Who doesn’t love a narrator with quick tongue and a clever story that makes you ask questions as you try to discern the truth from the lies? For one such book, try The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen published by Scholastic in 2012. In this game of princes, orphans, and deceit, you will take a ride with a fantastic narrator on a journey of self-discovery and truth.
Sage is nothing more than a clever mischief-maker of an orphan with a quick tongue and a penchant for pick pocketing. But everything changes when a nobleman named Conner takes him and two other orphans to his estate. Conner tells them that the King, Queen, and Crown Prince of Carthya have been murdered. The younger prince, Jaron, was killed in a pirate attack four years ago, though his body was never found. Conner wants to pass off one of the orphans as the missing prince in order to control the kingdom through the chosen orphan.
“If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice.
“These were my thoughts as I raced away from the market, with a stolen roast tucked under my arm.”
Conner’s attempts to make princes of common orphans come head to head with Sage’s own tricks and plans. But everyone has secrets, and only one of the orphans can become the prince. This book has a clever narrator and constantly makes the reader wonder what Sage will do next.
“It’s not easy to be one type of person when you’ve worked so hard to be a very different type of person.”
Book Group Questions (Spoiler Alert!)
- When did Sage decide to become Prince Jaron in the story? Why do you think he made this decision?
- When you realize the truth, you also realize that a lot of Sage’s earlier statements can have double meanings of him telling the truth while others believe he lies. What are some of these statements?
- Nielsen does an excellent job at weaving the truth among the lies. You found some examples among the statements in question 2. What were some other examples?