Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Premise: As a newborn, Ella received a fairy's gift - to always be obedient. Ever since, she has to follow every command, from "sit down" to "run along." The obedience curse becomes even more troublesome when Ella's dad tries to find her a suitor. Now, Ella is desperate to find the fairy and reverse the curse. This quest leads to encounters with trolls, battles with ogres, and surprising discoveries.

Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Length: 232 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Series or Stand Alone: Stand alone
Content Appropriate For: Grades 5-8
Format: Paperback from classroom library

Three adjectives that describe this book: fun, amusing, creative

Ella Enchanted is a re-imagined Cinderella. All the elements are there - a prince, a ball, a pumpkin coach, glass slippers, and mean step-sisters. But this version has an entirely different Cinderella. She's feisty and funny and a joy to spend time with. And the fantasy creatures are fascinating - especially the mind controlling ogres!

Ella Enchanted is a Newberry Honor book and was made into a fun movie starring Anne Hathaway:

The added premise of the obedience curse made for a brilliantly woven web of complexity. And I was totally caught off-guard by the level of intelligent-humor in the story. Ella is super-witty, making this book straight-up fun. Of course, by its nature, this story has a central romance and I'm not much for romance. Luckily, both protagonists were intelligent and no one moped around mooning.

Highly recommended for people who like feisty, witty, female-protagonists and creative creatures in a familiar-ish world.

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