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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Blurb On The Back:

There is no descriptive Blurb on the Back, instead we get the following quotes:

”Gail Carson Levine has a real gift for humour, and her heroine is a real, live girl: strong, funny, assertive, and confused like all the rest of us. ELLA ENCHANTED is true, touching, and very funny.”
- Karen Cushman, author of the Newbery Medal-winning THE MIDWIFE’S APPRENTICE and the Newbery Honor book CATHERINE, CALLED BIRDY.


”Gail Carson Levine brings humor and wit to her story and gives us an intriguing, funny, spirited heroine. This book is fresh and charming!”
- Sharon Creech, author of the Newbery Medal-winning WALK TWO MOONS


”This refreshing take on one of the world’s most popular fairy tales preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous twists and a spunky, intelligent female lead.” (Pointer review)
- THE KIRKUS REVIEWS




When Ella was born her fairy godmother, Lucinda, gave her a dreadful gift: obedience so that Ella must always do what she’s told. Ella’s mother and cook, Mandy, are the only people who know the truth and they resolve to keep the secret from everyone (even Ella’s father). But when Ella’s mother dies, her father decides to take on a new wife in the form of the grasping Dame Olga, who brings two daughters of her own – Hattie and Olive. Despite a growing friendship with Prince Charmont, the heir to the throne, Ella’s packed off to boarding school where Hattie realises she has control over her young step-sister and abuses it to her advantage. Ella resolves to escape and in doing so, sets in motion a chain of events that might just answer all her problems.

Gail Carson Levine’s novel is a charming re-imagining of CINDERELLA. Ella is a brave, resourceful and spirited heroine – one who never gives up despite the ever worsening situation. She’s given a strong voice to tell her story and yet is not blind to her own faults. With her gift for languages and her willingness to engage with the other races in her kingdom – the gnomes and the ogres – you can understand why Prince Charmont likes her and he in turn, has humour and wit.

While the underlying story follows CINDERELLA there are enough additions and changes to keep the reader surprised – including scenes set in a boarding school, an interesting sub-plot following attempts to educate the fairy godmother Lucinda who completely fails to understand why her ‘gifts’ are so awful and the ambitions of the awful Hattie and Olive.

It’s easy to see why this won a Newberry Honor Award as it’s a cracking paced story told with charm and warmth so that it’s a delight from start to finish. This is a must-read for readers aged 8+ but will equally appeal to adults who are young at heart.

The Verdict:

A charming and warm retelling of CINDERELLA, this book was a huge amount of fun from beginning to end and kept me thoroughly entertained. I’d definitely recommend this for readers aged 8+ and those who remain young at heart.

Cross-posted to books, bookworming, fantasywithbite, kiddie_lit and middlebooks.
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