Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella - Melissa Lemon This is, of course, the retelling of Cinderella in an unusual way. In fact, Cinderella is actually two sisters who look alike. Also, unlike the faerie tale we are used to reading, the other two sisters are spoiled, but are not step sisters. There were two loving parents in the home until one night when an evil prince comes to whisper falsehoods into the ears of the parents. The lies capture the attention to the father who disappears soon after. The family does not know if he is alive or dead and their home life follows the fathers self-destruction.

As the children grow, the mother becomes increasingly self-involved and throws herself into her work to escape her own emotions. Cinder finds work outside the home and Ella escapes because she finds she has become invisible to the household. In fact, both sisters become one in the minds of the family and so they are called Cinderella. Ella finds a family who loves and nurtures each other and she learns quite a bit from their love. As she settles into her new life, the prince schemes to get back Ella to his kingdom. However, no one knows why or what he has planned for Ella.

I have seen this book touted for the YA crowd, but honestly, I think it is so much better suited for the middle age group. It is also perfect for those kids who suddenly find themselves in a broken home or with parents who are completely self-centered in one way or another. It shows that no matter who is betraying you or who cannot see the real you, it still can be okay. In fact, you can become your own advocate and find others that can and will support you when things go bad. An important lesson for young kids finding themselves in the middle of some sort of family disturbance.

I give this book 3 stars! My only complaint was the King and how he acted. It didn't quite make sense to me, but truly, he was not the focus of the story. Nor should he overpower the strength of Ella. I'm glad that didn't happen. I highly recommend this book to MG kids especially those in a chaotic setting.