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Levine, Gail Carson.
New York : Harper Trophy, 1997.
IL 5-8.
ISBN 0060275103

(5 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Hellooooooooo!  My name is Lucinda and I am the most beautiful, most gracious, most generous fairy godmother in all the realm.  There has never been a fairy godmother my equal.  It is my great pleasure to bestow wonderful gifts upon the very special creatures in my world at the occasion of their birth, or wedding, or any other event I deem noteworthy.  Ooooooo!  It is such a wonderful job I have!

However, there are some who seem displeased with my generosity.  One creature in particular comes to mind, a young human child, the daughter of a noble woman.  The young one's name is Ella.  I still remembr the day I came to Ella's christening.  She was a beautiful baby, but she would not stop crying.  There seemed to be nothing her mother or nanny could do.  Now, I know that Ella's nanny is one of us, but she did not seem to intervene.  I realized then what my gift would be to make this child the perfect creature.  I granted her the gift of obedience.  The next time her mother asked her sweetly to stop crying, she did.  Whenever anyone asks her to do anything, she does.  She should be the ideal child, but somehow she is not pleased.  As a matter of fact, that interfering nanny of hers had the nerve to tell me I had done something less than perfect!  Well, I was not about to listen to them, so I was off to another quarter of the land.  It has been many a year since I have seen Ella.  She must be a teen child by this tme.  But enough of that.  I know that I could never make a mistake.  I am the perfect fairy godmother.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be Ella?  Everything anyone told you to do, you would have to do.  You could not resist.  Even if they told you to stand on your head!

If you're interested in the days of knights and princes, orgres and pixies, and quests to find misguided fairy godmothers, you will love ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Levine.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

Every child longs for the day when he or she will be out from under the thumb of their meddling parents. When they will be free to do what they want instead of what they are told. For Ella, this is even more important. You see, Ella is under a spell that requires her to do everything people tell her to do. It seems like a fairy gave her a blessing at birth that back fired. The fairy blessed her with obedience. That blessing has turned into a nightmare. She battles ogres and wicked step sisters along the way. This is a delightful version of the Cinderella story with plenty of laughs and unexpected turns along the way.

Booktalk #3

                    An obedient child is looked upon with favor.  An obedient child is a blessing.  But is obedience truly a blessing?  What if obedience to others rules your life?  What if you are compelled to obey, no matter what the consequences might be, to yourself or to those you love?

                    That is the situation for Ella of Frell.  During her first hour of life, she cried so inconsolably that the fairy Lucinda, bestowed the gift of obedience upon her and told her to stop crying.  Infant Ella stopped. As she grew, she would always have to obey any order given her. When told to drink her medicine or go to bed, she would immediately do as exactly as she was told.  Harmless enough.  But if she is told to hand over all of her money or to cut off her own head, she must also do that, too.  Even her fairy godmother can offer no escape.  Interference in a spell is “big” magic and big magic always has consequences that are better avoided.  What can poor Ella do?  Must she always be a slave to those who would take advantage of her “gift?”  Can she find a way to escape her fate? A happy ending seems in doubt, but somehow courage and love may find a way.

                    You’ll be enchanted with Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine!  (Alice P. Brice., graduate student in Library and Information Science, University of SC)

Booktalk #4

When baby Ella was just an hour old she was granted a gift of obedience, by a fairy name Lucinda. The gift she received proved to be more of a curse for Ella. Ella was forced to obey any command directed to her even if it was to cut off her own head.  After Ella's mother died, Ella's evil stepmother sends her to finishing school with her two stepsisters, Hatti and Olive. Ella is face with a terrible decision when her love, prince Charmont demands to know her feelings for him. In sharing her affection Charmont would be placed in great danger. Does Ella defy her curse, or obey her gift of obedience?  (Justine Hoeftmann,,  college student)

Booktalk #5

It was my 5th birthday and our cook Mandy put a piece of cake on my plate and said, “Eat”. I ate the piece, and then another and another. I couldn’t stop eating, and didn’t know why. Mother then said, “Stop eating Ella,” and I stopped. That was when I had my first awareness of the “gift” I had been given when I was born. Although it was more like a curse, it was the gift of obedience given to me by a fairy named Lucinda. Whatever I was told to do, I had to do it no matter what. As the ogres would say, “she would even cook herself if we told her to.” Which is true, I have to do everything I am told. It was never a big problem until I was a little older after my mother passed away. I have adventures which involve elves, giants, ogres, and my horrible step sisters. My “gift” gets taken advantage of by many, but what am I to do? Is there any way I can escape my fate? Find out by reading Ella Enchanted, a modern fantasy novel by Gail Carson Levine.  (Katy Hattula,, college student)

SUBJECTS:     Fantasy
                        Girls -- Fiction


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