Tales Retold: Stories for Younger Readers
The Amaranth Enchantment
By Julie Berry
My Fair Godmother
By Janette Rallison
As long as there are books written for young people, there will be new twists on classic fairy tales. Here are two books where imagination is key.
Julie Berry combines other-worldly fantasy with elements of "Cinderella" in "The Amaranth Enchantment." After her parents' deaths, Lucinda Chapdelaine must struggle to survive life with her cruel aunt as a helper in her jewelry shop. When an exotically beautiful lady known in town as the "Amaranth Witch" comes into the shop to have a stone reset, life changes for Lucinda. She meets a braggadocios pickpocket named Peter, who steals the customer's stone and leaves Lucinda fighting to reclaim it and clear her name.
Mix in a handsome prince, who of course falls for Lucinda just before his engagement to the neighboring princess, an avarice-driven bad guy who killed Lucinda's parents and is now out to kill her, and another world that is connected to the stone, and you've got a made-for-television fairy tale. (Prudereview Rating: PG for violence.)
In a delightfully creative, light-hearted fairy tale, author Janette Rallison takes a modern teenage character on a whirlwind ride through classic story lines: Cinderella, Snow White, and the ubiquitous tale of the knight that must slay the dragon to win the princess.
Instead of having a fairy godmother, Savannah gets "fair" godmother Chrissy, a teenage godmother barely squeaking by in godmother training, only earning a grade of "fair" in class work. Offering Savannah the expected three wishes turns out to be disastrous, as Savannah's directives are given without enough specificity for the godmother-in-training.
Savannah is disgruntled with her older sister for stealing her prom date, so her first wish is to simply have a life like a fairy tale, with a handsome prince waiting for her at the ball. When she's sent to live as Cinderella months before the ball even takes place, and then realizes that the prince is a jerk, she rethinks her wish. The second and third wish end up equally disastrous, but Savannah's attitude and self-awareness change for the better with each mishap. (Prudereview Rating: G.)
See more of Southern Pines writer Charlene Vermeulen's reviews at www.prudereviews.blogspot.com.
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