Cason Levine, G. (1998). Ella enchanted. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Humor
Reading/Interest Level: Ages 8+
Similar Titles: Harry Potter, Cinderella, Beauty
Awards: Won ALA Notable Books for Children Award (1998), nominated for numerous others
Plot: Given the gift of obedience by her fairy godmother, Lucinda, has turned into a curse for Ella. Obedience runs its toll on Ella as she must do everything asked of her; the fact is kept a secret by Ella's mother and cook, but then her mother dies and Ella's secret is discovered by a future stepsister. At this point Ella is desperate to find a way to undo her gift and goes on a journey to locate Lucinda and ask for help removing the "gift" she was given. Along the way, she meets many new friends including Prince Charmont who lends a princely hand. Will Ella succeed in ridding herself of this "curse" or will she learn something about herself along the journey?
Personal Thoughts: I truly enjoyed this Cinderella-esque story. The twist the story is ingenious. The way the tale rolls from one adventure to another will provide endless moments of fun for readers. Ella is a strong female character who would be a good role model for girls.