Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and has been writing all her life. In high school, her poems were published in two anthologies of teenage poetry. She and her husband, David, collaborated on a children’s musical that was produced by a theater in Brooklyn. Today, she, David, and their Airedale, Jake, live in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in Brewster, New York. Ella Enchanted is her first book for children.
The book in one sentence: Young Ella was gifted a blessing by an ignoramus for a fairy that turned out to be a real curse – having to be obedient at all times!
Who would you recommend it to: Readers looking for a fairy tale with a refreshing twist.
OK bits: The plot and plot twists.
Boring bits: The tellings of the dreary antagonists; the less of them the better. (Okay, I think they were essential to the plot, but still!)
Random review quote:
“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.” — Kirkus Reviews
Verdict: This book won the Newbery Honor award and for good reason! It weaves the tale of Cinderella in a totally imaginative way and this is one rebel that anyone would root for! It’s no Stardust, but it definitely stands on its own. (And as a linguistic major, I found the morphology of the created languages of fairy tale creatures in the book somewhat fascinating.)