This author has been nominated for a Newbery several times, and if you look at her stories you’ll see why. She seems to specialize in “coming of age” stories for young girls–you know the type…the main character is a pre-teen girl who has a problem with gossip, or bullying, or being mean, or something of that nature, and must learn a life lesson in 150 pages or less. What nice about this author is she always gives the books a taste of the supernatural in some way or another, which makes them just that much more interesting.
Ella Enchanted is the book the Disney movie of the same name was based on. The story is of a young girl who received gifts from her fairy god mothers on the day she was born, a la Sleeping Beauty. Her last gift was bad, however. She was given the gift of total obedience–she had to obey any direct command. She grew up with this burden, learning the intricacies of the spell, until one day it led her on an adventure of life and love.
The story was sweet, the ending was Disney perfect (in fact, the entire book was practically written like a Disney movie) and the overall feel was nice. The only problem I had with the book were those inevitable moments of discomfort that are so prevalent in these types of stories. Our heroin is put into some embarrassing situation due to her condition. I’ve always hated that. I don’t even like sitcoms because of that sort of thing. However, despite the embarrassment factor, I still enjoyed the book.