Janet Jensen's Reviews > Cinderskella

Cinderskella by Amie Borst
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it was amazing

Okay, middle school is a difficult time of life even if you aren't grieving and you don't change into a skeleton every night. When Cindy's curse is revealed to her, as you can imagine, life takes some very unexpected turns. True to the traditional Cinderella story, this tale also features a charming young man, a missing shoe, a stepmother and stepsisters, a father who seems to be clueless, and a confusing list of chores that must be done before a girl can go to the dance.

However, Cindy discovers there are advantages to becoming a skeleton at night:
You become your own hands-on science lesson
You can visit loved ones in the Underworld
Your ribs become fascinating self-entertaining musical instruments
You don't need a Halloween costume
You can enjoy some payback and scare the living daylights out of your grumpy neighbor
All the scary movies you've ever watched come in handy
You can't blush
And...there are no bad hair days!

There are disadvantages, though, to Cindy's strange curse:
You could become a dog's midnight snack
You must obey curfews or everyone will know your secret
Loose bones can make a lot of clattering noises
Food never sticks to your ribs; eating is a messy proposition
You can't have sleepovers if you want to keep your secret
Grown-ups in your life seem to know things they won't tell you.

In Cinderskella, nobody is quite who they seem to be, including your father, neighbors, stepmother, and stepsisters. No one really explains your strange curse until the very end, when you finally put all the clues together.

Written by mother-daughter writing team of Amie and Bethanie Borst, Cinderskella is a unique and engaging middle grade read. The "time-outs" within the story give the reader an occasional reality check, and the illustrations capture Cinderskella's unusual world with humor and understanding. Can a book about a twelve year-old girl by day and skeleton by night be heartwarming? Absolutely.

The Borsts' book also offers a commentary on middle-school life as Cindy discovers some universal truths: In life, loss is inevitable, being different isn't all that bad after all . . . and growing up is painful, no matter who you are.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 22, 2013 – Finished Reading
October 23, 2013 – Shelved

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