Prince and the Snowgirl

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Everyone thinks Tom Miller is lucky. For starters, Tom looks so much like England's Prince George that he makes money impersonating him. Unfortunately, that usually involves signing autographs at the latest supermarket opening. Still, Tom is one of the most popular guys at Emerson High, the finest school in the area. And best of all, nearly every girl falls for his princely good looks—every girl, that is, except Louise.

Tom wishes he could find the way to Louise's heart, and the...

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Everyone thinks Tom Miller is lucky. For starters, Tom looks so much like England's Prince George that he makes money impersonating him. Unfortunately, that usually involves signing autographs at the latest supermarket opening. Still, Tom is one of the most popular guys at Emerson High, the finest school in the area. And best of all, nearly every girl falls for his princely good looks—every girl, that is, except Louise.

Tom wishes he could find the way to Louise's heart, and the school skiing trip seems like the perfect opportunity to impress her with his royal charm. But when the real Prince George arrives at their hotel, it's time for Tom to shed his public persona and start living up to his own potential.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Cheshire's (Kissing Vanessa) humorous novel stars 15-year-old Tom, who works as a professional "look-alike" for (the fictional) Prince George. With his resemblance to the royal heartthrob, he gets plenty of attention from girls at school but he only has eyes for brainy Louise. When Louise starts dating rival Allan, narrator Tom decides he has "only one card to play, and that I'm going to have to play it to the max." He has to be "full-on" Prince George. The fun accelerates as Tom, Louise, Allan and their suddenly sullen friend Jack head to a school ski competition. Tom impersonates Prince George, securing suites and free room service—which works out well until the real royal shows up at the same hotel. The subplot about Jack's troubled home life seems at odds with the lighter tone of the rest of the book, but Tom's concern gives him a reason to express his true feelings, rather than hiding behind princely polish. Readers will fall for unusual Louise: she is not only interested in string theory, but is the boldest skier of the bunch, and the one who pushes Tom to reach out to Jack ("How can you be the guy's closest friend and have no idea about these things? Doesn't that strike you as... cold?"). Even though some will predict where the plot is headed, teens will likely laugh at the situations Tom encounters and root for Tom and Louise, both on an off the slopes. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Tom Miller has an after-school job unlike any other: He impersonates England's Prince George! He makes good money at it, and he likes the attention that the job brings him. Sure, his work is mostly smiling, shaking hands, and saying a few gracious words. Sometimes, it might involve cutting a ribbon at the newest supermarket, signing autographs, or giving interviews to the press. But it's good work, and it's one reason why Tom is so popular with his peers at school. Popular that is, with everyone except the one who matters: Louise. He can't understand why it is that when he turns on the razzle-dazzle royal charm, all the other girls seem to swoon while Louise turns away. When Louise, Tom, his best friend Jack, and schoolmate Allan are chosen to participate in a ski competition, Tom decides the time has come. Away from the humdrum routine of school, with several days spent in close quarters, Tom believes he should be able to impress Louise and make his feelings known. Shouldn't he? Tom is a delightfully realistic youth with a witty sensibility. Caught in a truly ironic quandary when the real Prince George comes to the hotel, Tom finally does the one thing he should have done all along. Any reader who has ever wanted to be someone else, even momentarily, will sympathize with Tom's plight, and cheer at his ultimate triumph.
VOYA - Kelly Czarnecki
A story about trying to prove something to the girl of one's dreams is nothing new. Trying to impress her because one looks like England's Prince George, however, is. Tom Miller is in love with Louise. Although she would rather concentrate on theoretical physics than on Tom, he is mystified as to why his likeness, as he poses as the prince, is not appreciated. Constantly impersonating the royal, Tom declares, "Prince George is what I have. He's what I am. It's all I have to offer her, really. And she doesn't seem to want it." As fate would have it, Tom and Louise, along with classmates Allan and Jack, are asked to represent Emerson High School at the United Kingdom's Inter-Schools Ski Championship because of their having won the championship the previous year and because another school is forced to withdraw when their members contract a tropical disease. Of course, Tom hopes that the competition will bring him closer to Louise. Allan hopes for the same with himself and Louise. When the real Prince George shows up at the same hotel, the question of who Tom really is leads to increasing confusion before Tom accepts his true identity. Will most teen readers be wrapped up in the story? Although it is lighthearted and humorous throughout-"Who am I? Yeh, I really am Prince George, first in line to the throne, only son of the King and Queen, international teen heartthrob!"-most teen readers would probably identify more with a comparison to a famous actor or singer, rather than royalty.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
Fifteen-year-old Tom resembles teenage British heartthrob Prince George so closely that he makes money as a "look-alike," posing as the prince at events like supermarket openings. Most girls are eager to go out with Tom, but not Louise, the girl he truly loves. When both Tom and Louise are chosen to participate in a national ski competition in Scotland, Tom figures this is his chance to win her over—but unfortunately, not only is his relentlessly supportive mother along on the trip, but also his rival for Louise's affections, Allan. And then the real Prince George shows up…. The occasional bit of British slang (chuffed, cheesed off) shouldn't deter YAs on this side of the pond from enjoying this diverting romp. It will appeal to both genders with its mix of identity crisis, romance, and a bit of ski action, too.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9 - In this lighthearted British comedy, readers are given a glimpse into the life of Tom Miller. A student at Emerson High, he has the good luck to resemble Prince George, and he earns money impersonating him. Tom deals with usual adolescent angst, ranging from problems with an overly involved mother and his love for a girl who doesn't love him to the upcoming UK Inter-Schools Ski Championship and finding his true self. During the competition, he meets up with the real Prince George, who turns out to be rude and obnoxious, and he has to decide whether to pursue fame and fortune or be true to himself. This is a quick and pleasurable read that young teens will enjoy.-Sheilah Kosco, Bastrop Public Library, TX

