Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Palmer, Robin. 2008. CINDY ELLA. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780142403921 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]
Cindy Ella Gold lives in a big house in L.A. with her emotionally absent father, resentful stepmother, and two self-absorbed stepsisters. When the senior prom approaches, everyone at Cindy’s high school becomes obsessed with finding the perfect dress and date for the big night. After Cindy dares to write an editorial critiquing the shallow pursuit of prom perfection, she becomes a social outcast. Eventually even her two best friends, and fellow free spirits, decide to attend the big event. However, Cindy enjoys a magical non-prom evening with a mystery prince of her own.
Robin Palmer’s modern day Cinderella story works well with the hype surrounding senior proms. Cindy’s sense of humor and intelligence are apparent in her sarcastic comments and thoughtful critiques of modern American culture. Even her therapist sessions and internal dialogue are hilarious. Palmer presents an appealing heroine with a real voice. This is a character that teenage girls can relate to and enjoy.
Palmer’s witty and timely novel would make an entertaining book club selection. While this book is an adaptation of the Cinderella story, girls that enjoy realistic fiction will also like this novel due to the modern setting and dialogue.
Other adapted Cinderella novels for young adults:
Cabot, Meg. THE PRINCESS DIARIES. ISBN 9780380814022
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. JUST ELLA. ISBN 9781416936497
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. PALACE OF MIRRORS. ISBN 9781416939153
Levine, Gail Carson. ELLA ENCHANTED. ISBN 9780064407052
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird