Gail Carson Levine’s first novel, Ella Enchanted, is a reinterpretation of the well-known Cinderella tale, one that places a spirited heroine right at its centerfold. Ella lives in Frell, a kingdom where ogres, elves, and a shy, yet debonair prince dwell. Ella is an intelligent and vibrant young girl, whose life is hampered by one unfortunate attribute: she must obey every order given to her. Cursed by a fairy as a child, Ella must follow any directive given to her, no matter the consequence, even if it means chopping off her own head. Despite this potentially debilitating characteristic, Ella refuses to allow life to pass her by, instead setting out to rid herself of the curse. Along the way, she is beset by hungry ogres and malicious stepsiblings, but does meet artistically inclined elves and a kind prince, named Char. A rollicking, playful tale, Levine’s Ella Enchanted enchants due to its charismatic narrator, whose resolute strength makes her an ideal role model.