or Cinderella At My Daughter, But Only Because Someone Told Her To
What a cool premise: Ella of Frell (I know, Farscape fans, I know!) is under a spell that forces her to obey any order she receives. Sounds simple, but when you think about all the ways people use imperatives, it turns into the kind of mind-bender that I loved as a kid. Think about all the times you've told someone, "Try this!" It's fascinating to observe the spell's impact, and even more so to see how feisty, intelligent Ella gets around it.
There are wicked stepsisters and a ball and all that Cinderella jazz, but author Gail Carson Levine puts so much into her original part of the story that it could stand alone. The chance to match up bits of this story with the story most of us already know feels like icing on the cake.*
This is one of those books that came out after my own middle-grade years but before I came to children's literature professionally; I'm catching up on some of those lately now that the current awards wave has died down. Crazy as it is to have waited so long on this one, getting to read it for the first time kind of rocked.
*Image courtesy of CakeWrecks' Sunday Sweets.