Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
Newbery Honor Book – 1998
AR Level: 4.6
Recommended for: Anyone who loves tough girls and a good fairy tale.
Themes: Fairy tales; coming of age
If you’ve only seen the movie, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! You must read the book. A good friend suggested this book a while back — her daughter had enjoyed it. I thought “well, the movie was nice, but so simple — why would I bother reading the book?” It was a good movie, but Ella Enchanted is an excellent book. Even though I knew perfectly well that it was all going to end Happily Ever After, each time I left the story, I couldn’t wait to get back to find out what would happen next. The story is a variation on Cinderella, but in this version, Ella has real personality and wins over the prince, not due to her great beauty, but because he just likes her. She’s smart, tough, funny, independent, honest, and so determined to do right, even when it could cause her to lose everything important to her, that you can hardly wait for the Happily Ever After to finally come. And when it does…you laugh out loud with happiness for this girl you know doesn’t even really exist, and your own world of Just-Another-Day-of-Drafting-Boring-Contracts becomes just a little bit brighter.