Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted. HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0-06-027510-3. $14.95. 232 pp. A 3+ FI Reviewed by Tom Wright Ella Enchanted is replete with fairies, ogres, giants, gnomes, magic spells; and it is a great story! Ella is a fifteen-year-old girl living in the kingdom of Kyrria. She has just lost her mother, and her father is indifferent to her, since he is engaged in fortune building. To make matters worse, Ella has a unique affliction. At birth, a foolish fairy cast a spell of obedience on her. Ella must obey any direct command given to her. The author works this plot line expertly as, time and again, Ella finds herself in precarious and often humorous positions. Throw in a prince charming, and you have a book that most young readers will thoroughly enjoy. What endears the reader to Ella is her tenacity. She never gives up fighting the curse of obedience. Even as her evil stepsisters take advantage of her, she maintains what dignity she can, often turning the tables on her tormentors. Told in first person, this tale allows the reader to see Ella's strength and stubbornness, as well as her true heart and compassion. This is a fun read, and the good news is that it is Carson's first book for young readers-hopefully the first of many.
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