Secret princesses: The magic necklace by Rosie Banks

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Orchard Books, 2016. ISBN 9781408336083
(Age: 6-9) Young novel. Princesses. Friendship. A series that concentrated on magical princesses and the power of friendship is sure to have a following. Best friends Charlotte and Mia are very upset when Charlotte's family decide to move away, but when they are given magic necklaces, they discover that they can see each other whenever they want, and have adventures at the same time. When they are taken to Wishing Star Palace they meet their friend Alice, who is a pop star and also one of the princesses. She explains that the secret princesses make wishes come true for girls and at the same time help the Wishing Star Palace from being destroyed.
There is much to appeal to young readers with this book. The plot of keeping in touch with your best friend using a magic necklace is entertaining and the themes of aiding others and being good friends is also alluring. Charlotte and Mia's task is to help out Olivia who is desperate to make new friends but her party is being spoilt by the evil Princess Poison who is determined that they won't succeed. They have to use their ingenuity to foil her evil plans.
There is an extra commercial aspect to this book - Monsoon Children, a UK based clothing company, is part of the campaign and children are urged to get the same princess outfits that Charlotte and Mia wear as well as a Best Friends necklace designed by Monsoon.
Pat Pledger