Every child longs for the day when he or she will be free from meddling parents and bossy grownups. For young Ella, the heroine of Gail Carson Levine's Newbury Honor-winning debut novel, this is more than a fanciful wish; it could be a matter of life or death. Placed under the spell of a blundering fairy, she has no choice but to go through life obeying each and every order--no matter what the consequences may be. "If you commanded me to cut off my own head, I'd have to do it."
Eden Riegel (As the World Turns, Les Miserables) uses her youthful, energetic voice to lead the listener into a familiar world of fairy godmothers, wicked stepsisters, and handsome princes. But this imaginative retelling of the Cinderella story comes with a welcome twist. Instead of a demure heroine patiently awaiting a prince who will carry her off, this Ella is a feisty ball of fire with the courage and ambition to take matters into her own hands.
Riegel narrates in a youthful, energetic tone that is perfectly suited to Ella's character. Her voice adds charm and immediacy to a wonderful story already rich with excitement, adventure, romance, and mystery. (Running time: 5.5 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney [via]