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Cinderella Smith: The Super Secret Mystery Hardcover – April 23, 2013
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Cinderella’s third adventure finds her researching ocelots for an endangered species report—hampered by the fact that someone has taken every book she needs from the school library. Mean girls Rosemary T. and Rosemary W. are the prime suspects, but Cinderella (generous and good as her namesake) finds a workaround using the public library. Series fans will chuckle at this third-grader’s constant search for her missing footwear, empathize as she deals with friends and enemies, and applaud when Charlie (Prince) offers Cinderella his basketball shoe for the walk home. Illustrated with Goode’s humorous cartoons. Grades 2-4. --Kay Weisman
“Cinderella continues to charm with her positive ways of making peace in her third-grade classroom.” (Seattle Times)
Fans of this series will appreciate the subtle changes that happen in these sunny stories. The boys and girls are growing up and noticing each other in different ways-they solve problems and forgive each other. Goode’s black-and-white illustrations add humor and emotion to the story. (Kirkus Reviews)
praise for CINDERELLA SMITH: “Funny and clever! Readers will love this modern day Cinderella. It’s a delight…with the most satisfying ending.” (Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor winner and author of best-selling Polk Street School series)
Top customer reviews
At the outset this book looks like another variation on the quirky girl vanquishes mean girls formula. There's nothing particularly wrong with that, but there are a lot of those books around at the moment and I suspect that even elementary school readers are getting a bit tired of mean girls and bullies. Well, this book will confound you by repeatedly zigging when you expect a zag, and by offering startling and rewarding insights just when you expect the usual.
We start with Cinderella and the tentative beginning of her friendship with new classmate Erin. The growing friendship between the two is perfectly drawn. As this series progresses they will become equal partners and completely in sync and supportive of each other. They constitute the BFF ideal and I would have been happy with this book if it were nothing more than a school daze tale that followed these two around on their adventures. Cinderella's "humorous quirk" is that she's always losing one or both of her shoes, (hence the nickname). This is a bit precious, but it ends up being just a low-key running joke so it doesn't really detract from the story.
The balance of the characters are Cinderella's classmates, a few teachers, parents, and Cinderella's little sister. All of these characters are surprisingly authentic, realistically drawn, and more important than usual to the overall story. Especially important in this volume is Cinderella's Mom, and the two have an almost ideal relationship.
Along the same line, Cinderella's relationship with her younger sister is normal and decent, Mom and Dad are sympathetic and supportive parent figures, teachers are alert and in control, and while there is no cloying Mayberry cuteness there is a general air of decency and fair play to everything that happens in the book. This is balanced by the occasional bit of edginess and a certain sharpness that underlines the fact that nice doesn't mean sappy.
The main plot is slight and is driven by conflict with a mean girl who is snarky but not really terribly mean and not a physical bully. She's mostly sneaky and so there is a lot "stink eye" action, which is fairly realistic and, at least to me, didn't go overboard, (although it came close). This is balanced by so much decent behavior by the remaining characters that it didn't detract from the book for me, and I guess as a practical matter there aren't too many options when it comes to adding drama to a third grade tale.
So, really, character driven elementary school fiction that defies most of the chapter book conventions? How can that not be good.
Please note that purchased this book myself. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
This is a cute book. It’s for the early MG crowd because of the word count and pacing, and I can see many children falling in love with Cinderella. She is simply charming. The plot was tight and the book moved well with its secondary characters and plot threads. I’ll look into reading the rest of the series.
Cinderella Smith is called that, not because she lives in a firepit or something, but because she always loses her shoes. It's weird that she loses them, it's too crazy, how can she lose them when they're in a shoebox?
I don't like the Rosemarys because they tattle tale on her and I can tell you why. I don't know why they don't like her anymore. Whenever she gets up to do stuff, they notice she's not wearing her shoes and that they're underneath her desk. They say in a mean way, "Cinderella's not wearing her shoes."
She makes me want to read on and on and on.
~ Emma, 3rd Grade