Study Guide

The Goose Girl Genre

By Shannon Hale


Fairy Tale; Young Adult Literature; Coming-of-Age

You probably guessed this was a fairy tale when you learned the novel comes from one of Grimms' Fairy Tales, which just so happens to also be called "The Goose Girl." The title was our first clue, and reading the book didn't disappoint. This book puts a modern twist on an old classic, but still keeps the fairy tale nature in tact. Magic? Check. Princess? Check. An unattainable but totally lovable hunk? Check. It's got all your favorite elements from those fairy tales when you were a kid, only a little more grown up.

And it's that last part—the little more grown up part—that takes this book out of the children's genre and drops it into the young adult lit genre. Our main character is a teenage girl, after all, so though her troubles are dressed up in fancy princess clothes, a lot of what she's grappling with—family, friendships, crushes, and being true to herself—are things all young adults struggle with.

Plus Ani goes on a classic coming of age journey, transforming from shy and unsure of herself to confident and ready to take on the world, all without her parents around to guide her. Though she's not technically an adult by today's standards when the story ends, there's no doubt that Ani has found her footing and officially stands on her own two feet. This earns this book not only coming of age genre status, but is also another reason that it hangs out on bookshelves with all your other young adult lit favorites.

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