Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
This is a book I come back to again and again. There is something about Ella that has endless appeal to awkward young girls. Cursed with the “gift” of obedience Ella struggles to take control of her life and when the curse stands between her and happiness. This is probably my favorite retelling of Cinderella. Levine has an attention to detail that doesn’t drown you, but simply makes you giggle every time Olive counts her money. Ironically though I enjoy the film version I wish I had never watched it because it is impossible to not let it affect how you read the book.
Newbery Honor 1998