Ella enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

Book - 1997

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Levine, Gail Carson Checked In
Children's Room jFICTION/Levine, Gail Carson Checked In
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Subjects
Published
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers 1997.
Language
English
Physical Description
232 p.
ISBN
9780060275105
9780060558864
0060275111
0060275103
0606130993
Main Author
Gail Carson Levine (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ Gr. 5^-8. The canon of retold fairy tales encompasses some distinguished titles, among them, Robin McKinley's Beauty (1978) and Donna J. Napoli's Zel (1996). Now room must be made for Levine's superbly plotted and thoroughly enjoyable retelling of the Cinderella story. Ella is blessed by a fairy at birth with the gift of obedience. But the blessing is a horror for Ella, who must literally do what everyone tells her, from sweeping the floor to giving up a beloved heirloom necklace. After her mother dies, and her covetous, caustic father leaves on a trading trip, Ella's world is turned upside down. She battles both ogres and wicked stepsisters, makes friends and loses them, and must deny her love for her prince, Charmant, to save his life and his realm. In making this ultimate sacrifice, she breaks the curse. As a beloved friend tells her, "You rescued yourself when you rescued the prince." As finely designed as a tapestry, Ella's story both neatly incorporates elements of the original tale and mightily expands them, not only with the myriad consequences of the curse but also with a heroine so spirited that she wins readers' hearts. ((Reviewed April 15, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Levine's artful debut novel features a spunky heroine whose trials, all faced with admirable steadiness, give new twists to the classic Cinderella story. Ella is burdened with a curse (she cannot disobey a command), bestowed at birth as a gift from an addled fairy and this plus the loss of her beloved mother causes all sorts of troubles. Before her death, Ella's mother commands her daughter to keep the curse a secret only the cook, Mandy, who is also a fairy, knows the truth. Although Mandy won't use what she calls "big magic," she does give Ella a magical book that, through glimpses of other people's correspondence, lets her see what is going on in the lives of her new friend, Prince Charmont, her soon-to-be stepsisters and her greedy father. Levine ably creates tension between the good and evil characters, throwing in an assortment of ogres, elves and gnomes. Young readers will be charmed by the budding romance between Ella and her prince and touched by her crippling fear of hurting the prince via the curse. After a humorous and inventive re-enactment of Cinderella's three appearances at the royal ball, the action concludes with a slightly skewed but happy ending. Although the pace of the story flags in spots, and the author never wholly engages a suspension of disbelief (Ella's for example, when she tames ogres who want to make a meal of her), Levine provides a winning combination of memorable characters and an alluring fantasy realm that will leave readers with hopes of future tales of Ella and Prince Char. Ages 8-12. (May) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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. (Apr.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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. (Apr.)

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

The "Cinderella" story is the jumping-off point for an original novel that nevertheless remains grounded in the traditional fairy tale. The plot turns upon a most unwelcome gift, bestowed on Ella at birth by the foolish fairy Lucinda: Ella must always be obedient no matter what the command. When her mother dies, Ella's life takes a definite turn for the worse. She soon meets Dame Olga and her two disagreeable daughters, who will obviously become the wicked stepsisters. There is much of this story to unfold before that happens, however. Ella becomes a good friend of Prince Char, heir apparent to the throne; is sent off to finishing school; and goes on a journey among ogres and giants in search of Lucinda in the hope of having her gift rescinded. When Ella and Prince Char are about to declare their love for one another, she realizes that she could endanger the entire kingdom and she renounces her feelings for him. How these difficulties resolve themselves into a "happily ever after" ending makes for absorbing reading. Ella is a delightful young woman, bright, witty, and resourceful. Prince Char is everything a good prince should be yet comes off as a credible character. The stepmother and sisters are appropriately avaricious, mean-spirited, and selfish. Like Robin McKinley's Beauty (HarperCollins, 1978) and Donna Jo Napoli's Zel (Dutton, 1996), this is a rich and creative retelling of a fairy tale. It is lighter in tone than those novels, however, having more in common with the fractured fairy tales of William Brooke. A thoroughly enchanting novel that deepens and enriches the original tale. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5-8 Cinderella meets Goody Two-shoes in this tale about a girl cursed by the "gift" of obedience. Ella is, nonetheless, a take-charge, intuitive heroine who, despite her love for Prince Char, learns how to just say, "no." (Apr.) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This beloved Newbery Honor-winning story about a feisty heroine is sure to enchant readers new and old. At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy's gift'the 'gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it's to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate...Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This beloved Newbery Honor-winning story about a feisty heroine is sure to enchant readers new and old. At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy's gift'the 'gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it's to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate...Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.A tween favorite for 20 years'now shared with today's young readers by moms, teachers, and other adults who remember the pleasure of discovering this fun fairy-tale retelling themselves!

Review by Publisher Summary 4

This beloved Newbery Honor-winning story about a feisty heroine is sure to enchant readers new and old. At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy's gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it's to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate...Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.A tween favorite for 25 years—now shared with today's young readers by moms, teachers, and other adults who remember the pleasure of discovering this fun fairy-tale retelling themselves!