L-Crystal Wlodek's Reviews > Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
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Feb 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio-dvd-cd-and-multimedia, traditional-lite

At birth, Ella is placed under a curse by a fairy named Lucinda. Ella’s curse is obedience; she must obey anything anyone tells her. Her mother dies, leaving her in the care of her father. stepmother, and two stepsisters. Ella’s unhappiness with her living situation causes her to search for freedom and self-discovery, in addition to finding Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince. This Cinderella version is very interesting and delightful as there is still a pumpkin coach, glass slipper, and a happy ending, but how these all come about is very different.

This chapter book is centered around the traditional tale of Cinderella and has different events and themes when comparing it to the original story of Cinderella. For example, there is a twist and differences in the female roles played in fairytales portrayed in this version. Ella also shows ambition and determination throughout the book. In addition, Ella’s relationship with the prince is based upon respect and laughter, rather than love. Therefore, the themes in this book are a bit different and are not focused on love, but instead focused on determination, respect, uniqueness, and gender roles. This book would be best used with older readers when comparing and contrasting different Cinderella versions and when focusing on the meaning of character. I experienced this story in the form of an audio book. It was very enjoyable because it was done similar to the format of performance theater, instead of just a read-along. Therefore, when listening, the reader becomes a part of the story and may even learn things herself concerning respect, determination, and character as she transforms alongside the main character.
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Ruth Thank you for your comments about the audio format for this book--most helpful when considering its use in the classroom.


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