*A wonderful follow-up to the first Hero's Guide. I was worried that it wouldn't be as good (sequel-syndrome), but the characters grew, the story moved along nicely, and it made me even more excited for book 3. Everyone's place in the group is questioned in this book, including their place within their relationships.
I read this book for a different purpose than just to review, I wanted to really look at the princesses in the book for our girl power series we'll be doing at the end of the month and I am so impressed at the different personalities and how each princess is so unique.
Mentor text for: Making connections (like fractured fairy tales), Characterization, Multiple Story Lines, Humor, Rhyming Poetry/Songs (p. 4 et al.), Foreshadowing, Letter Writing (p. 208), Grammar (Princes Charming, Dwarves), Idioms (p. 311), Synonyms (p. 361), Oral Tradition (the bards) ...more
3.5 stars We have all known the Cinderella story since we were little kids. Either through our parents telling it to us at bedtime or the Disney classic with Bipity-boppity-bo. And because this story has always been in our lives, we don't question much about it. But what happened in the castle before the ball? What happened after the ball? Where is Cinderella's other slipper? What is the prince like? All of a sudden, as I thought about it, I had so many questions that could be answered if someone else would tell the story. Now thanks to The Other Slipper, the spectacular adventure that we never knew happened.
Before I continue, I wanted to share a conversation I had just yesterday. Do we need to know the answers to questions? Yesterday at the Scholastic Warehouse sale, we got talking about prequels and if you should read them before the first book or after like the author wrote it. I really like prequels and sequels because even though I love having my own opinion on a book and predicting what I think is going to happen, but I also love hearing what the author had in mind. [And if you were wondering my opinion, I think you should read the prequel in the order that the author published it.]
So, if you are like me, you love fairy tale retellings because it goes deeper into the fairy tale. The Other Slipper takes the very story of Cinderella that we know and shows us what is happening behind the scenes. Kenechi Udogu's story, though, is not just a story to live in Cinderella's limelight- it is a story that stands on its own feet and is actually a fun, fantastical adventure.
Read Together: Grades 6 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 7 and up
Read With: Cinderella, Chinese Cinderella Adeline Yen Mah, Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
Snatch of Text: "The girl who stepped down from the carriage was simply beautiful, a delightful combination of flawless skin and delicate features. Her hair was held up at the top of her head with strings of shiny pearls and her gown, like the carriage, was exquisitely detailed and in a unusual style." (Kindle Location 161)
Mentor Text for: Allusion, Point of View, Predicting
Writing Prompts: Take an object from a fairy tale that has some unanswered questions (Sleeping Beauty's spindle, Rapunzel's tower, etc.) and write your own fairy tale explaining what happened to them.
I LOVE retellings of fairy tales and this one is no exception. And what is even better about this one is it is HILARIOUS! It reminds me a bit of Shrek except I liked the humor in Hero's Guide better because I feel it is a very smart funny. Just the concept is funny and smart- the four Princes Charming from the Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty stories star in this book (unlike the original stories where they don't even get credit with their real name!) and the Princes each have such a fun, unique personality.
While reading this, the teacher in me found many different parts that I could use- specifically when talking about point of views. I already use The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and the movie "Hoodwinked" to discuss it and Hero's Guide will be a perfect addition. I even found a part that made grammar funny!! And there is foreshadowing, a perfect plot arc, and suspense. ...more
I will say that this book started off a bit slow and confusing for me, but I always find that with a new fantasy book. I just had to get used to the nI will say that this book started off a bit slow and confusing for me, but I always find that with a new fantasy book. I just had to get used to the new world. It did help that it kind of took place in New York City, which I am familiar with, so I think that made it easier to grasp the new world. And once I had a handle, boy was the ride fun! Neef and Changeling are such fun characters and meeting all the fairy tale folk throughout the book was fabulous!
Mostly I am excited about this book as a teacher and I really think that students will enjoy and learn from this book.
Changeling gives us a world called The New York In-Between which is a magical world that is parallel to NYC. I love this book specifically as a teacher, though, because of a couple reasons:
1)Delia Sherman uses magical folk from folklore from all over the world in the novel. We meet Boggarts from England, Dryads from Greece, Chin Chia from China, etc. (And it has a glossary of all the fairy tale folk.) How much fun would this be to use with a folk lore lesson?!?!?
2) She also has some literary folk that live in the NY In-between such as The Water Rat from The Wind in the Willows("A writer made him up, but he was so real that he took on a life of his own").
