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Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery) Paperback – May 2, 2017
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At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery, trying to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you've ever read.
Gail Carson Levine's examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him. Ella Enchanted has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor. (Ages 9 to 14) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
This lighthearted fantasy and recent Newbery Honor book re-invents the Cinderella story. "A winning combination of memorable characters and an alluring fantasy realm," said PW in a starred review. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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A fairy put a spell on Ella at birth, making her obey any command given to her. The book follows Ella through the ups and downs of her life after the death of her mother and her quest to break her awful curse. The story starts out original and unpredictable, however it gradually comes to resemble another well-known fairy tale until at the very end it is entirely revealed to be that certain traditional fairy tale (not to give anything away for those who haven't read it yet - I will say that you can figure it out by looking at the names of the characters and take into account the involvment of fairies or fairy godmothers - or just read the publisher's description of it here on Amazon).
While I liked the character-driven story (in fact, some of my favorite parts were its dialogue and especially the interactions between Ella and Prince Char), I was a little disappointed that by the end it was that particular traditional storyline. Even though Ella is much more fleshed out with such a realistic personality as compared to the classic story heroine, part of me wishes this book could have been completely original and never tied into the traditional story at all. I feel that it could have had so much more potential and originality if the last 20 or so pages hadn't, essentially, been a cop-out. Its strengths definitely lie within its characters and its weakness lies in the ending. Overall a very good book and I can personally accept the ending in order to enjoy the rest of the book.
My one problem is that the first part of the story is heavily populated with elves, fairies, giants and even a pet centaur, but these elements are unceremoniously dropped, not to be mentioned again. In all other respects, however, this is a wonderful update of the classic fairy tale, with elements from that story adapted with ingenuity and humor. Well done!
Most recent customer reviews
Ella of Frell was given a terrible gift at her birth - the gift of Obedience.Read more