Welcome back to a sporadic feature where I talk about favorite authors of mine. Back in November, I highlighted Maureen Johnson. Today I’d like to shout out to the world how much I adore Ellen Emerson White and her President’s Daughter series! She is the author of numerous books and I intend to check out her other series in the future, but for now, I can’t get enough of her President’s Daughter series. There are four books and I reread all four every other year. That’s how much I love these books!
I have Jenn Laughran (aka Literaticat) to thank for my love of this series. Before she became a super star agent for Andrea Brown, she was a super star book seller for Books Inc. Every time I saw her, I ended up buying a slew of books on her recommendations. I miss that! One of the books she recommended (raved about) was Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White. It was the long awaited sequel to three previously released books in the series. Those three books would be re-released again but were not yet available. I’m usually a stickler for reading in chronological order, but Jenn was so effusive with praise and obvious love for these books that I was willing to break my own rule this once, and I read that last book, first. And fell instantly in love. When the first three books were available, I snatched them up and gobbled them down! And since then, I’ve reread the entire series twice and plan to reread them again this year. It’s time!
What makes this series so wonderful? One thing most of all: Meg Powers. Meg Powers is the main character of the series, the head-strong, whip-smart, sometimes scared and insecure, and always strong teen daughter of the President of the United States – who happens to be her mom. I’ve always said I’d read a favorite character doing just about anything, even 40 pages of her brushing her teeth, but Meg’s story is much more exciting, much more heart-wrenching, much more inspiring than that!
High school sophomore Meg Powers is a little appalled when her mother announces her intent to run for President. Meg is more appalled when her mother actually wins. The story focuses on Meg’s relationship with her mother, and the fact that they are so often at odds with each other. With her mother’s new position, Meg is feeling a bit abandoned. The characters are lushly developed as the reader follows the family’s move into the White House and Meg’s struggle to fit in at her new school. A possible love interest in new friend Josh adds an extra dimension to Meg’s too-changed life from before she was the President’s daughter.
In book 2, Meg is 17 years old, a senior in high school and dating Josh. After ten months in the White House, she has somewhat gotten used to life as First Daughter, while still resenting the time she doesn’t get to spend with her mother. Meg is temperamental at times and on a day after fighting with her mother at breakfast, she learns at school that her mother has been shot and is in serious condition at the hospital. The President is determined to get back to work as quickly as possible, even before healing completely, which upsets the entire First Family. Meg is angry and takes it out on Josh, but more importantly, she starts to learn that she must sometimes open up and trust others. In this book, Meg is starting to turn into a strong young woman and like it or not, very much like her mother.
In book 3, Meg is kidnapped by terrorists on her way out of school. She spends a terrifying two weeks held captive by a sadistic man before she is able to make a courageous escape from what could have been a hopeless situation. After her rescue, she discounts her own courageousness, and her recovery is a difficult one for her and her family. Meg, as always, keeps things locked inside, although fortunately with her best friend Beth she can let down her guard somewhat. Guilt, anger, and fear permeate the entire First Family as they try to regain some footing after this horrendous event.
Meg may look like the typical freshman at Williams college, even with her crushed hand in a splint and her leg in a brace, but she’s far from. The daughter of the President of the United States, Meg was recently kidnapped and held hostage. The President stuck to the US line of not negotiating with terrorists. Meg escaped on her own and now has to deal with her shattered bones and family. Her parents’ marriage is on the rocks, her brothers are changed, and in an attempt to free them of her presence, decides to go away to college. But there she faces the typical freshman homesickness and the atypical horror of being afraid for her life and those of her dormmates, even with the constant Secret Service protection. Add a boy to the mix, and Meg’s life is definitely out of control.
I’m so happy I get to revisit Meg Powers and her story again very soon! I highly highly recommend these books to anyone who loves great story-telling with action and adventure and a strong female character (or two)! I hope you’ll give her a try! Let me know if you do!