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Lovers of British humor can feed their addiction with this hilarious romp through snow and relationships. High-schooler Tom has a nice side job working as a celebrity look-alike. He's the image of Britain's Prince George, but that isn't helping him begin a romance with the love of his life, the gorgeous and super-genius Louise. He's on the school ski team with Louise and two other friends: Jack, master of comedy who's undergoing serious depression, and Allan, superficial clothes-horse who actually scores dates with Louise. The team has a slight chance to win the national skiing championship, but the tangled friendships intervene and Tom impersonates the Prince once too often. Cheshire keeps the humor lively and perfectly tuned as Tom copes with what he views as the wreckage of his entire life. Quite funny and full of wonderfully eccentric characters and delicious irony. Spot on. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853408632
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 9/29/2006

Meet the Author

Simon Cheshire is the author of several popular books for young readers in the U.K., where he also writes and presents Fast Foreword, a bluffer's guide to literature, on Oneword Radio. This is his third novel with Delacorte Press. He lives in Warwick, England.
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Read an Excerpt

The Prince and the Snowgirl

By Simon Cheshire

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2007 Simon Cheshire
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385903592


This is the story of how everything changed, and of who I am. Or who I was. Or will be? It's not easy to say.

I'm changing, right now, as I look at myself. I'm sitting in a raised, black leather chair, in front of mirrors which run the whole length of the room, on the ground floor of a hotel in Scotland. I'm fifteen years old, I'm many miles from home, and upstairs, right now, in a messed-up bedroom, are the girl of my dreams and my best friend from school. My best friend is facing a serious crisis.

I am getting my hair cut.

"Are you sure you want so much off, sir?" says the young woman standing behind me. She's poised with the scissors above my head, as if they can't wait to get cutting and she's the only thing holding them back.

"Absolutely," I say with a confidence I don't quite feel. "I need a radical new look. It's got to be drastic."

"OK," she says quietly.

I spent the night, fully clothed, slumped in an armchair in that messed-up bedroom. I'm not at my freshest. I have an uncomfortable suspicion that the hairdresser can smell me.

I don't think she's been awake very long. Neither have I. It's still early in the morning. I had to tap on the glass door of this salon to attract her attention and get her to open the place up. I had to offer to pay extra, and with the prices they charge here that means I'm going to be stumpingup an eye-watering amount of cash when this is over.

"Are you here on holiday?" she says.

"No," I say, not wanting to be dragged into a conversation. She obviously hasn't twigged who I am.

No, who I was.

I think she's still gliding along on autopilot. In the mirror I can see an undrunk mug of steaming coffee sitting by the till. For the first time, I notice that her hair is lank, stripy with overdone highlights. It doesn't exactly boost my confidence.

But there's no going back now. This is, as they say, the point of no return. Once this is done, I will have declared to the world that there's a new me.

I came down here on a whim. The idea suddenly popped into my head and I ran all the way downstairs. I wanted to prove something to my friend, the one facing the crisis. I needed to make him see I was serious.

So I'm getting my hair cut.

As weird as it sounds, I'm changing the way I look to try to help my friend. It's just coincidence that I also want to prove something to the girl of my dreams. And it's just coincidence that it's also marking a turning point in my life.

