Monday, June 22, 2015

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is,  as the title says, enchanting.   The summary of the book says: 
How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?
At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!
But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres,
giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Ella is witty heroine who is determined to break the spell of obedience that was placed on her at birth.  Because of the curse she really has no choice other than to obey, no matter if the task is evil or good.  She hates that she has a curse of obedience, so she obeys stubbornly.  Ella Enchanted is somewhat of a spin off of Cinderella. Like Cinderalla,  Ella has two stepsister who happen to find out that Ella has to obey their every command.  I found myself hoping that some how Ella would not have to obey their evil desires.

Char is everything a prince should be, good, kind and of strong character.  He finds a friend in Ella, but can anything come of it?  Ella has been commanded not to tell anyone of her curse, but if someone finds out they can use her to destroy the kingdom through her relationship with Char. Through the whole book I was cheering Char and Ella on, hoping that Ella could some how break the curse so that they could live happily ever after.

There are so many lessons that can be learned in the book.  For parents, it is always a great thing when your child is obedient and maybe it would even be nice if they had to be obedient. But what kind of life would that be? And what if they are obedient to the point that they steal, lie or cheat because someone told them they had to?  I would rather have a child that chooses to be obedient instead of one that resents it because they have to be obedient.

Ella Enchanted is a great book to set down with your children and read it with them.  Then discuss who we should be obedient to and when. Teach them that sometimes its okay not to follow an order if it is against our standards or what we feel in our hearts is the right choice.

If you have watched the movie Ella Enchanted don't rule out reading the book.  The book is so much better. The movie added so many things in it that were not in the book. I was disappointed that the movie didn't follow the book more closely.  I enjoyed the book and was expecting to really enjoy the movie.

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