeous and evergreen. Congrats to you and GG! I am so happy and proud!


I'm so grateful it's not so "edgy". We don't need more of that. I love Bayern and it's characters. I love (I'm nearly 32) how she grows, just becoming more confident in herself over time, through the one book and subsequent stories. I'm tempted to buy all your books and have them on hand for my daughter's to read, but my first grader prefers to usually find her own choices at the library. I'm so excited that she's a rather voracious reader herself. I first read Princess Academy last year in March and I have read almost everything else since. Thank you Shannon!


I love The Goose Girl. It was the first of your books I ever read, years and years ago. I got it from the library and loved it, and several years later I was still thinking about it (and certain scenes from it), but couldn't remember the title or who wrote it. Thankfully I was able to track down that info and buy my own copy, and then proceeded to get my hands on nearly everything else you've written. :) The Goose Girl is probably still my favorite, though Forest Born is a close second.


I can't imagine my life without this book. After my friend lost my precious signed copy, I bought three copies. One for my room, another for my car and one that I lend out to my friends. The Goose Girl is like my teddy bear or security blanket. Thank you for writing this book for me Shannon! I'm seventeen and still read it for comfort.


Saw this on my Tumblr today. You might have already seen but here you go: http://fictionalfanart.tumblr.com/post/49788419318/the-goose-girl-by-shannon-hale


The Goose Girl was the very first book I had ever read by written by you. It was the summer 2008 and very hot. I was on bed rest with twins and getting very bored. I had read every book I owned three times already. A wonderful neighbor rescued me with three books, all written by someone named Shannon Hale. The Goose Girl, Princess Academy and Austenland. I started with The Goose Girl and couldn't put it down. I loved it! I thought, "there has to be more." I loved the magic in it, the love story, the adventure. I loved it so much I had to buy a copy for myself and have my girls read it. Even my husband read it and loved it. He found it very refreshing and appreciated a fantasy book that he could enjoy but that was also appropriate for our children. I have since recommended it to many friends and their children and have only received grateful responses. We have the entire series and have read it and reread it. I have personally read all of the books at least four times. I have actually had to replace the first copies because of the wear and tear from everyone in my household reading them so many times. I think I may have to get them on my tablet. As for the other books that my friend brought over, I loved them too and I also own them and their sequels. I am a life long fan of Shannon Hale. If it were not for The Goose Girl, I might have missed out on finding one of my most favorite authors.


I first read "Goose Girl" after one day at the local library and not knowing what to read next. My mom found it on one shelf and showed it to me. I admit I was sure I would enjoy it. I'm not sure why (maybe it was because my mom suggested it? Stupid, I know.)but boy was I wrong. It led me to read your other books, friends i probably would never have met otherwise, and your blog where always give away food for thought. Thanks for contributing to my teenage/young adult-hood.

Lindsay Eland

When asked my favorite books they always include (in no particular order): A Long Way From Chicago, The Tale of Despereaux, Matilda, and The Goose Girl. I've read it multiple times and ALWAYS recommend it :) Congrats on the anniversary, from one of your biggest fangirls (who always has a personalized signed copy that a friend had you sign for me...eep!!)


I read The Goose Girl as a teenager, it began something of an obsession in my family. Characters were fought over (we weren't allowed to like the same boys - "he's mine!"), which to be honest they kind of still are (baby name lists). Bonding over books has always been important in my family, and The Goose Girl was one of the best.
I still remember being amazed at a heroine I could relate to, she was strong but in a natural real way. She was someone I could admire, but also aspire towards. Later, reading the rest of the Bayern series, I loved watching Isi grow. I also loved getting to know more girls, I loved how different they were from each other and how they made mistakes, how they tried their hardest and fought for what they cared about. I loved the values and lessons flowing through your book as if its just how life should be, people should be equal, should be respected, that relationships take work but are so very worth it etc.
The Goose Girl is my favourite and I loved recommending it to people. But I love the rest of your books as well (am writing my thesis on Rapunzel's Revenge and couple of other adaptations), I am always excited when you tweet about writing and can't wait to read more.


I was told to read The Goose Girl by a teen on my Teen Advisory Board. I listened to the audio version and didn't want it to end. It was beautiful. I have now listened to the entire series multiple times and it is one of my top recommendations to library patrons.


Goose Girl is one of my favorites, and I love that my newly minted tween daughter has taken to it, as well. I loved the tale of persistence and moral courage when the outcome was uncertain. Thank you for giving me and mine an important story that illustrates so well the idea that we can use our unique talents and gifts to benefit others as well as ourselves.


