If you're sick of bombarding your children with the message that the boy always has to come to the girl's rescue, you may want to consider "Once Upon a Story You've Always Been Told." Free on iBooks, the heartwarming tale shares the plight of a princess whom a witch has trapped in a cold, lonely tower, guarded by dragons, a haunted forest, and a giant. However, when a friend brings news of a prince who plans on coming to the princess' rescue (and asking for her hand in marriage), she scoffs at the idea, announcing that it isn't a male savior she wants — it's freedom! And besides, she doesn't care for princes. She "just likes girls better, they're simply more fun." What ensues is a sweet, empowering journey about liberation, openheartedness, and overcoming fear.
Now, before you start thinking, "This seems like a niche piece of literature," I assure you, it isn't. As the dedication at the beginning of the book reads, this is a story not just for LGBTQ individuals, but for everyone. It hits all the major fairytale notes — magic, danger, hope, whimsy, independence, love — but the girl isn't a damsel in distress helplessly awaiting a prince. Instead, she's a damsel who desires a different destiny. What's more, it's high time that we realize that fairytale structures need redefining in some cases, and that the "prince charming" narrative, while fantastic for some, shouldn't be the only narrative around. All kinds of little princesses deserve to hear stories that ring true for them, and that show them that they, too, can have a magical happily ever after just like everyone else. (Especially if that happily ever after includes a kind, shiny-haired maiden.)
"Once Upon a Story You've Always Been Told" encourages readers to renovate their thoughts, just as one would renovate a dreary, isolated castle. Make them warm. Make them welcoming. Fill them with love as Julie Sype beautifully described it in a conversation with the Toronto Guardian:
To read "Once Upon a Story You've Almost Been Told" for free, check it out on iBooks by tapping the link below.
Seriously, though, how cute is this story? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.