As part of my son’s 3rd grade class, I’ll be reading some books with a small group for discussions. Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine, is a Cinderella-like story about a young girl who loses her mother, an absentee father, and a disagreeable step-mother and sisters. We learn that shortly after Ella’s birth a fairy gave her the gift of obedience. By the time she’s 5, her mother and kitchen servant realize that this wasn’t a gift but a curse.
Within the story, there’s lots of magical creatures: elves, ogres, fairies, all who have different abilities and languages. Ella must find a way to end her curse before her Step-family take everything from her.
Cute variation of the traditional Cinderella story, where Ella has more power and control over her life and doesn’t depend on magic or a man to save her. Still plenty of young romance too.
Perfect for a 3rd – 5th grader.
Read December 2017
When I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I was home from my first year of college and read it at the request of my friend’s mother. She taught 6th grade and wanted to know if I thought the novel was appropriate for a 6th grader, or if it was too mature or scary. I read it, liked it, and gave it a glowing recommendation for a 6th grader, and never thought about it for years after. Then suddenly, Harry Potter seems to be everywhere and everyone read them! I think I might have been a few years to old to be in the main age grouping, and way too sophisticated of a college student to follow up on a novel that I recommend to a 6th grader…
Years later, I’ve watched most of the movies, but never read any of the other books, for no particular reason. I re-read parts of this novel with my then 4 year-old son and watched the movie. Again, I enjoyed the book but didn’t take it further than my son’s interest. I think the second novel, which we started together but never got very far, was too scary for my son and the novel was put down and forgotten.
I’ve just finished reading this novel again with my 6 year-old daughter and 8 year-old son, and I again loved it. But this time, both my kids are crazy for it!! We finished this book and have already started the next one!! Since we’re home for summer, I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep this up in the school year, but its exiting to read something that entertains the kids so much! They seem to be the perfect age for this book. While parts can be scary, it helps to be reading it aloud together so we can talk about anything that bothers them. In fact, while I’m writing this post, they interrupted me to ask to read more Harry Potter!! I love it!
I don’t feel the need to sum up this novel since most people know these series and the title gives a good reminder of the storyline. This is a well written story full of imagination and magic!
Read August 2017
Several years ago I started writing down all the books I’d read so that I wouldn’t accidentally read a book more than once. About 2 1/2 years ago, I moved it to a blog to make it easier. This is my 147th post documented on this blog.
The entire time I was reading The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser, I felt like I knew the story. In fact, I checked this blog multiple times to see if I entered the name of the novel or author incorrectly. It was nowhere to be found, so I kept reading thinking that I’d read too many mysteries and they started blurring together.
This is a great novel about how cults can rule their followers, how great detectives have a hard time getting over their own prejudices, and how the murder of young children can devastate a community. And again, the whole time the novel felt familiar. I guessed the killer when I didn’t think there were any clues pointing in that direction. But I kept going because this writing style and social critique was such a joy to read.
I finally pulled out my handwritten book journal and surprise, surprise, I read this book back in September 2012, over 3 1/2 years and more than 150 books ago.
Still a great read and I really should trust my instinct more.
Read again April 2016.