Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fairy Tale Review: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift -- the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely 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 -- once and for all.

My Review:
Ella Enchanted provides a new take on the old Cinderella story. In it the fairy godmother isn’t the only fairy in Ella’s life. The other is Lucinda, a foolish fairy who gifts her with obedience. It’s more of a curse than a gift, but Ella isn’t about to let a little thing like having to obey hold her back.

This book was a lot of fun. Ella’s workarounds and spunk had me laughing, but I also felt for her plight. I also thought the step-sisters were a lot more entertaining than the ugly ones in the traditional fairy tale. The extremely self-interested one and the not so bright demanding one.

Despite having seen the movie beforehand, I didn’t know what would happen. It was obvious from the start that the movie and the book are mostly the same in spirit. I loved both, but they are different.

Overall, I loved this story. I’d recommend it to folks who enjoy quirky fairy tale retellings.

I borrowed Ella Enchanted from the library.

About the Author:
Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf, illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a 1790 farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.  

Author Links:
Author's Webpage