Dan Rogers's Reviews > Just Ella

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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's review
Oct 03, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

We are all familiar with the traditional ending to fairy tales "and they lived happily ever after." But what if they didn't live happily ever after? That is the premise of this book. Cinderella has moved into the castle in anticipation of her upcoming wedding to Prince Charming. While there she is being taught how to be a princess. How she should act, what she should do, and what will be expected of her. As she receives this training, she begins to realize that she doesn't like this. What is she to do? Is she on the road to a boring, monotonous rest of her life? Well, if so, can she change that? How? What's a "princess to be" to do?

As I read I was quite interested to find out how the author was going to take Cinderella through the answers to these questions. The ways she was able to do this made me come to a real appreciation for the type of person Cinderella really is. She is tough, resourceful, imaginative, and still just a regular person. One not afraid to get her hands dirty or to do anything that other common people would do. In fact, she does something that I'm not sure that I would even be willing or able to do. It makes for a quite interesting story.

In the past year I have read several books by this author, each unique in its own way. In doing so I am becoming a fan. She, like Avi (who by the way is my favorite children's author), writes in a couple of different genres including Realistic Fiction which is bordering on fairy tale and Science Fiction with a dystopian setting. She also is currently writing a series of novels which are Science Fiction with time travel playing a significant role. Although I believe that boys could enjoy this book I would be surprised if any of them read it. Girls, on the other hand, may very well love this book, both for it's near fairy tale story as well as for the fact that Cinderella is a strong, resourceful female character.

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