But wait! There's an added bonus! Scholastic.org listed 3 activities that readers could do which related to the book. And I loved them!!! So I'm including them at the end and highly encouraging you to participate in one, any, or all of them. Trust me--it will be such fun to pull out the talents that I know exist among we fellow readers and Austen-lovers. This may very well be my favorite part of our visit to Kyrria, and I'm going to try at least #1 and #2.
“‘Perhaps she’s changed.’”
What do you think are the three most important differences between Ella and the original Cinderella tale?
“That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.”
What do you think is the worst “gift” Lucinda bestows on anyone during the novel and why?
“I loved having the power to say yes or no, and refusing anything was a special pleasure.”
How much freedom do you have to disobey orders in your own life? What keeps you from disobeying? If you do disobey, how does that come about?
“I could barely stay seated because of the command.”
Give an example from the book of a positive result of the curse.
“‘Nothing is small magic in a moment like this.’”
What do you think is the difference between small and big magic? Give some examples of both. Can you think of real-life situations in which people have power equal to big magic?
“It was a taste of obedience without an order, and I didn’t like it any better than the Lucinda-induced kind.”
What difference is there between choosing to do good and being forced into it?
“When I opened it, instead of a fairy tale, I found an illustration of Mandy!”
What do you wish your own fairy book would tell/show you when you opened it?
“Char couldn’t see them and twirled me as before, until he got halfway around. Then he set me gently on the floor and bowed at Father and Mum Olga, his buttonless doublet flapping. He was laughing so hard he couldn’t speak.”
What are your impressions of the prince? Compare him with other princes from fairy tales—original or fractured.
“‘Your very good friend, Char.’”
In too many fairy tales we (*groan!*) see the love-at-first-site aspect instead of a real relationship being built between the hero and heroine. What do you think about the relationship between the prince and the Cinderella character in this version?
“I refused to become a princess but adopted the titles of Court Linguist and Cook’s Helper.”
Especially for the linguist of our Book Club: Can you find any patterns in the different languages spoken in the book? Can you find any spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or other characteristic that distinguishes each from the other?
"In that moment I found a power beyond any I’d had before, a will and a determination I would never have needed if not for Lucinda, a fortitude I hadn’t been able to find for a lesser cause. And I found my voice."
What are some times you had to find an inner strength you did not think you had, but which was there when a greater cause called forth its need?
“‘I’ll work her harder than she ever worked in her life, and give you a fine cook into the bargain.’”
Do parts of this Cinderella version remind you of any other Cinderella versions you have read or seen? Which parts/versions do you prefer?
“But my favorite was…”
Favorite story element?
Favorite anything else?
“‘Is it terrible?’”
Least favorite character?
Least favorite part(s)?
Least favorite story element?
Least favorite anything else?
Bonus Activities!1. Pick a fairy tale and write your own, new version of it, or a synopsis of it. (For example, set "The Frog Prince" in a high school or change Rumpelstiltskin from a mean villain to a lonely old woman. Imagine how the story of Pinocchio would change with the invention of lie detectors or how computers might help Hansel and Gretel.)
2. Try living as if you were cursed like Ella for one hour, obeying every command you are given, without telling anyone about your curse. If you want to try for a second hour, obey not only commands from people around you, but also commands you hear on TV/radio and from anything you read. Tell us about your experience.
3. Within the novel, there are many magical and fanciful creatures. Imagine what each of the different kinds of creatures would look like together in one place and draw a colorful scene of them. Include at least one human, elf, fairy, ogre, giant, and centaur.