You're such an inspiration to me; I hope one day I'll be able to see my work in print. I've never read The Goose Girl, but I promise you I will! :)


It still surprises me to hear the things people said about why they wouldn't publish it. Stiff and cliched writing? Ha! The writing style is one of the things I comment on when recommending it to friends because to me it flows so well and really helps create the sense of the fairy tale. The Goose Girl has been one of my favourite books since I first read it (almost ten years ago). I loved it as a 13 year old, and I still love it as a 21 year old. It's one of my favourite reads and I try to read it at least once every year. It got me into reading fairy tale retellings. Of all your books, it still remains my favourite. There's just something special about it! So happy ten years to the Goose Girl, and I hope you keep on writing awesome books like it.


My cousin told me over and over again to read The Goose Girl. I finally did. And now I've read all of Shannon Hale's books and I feel like every few weeks I say to my mom, "You know my favorite author, Shannon Hale?" And it all started with The Goose Girl. How can I ever be grateful enough that my cousin and dear friend recommended it when we were fairytale-obsessed middle schoolers?


The Goose Girl was the first of your books that I ever read. When I was 13 I found it on my sister's shelf and I thought it looked interesting so I borrowed it. I loved every page. It made me laugh and cry, tense up and sigh with relief. I was thrilled when I found out there was a sequel and went out to buy it right away. Since then I've been on the pre-order list for all of your YA novels and the only books of yours that I haven't read are Midnight in Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife (a copy of which is on my shelf waiting for me to read it).


The Goose Girl is my favorite book of yours. I first read it in fifth grade. I was an avid reader, but NOT a diverse one. I pretty much stuck to Harry Potter or perhaps the occasional baby sitter's club book. Not even the ever popular Lightening Thief series could tempt me back then! Then my friend forced me to read the Goose Girl.
Mind officially blown.
New favorite book. I read it again and again and again. I just couldn't get enough.
So yeah, several years later, I still reread the Goose Girl at least once a year. :)

melissa @ 1lbr

Goose Girl is still my favorite and I've read it with each of my book groups (3, I think) at my recommendation. I also love the publication story, as it's inspiring to anyone struggling to be successful in any endeavor. Thank you, Shannon!


Congratulations on the 10th anniversary! Coincidentally, I just finished Goose Girl for the first time last night! I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it - we even had 2 copies at our house. I spent much of my 8th year reading Grimm's Fairy Tales aloud to myself in German, so there is a special place in my heart for this type of fantasy and it has stayed with me for more than 40 years. I loved the magic and the thought-communication language and the friendship and the romance and the poetic writing. I find that much YA fiction makes me cry in genuine ways without emotional manipulation. My crying moment came unexpectedly when Ani's forest friends appeared with their javelins. I can't wait to continue with the next books in the series!


The Goose Girl was required reading in my college Children's Lit class. I don't remember when I took that class, but I graduated from college in 2003 so I must have been able to read it the moment it came out. :) It was in a line up with books by Lloyd Alexander, Sharon Creech, and Katherine Paterson (among others) so I assumed the author Shannon Hale was just as established and just as accomplished. I was delighted to read and reread that first book. I have since gobbled up every Shannon Hale book available, and adored every one. Thank you for what you do!

Chelsey G.

As a die-hard fan of yours since 2004, I adore all of your books but the Goose Girl especially. It has been my favorite since I first read it and continue to return to it again and again. TGG is one of those books that never gets old, never loses its beauty and charm, and honestly, everytime I reread it, I always feel like I'm coming home. This book changed my life, and I'm not just saying that. I remember after I read Enna Burning, I *sobbed* because I didn't think there would be any more stories of the characters I had come to know and love (imagine my surprise when I found out there would be two more!). Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this incredible story. It is so gorgeous, so heart warming, and, in my case, so lifechanging.


Sometime in 2006 and I was 11, I stumbled into Princess Academy at the Bookstore and I immediately fell in love. When I discovered that Shannon Hale had written other books I was over the moon. The Goose Girl looked so intriguing to me I had begged my mom to take me back to the bookstore the day after I'd finished Princess Academy.

I remember the first read and how it intraced me; keeping me enthralled throughout every page. Before Princess Academy & The Goose Girl I hadn't really read anything I'd really enjoyed since I'd read Harry Potter, three years prior. They lyrical writing, the fairy-tale setting, and of course Ani. As soon as I'd finished it I found this blog. I was inspired by both The Goose Girl and the writings I'd read here to become an author, to write.