3) Lastly, Astris, the fairy godmother, tells fairy tales to Neef, the main character, but they are all New York-ified. For example, "Little Red Riding Hood" becomes "Little Red Baseball Cap"- How much fun would it be to have students write their own version of the stories using Astris's titles?!?!?! ...more
This is not a retelling of the Cinderella story we know, this is a retelling of the traditional Chinese Cinderella story. Although it has similaritiesThis is not a retelling of the Cinderella story we know, this is a retelling of the traditional Chinese Cinderella story. Although it has similarities to Grimm's version of the story, the difference of culture clearly changed aspects of the story. I loved how Donna Jo Napoli, as she explained in her afterwords, set Bound in a specific time in history so she could also include the conflict of bound feet in the story. The binding of feet is symbolic of the permanent servitude that women in China have subjected to. By adding the bound feet to the story, it was just one more thing that Xing Xing, our Cinderella, had to overcome. ...more
Alyss Heart told Lewis Carrol the real story of Wonderland, but he decided to tell his own version. Now, you can read the true version of Alyss's adveAlyss Heart told Lewis Carrol the real story of Wonderland, but he decided to tell his own version. Now, you can read the true version of Alyss's adventures in wonderland- Princess Alyss to be exact. Alyss's story begins at her 7th birthday party. Queen Geneve and Alyss are at her party, while they wait for King Nolan to return from negotiations with a bordering kingdom. While the Alyss celebrates, in the distance Redd looms ready to attack. How will this play out? What happens next?
This book is a wonderful version of Alice/Alyss's story. Many of the facts about Lewis Carrol and Alice Liddel are true, which make it even historically interesting. I recommend this to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings, Alice in Wonderland, or just a good fantasy adventure. ...more
Galen has lived his whole life on the battlefield and has lost all he has loved. But now the war is over and he must find long lost relatives. He findGalen has lived his whole life on the battlefield and has lost all he has loved. But now the war is over and he must find long lost relatives. He finds his aunt and uncle and they give him a job working for his uncle at the palace's garden. At the palace is where he met Rose. Rose is one of twelve princesses, all who are cursed. With the help of an invisibility cloak, wool given to him from an old women, a spry old gardener and his determination, Galen has decided that he is going to help the princesses free themselves from the curse.
Jessica Day George has again outdone herself. Princess of the Midnight Ball is an adventure filled with fantasy and romance. Will true love be able to conquer all? ...more
Take The Secret Garden throw in some folk tales, a dash of mysterious characters, and a handful of Ellen Potter's luscious descriptions and you have yourself The Humming Room. Ellen Potter does a great job of capturing what we all loved about The Secret Garden- the secrets, the mystery, the hope; but she also added in her own touches through a unique setting on the St. Lawrence River and the folk tales that exist in this magical place. I also loved Roo much more than Mary from The Secret Garden. I understood why Roo was angry and acting the way she was while I always felt that Mary was just being spoiled and rude. And Roo is a character than many will connect with. Her subtle way of going about life and appreciating so many little things is a beautiful quality. Also, some readers will connect with her need for isolation and her disconnect from other people- a quality that is not often found in a book and just might be what this reader needs. Overall, a beautiful book giving homage to a wonderful classic. ...more
Why does Captain Hook only have one hand? Why can Peter Pan fly? Where is Neverland? And why do the lost boys live there? Why can't the other lost boyWhy does Captain Hook only have one hand? Why can Peter Pan fly? Where is Neverland? And why do the lost boys live there? Why can't the other lost boys fly? Why is Captain Hook afraid of a crocodile?
These questions along with others that you may have after reading or watching Peter Pan are answered in this prequel. ...more
What a fun middle grade graphic novel filled with King Arthur allusions. We have Arthur King, Merlyn, Ladies of the Lunch, Percival, Camelot School, GWhat a fun middle grade graphic novel filled with King Arthur allusions. We have Arthur King, Merlyn, Ladies of the Lunch, Percival, Camelot School, Gwen, and a magical locker only the chosen one can open and gives him what he wishes for- clever! Would be such a fun way to teach allusions and the Legend of King Arthur.
Originally read: June 11, 2009 Reread: July 21, 2012...more
Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst is the sequel to Into the Wild. I, personally, enjoyed Out of the Wild as much, if not more, than the first book.Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst is the sequel to Into the Wild. I, personally, enjoyed Out of the Wild as much, if not more, than the first book. It begins with Northsboro recovering from The Wild taking over and Julie's life finally being back to normal; however, that can't last too long. Next thing Julie knows, The Wild eats one of the Three Blind Mice, but instead of growing, spits out her father! But to Julie's surprise, her dad doesn't want to sit around and be a normal family- instead he wants to continue being a hero and leaves almost immediately to try and save a princess. Julie, trying to stop him, follows and goes on a humorous and action-packed adventure across America.
Ice by Sarah Beth Durst is a twist on an obscure Norwegian fairy tale which I only have recently become acquainted with.
Cassie is about to turn 18. SIce by Sarah Beth Durst is a twist on an obscure Norwegian fairy tale which I only have recently become acquainted with.
Cassie is about to turn 18. She has lived her entire life in the artic learning to become an arctic explorer, just like her father. The book opens with Cassie following a polar bear who suddenly disappears before she is able to tranquilize it. Cassie is facinated with how a polar bear could suddenly disappear into the ice, so she shares the phenom with her father who immediately begins freaking out and saying that Cassie has to go live with her grandmother. But Cassie doesn't want to go and decided to go look for the polar bear- what makes him special? Will she succeed?
I've also read Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George which is about the same Norwegian fairy tale. I believe that Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow explains the fairy tale better than Ice, but I they both deserve five stars. They are very much seperate and independent novels, but of course there is overlap. Ice deals more with the romance and love, while Sun and Moon... deals with loyalty and trust. ...more