Or maybe it isn't coincidence at all. Maybe the last few days have been leading up to this.

I look at myself in the mirror. It's me, and it's not me. For such a long time now, that face has been someone else too. Literally someone else. For such a long time, I've had to be so fussy and careful about my hair, about my whole appearance. Not out of vanity, but because I've had to look a certain way.

Not anymore. I'm determined. There's no going back.

The scissors close around the slightly curled, night-colored mass that masks my forehead. A thick snip of hair tumbles to the floor, and my pulse dances unsteadily.

It's strange, how you can look back in time at yourself and see someone so different. What makes it all the stranger is that I'm looking back on myself as I was just six weeks ago. That's all the time it takes for your life to have a complete makeover. Of course, some people's lives are changed in an instant, but those cases are usually due to something unforeseen, something they didn't plan or didn't see heading straight for them. An accident, or a chance meeting.

This change, my change, is voluntary. Completely. So it takes slightly longer. But even so, six weeks ago, I'd never have thought I'd be here now, sitting in this chair, looking at myself. Or what I think is me. Or what might be me, if I can decide who I really am.

Six weeks ago I was pretty sure of myself. I was convinced I'd got most things in my life fairly well sewn up. With one or two exceptions. Maybe I was even a little bit smug. Maybe I was just a little bit overconfident.

So. Six weeks ago . . .


"Oooh, he's not so tall in real life, is he?"

"Halllooo, Prince George! Prince George! . . . Look, poppet, that's the next king. What's that, poppet? No, darling, he's not a footballer."

"Rubbish! Looks nuffin' like 'im!"

You see the sort of thing I have to contend with? I get that kind of stuff every time. Every time.

I smile sweetly. I know it's a sweet smile, because I've practiced it so much in the bathroom mirror that I can do it without a second thought. It's a big, warm smile, sweet as a sugar cube dipped in chocolate. I can switch it on instantly, and it gets gooey grins in response from everyone I aim it at. Well, almost everyone.

"Nuffin' like 'im. 'E's rubbish!" mutters the big bloke in the woolly-collared coat.

Naturally, the big bloke's in a minority of one. The rest of the crowd are waving and shouting, jostling and holding up their digital cameras. There's a starscape of flashes twinkling all around me. Hands are held out to me, and I shake as many as I can, arms crossing and bending to get to everyone. I keep going with the smile. Works a treat.

It's a lovely feeling. Nothing quite like it. Being in front of a crowd of two or three hundred strangers who all feel like they know you, and who are all pleased to see you (well, except the big bloke). It makes you feel so liked. Not loved, exactly, that's not quite it. Approved of, appreciated, endorsed . . . I dunno, you'd need a thesaurus to find the right word. It's very, very nice, anyway.

Even if it's all fake.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


Excerpted from The Prince and the Snowgirl by Simon Cheshire Copyright © 2007 by Simon Cheshire. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

    THE PRINCE AND THE SNOWGIRL is a tale fit for a king. Or a prince. <BR/><BR/>Tom Miller is a Prince George impersonator, and he travels all over England doing impersonations. It's not as glamorous as it looks. Most of his gigs are at supermarket openings and other equally dull events. Being an impersonator does have its perks, though. Most of the girls at school adore him, and all of them fall for his princely charm. All of them except for Louise. And, of course, Tom wants the one girl that he can't get. Tom and Louise are close friends, but unfortunately for Tom, Louise seems to think that there is nothing more than friendship between them. <BR/><BR/>When Tom, Louise, and a couple of other guys from school are invited to represent the school at a skiing competition in Scotland, Tom thinks that this could be his big chance to impress Louise. And when she starts dating one of their teammates, it just inspires Tom to try even harder to win her heart. At their hotel, Tom pretends that he is the real Prince George and snags their team great rooms and free room service. So imagine the mess that ensues when the real Prince George shows up at the same hotel! Tom is surprised to find that the real Prince George is nothing like the polite and charming fellow he can impersonate perfectly. <BR/><BR/>Can Tom find a way to help their school's team win the skiing competition? Can he shed his Prince George image and begin to realize his own potential? But, most importantly, can he show Louise how much he cares about her--and does she feel the same way? <BR/><BR/>Simon Cheshire writes a very light-hearted story, unique in that it is a teen romantic comedy written from the perspective of the guy. Tom is an easy character to relate to, though his story is pretty bizarre. This is a fun and quick read from a delightful British author.

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