Title: Just Ella
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Dates: 7/10/16 – 7/15/16
Ella Brown is unhappy. Shivering cold in her luxurious bed, she’s afraid to get up and light the fire, because she’s recently been scolded for doing things servants are supposed to do. New to the castle, Ella is having trouble adjusting to her unfamiliar role: Princess. Thus saith the beginning paragraph on the CD’s back cover.
Here is a rewrite on the story of Cinderella and what really happened. As told in first person, Ella tells us she was called Cinder’s Ella. When Prince Charming finally found her after the ball, she went to live with him in the castle and wanted to call him Charm. Then she found out the real truth of who he was – a man without an original thought in his head who had to be told what foot to place on the floor in the morning when he got out of bed.
The wedding was a few weeks off and the Princess must be tutored in any number of meaningful activities such as needlepoint and genealogy. Among the servants in the castle Ella found Mary, the scullery maid, and Jed were her only friends. Jed took over his father’s job when the elder man collapsed and could no longer tutor Ella in religion. Jed had his own ideas of what he wanted out of life, tenets that Ella believed in, too. When she found herself falling out of love with the Prince, she confessed her feelings and as a result, found herself put into a dungeon.
From there things went from bad to worse. But our ingenious girl digs herself out of the predicament she finds herself in.
I thought Haddix did well in her rendition of Cinderella, giving us insight about our heroine and backstory about the step-mother and two evil step-sisters. A fun fan-fic, if you will.