Jenna is impersonating the Princess Malena. Jenna is starring in a movie about the Princess. Which is true?
It wasn't that Jenna was a baby—she was fourteen and well able to take care of herself. It was that her mother always wanted to know exactly where she was. She seemed to trust Jenna about other things, so perhaps it was just that the two of them were alone. No father, no husband, no brothers or sisters. And no matter how much Jenna begged, her mother wouldn't tell her anything about her father or his family.
That's why Jenna wasn't surprised when her mother told her she couldn't go to the auditions for the lead in a movie. Every other girl in town was going, it was in the middle of the afternoon, and the auditions sounded like so much fun. So Jenna decided to take a chance and go—her mother would never know.
And when it was all over, the movie people picked Jenna! She couldn't quite believe it-she was going to play a princess in a movie—surely her mother wouldn't say no now!
And she didn't—once she understood the situation, she texted Jenna that she could go to the final part of the audition—in Scandia, two hours away by plane. Jenna was a little suspicious about how quickly her mother had given in, but she really didn't have time to think about it. They went by her house so she could pack a bag, and then to a tiny private plane. The next day she found out that her audition was actually to pretend to be the Princess on the Princess's birthday, so the Princess could have the day to herself and her family.
With a blond wig, a little makeup, and high heels, Jenna really did look like the Princess. And smiling and waving to the thousands of Scandians who were celebrating her birthday with her was really fun. And when they asked her to repeat her performance a week later, she agreed.
But all is not as it seems in the Scandian palace. Jenna has been told that the Princess is sick and exhausted, but is that the truth? Why does the regent act so strange whenever Jenna's around him? And why is it so important to find a runaway boy named Hugo Haldur? Suddenly Jenna's movie audition seems much more suspicious. Why is she really in Scandia? What are the movie people not telling her?
This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, writer, consultant, and booktalker extraordinaire.