To this day, The Goose Girl is only book I've re-read more times than I can count (and at one point even had the first three or so pages memorized) and found something new to enjoy each and every time. The Goose Girl got me through some of the toughest points in my life and I don't know where I'd be without Ani.


I love The Goose Girl! As a Shannon Hale diehard fan, The Goose Girl is indeed my favorite of your books. (Sidenote: The Goose Girl is certainly my favorite book and story, and I relate to and see myself in Isi so much, but Becky Jack is my favorite character because she is so sassy.) I love Isi because she isn't someone who is independent, strong, and sure of herself in the beginning, but she grows into that woman. It encourages me to see her change and I like knowing that she didn't start out with all these amazing characteristics. She is so real.

I found The Goose Girl back in high school and it was one of those books that I loved so much I cried when it was over. Haha, teenage hormones, am I right? Though it's not uncommon for me to reread a book, The Goose Girl is one of the few that I reread at least once a year because I can never get enough of it.

Shannon, I love your books. Thank you.

Jenna St. Hilaire

I adored The Goose Girl for some of the very reasons the publishers passed on it: it was peaceful in mood, instead of edgy; it was long and thick and thoughtful and beautiful enough to make me feel like it was worth savoring and re-reading, not just making one dash through in one afternoon (the average middle-grade book was a single afternoon's read for me even when I was a middle-grader, and was all right for a lazy afternoon, but not more. I preferred the slower-paced, often longer, more intimate books like Wilson Rawls' and Johanna Spyri's and Dodie Smith's, and while I didn't meet Ani till adulthood, ten-year-old me would have LOVED her. The ten-year-old in me still loves her...)

And stiff--cliched? Whaaaaaa...? The first line of that book is one of the most memorable openings I've ever met, and I loved the lyrical, old-style, fairy-taleish prose. Not to mention the way I felt in touch with Ani's mind and heart, with her geese and her wind-speech.

Ani is one of my favorite heroines--someone quiet, shy, a bit introverted and hesitant and retiring, just like me. Someone who develops inner strengths she didn't know she had and works hard at doing the right thing. I wish I'd had her when I was twelve, but she's still an inspiration to me now that I'm thirty-five.

P.S. Had LDS missionaries on my doorstep the other day (I'm Catholic), and told them that half my favorite authors are Mormon, upon which bright-eyed C. asked me who, and when I said your name, she said "Ooh, Shannon Hale! She's awesome!" At which point, I was like, NEW FRIEND. Thought you might enjoy that story. :)


I can remember discovering The Goose Girl in third grade.
I can remember copying the cover art from Enna Burning onto math paper in fourth grade. Love that rainbow-colored flame and spotted pony.
I can remember jabbering to my cousins about some of the finer points of Mt. Eskel's economic system.
I can remember interrupting my sixth grade teacher to paraphrase Razo and Dasha's tree rat conversation. I laughed. They stared.
I can remember hiding in the closet with a flashlight and a copy of Forest Born so my family wouldn't see me cry. Poor Rin!
I can remember checking the library website while every single person in the Salt Lake LIbrary System read Palace of Stone before me.
Thank you for writing such beautiful books!

Ani Brooke

I love The Goose Girl, but what I love most is Ani. (The name connection is pure coincidence!) I think it's the first time I recall reading a hero so thoroughly bewildered, unsure, and inadequate-feeling without either feeling fake ("yeah, yeah, the unlikely-hero phase, let's whip out the inevitable superpowers already") or useless ("why is this character a hero again?"). Ani's awkwardness and vulnerability really struck home - especially when the readers and her friends are able to see strength in her greater than anything she could suspect in herself. I think the oddest part of Enna Burning for me was the fact that I was no longer inside Ani's head, seeing all her self-doubt, and seeing what a difference that made! And I really loved that the story was partly about Ani finding a fate which no one could have predicted for her, but such a perfect fit.

I had always disliked the Grimm tale for a dull heroine in a dull plot. Ani kept me turning page after page.

(Also to be noted - Goose Girl wasn't published until I was in college. I was fully adult when Ani managed to worm her way in beside my beloved childhood heroes, guarding my dreams from despair. Brava, Shannon!)


Goose Girl always has been and always will be a special book for me -- in complete and total seriousness, my best friend and I credit Goose Girl for our friendship. We'd known each other before, but after I read Goose Girl, we got talking about the book. . .and, 7 years later, we're still best friends! Without Goose Girl, I'm not sure we would've ever talked much. . and I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without her. Thank you for writing the book that made it all possible :) (as well as many other books. We like those too!)

The comments to this entry are closed.