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Annotation: When the Marquis de la Chance offers Isabelle, one of Cinderella's stepsisters, a choice and an opportunity to change her fate, she has the possibility of redemption and a chance to find her true self.
Genre: [Fantasy fiction]
Catalog Number: #205926
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 342 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-26847-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7196-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-26847-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7196-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019003322
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
An ugly stepsister gets her own story in this twist on "Cinderella."The beautiful and kindhearted Ella's foot fits perfectly into the prince's glass slipper, leaving her stepsisters, Isabelle and Octavia de la Paumé, with their cruel mother, ostracized in a village that has branded them as cruel after trying to deny Ella her chance at happily-ever-after. But cruelty often masks a broken heart. Eighteenth-century France is no place for bold girls like Isabelle, who is inspired by great warriors, or for unabashedly brilliant girls like Octavia, who admires great mathematicians and scientists. Isabelle is an unwitting pawn in a wager between Chance and Fate to stop a vicious warlord who is cutting a murderous swath through France, but a fairy queen makes her a tantalizing offer. Donnelly's (Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, 2017, etc.) gorgeous prose doesn't shy away from the visceral: In the horrifying opening scene, which mirrors the Brothers Grimm original, Isabelle cuts off her own toes and Octavia slices off her heel to fit into the glass slipper, and the final battle scene is a corker. Isabelle's emotional and triumphant journey of self-realization proves that beauty can be found in so much more than just a pretty face. Chance has dark skin and black hair; other main characters default to white.A breathlessly exciting and utterly satisfying fairy tale. (Fantasy. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
-Cinderella- has seen many variations, but few detail what happens beyond the royal marriage, and even fewer cast a light on Cinderella-s family. Printz Award-winning Donnelly (A Northern Light) does both in this feminist rendition that follows -ugly- stepsister Isabelle. Rather than becoming a proper lady as her abusive mother demands, Isabelle would prefer to ride horses with her soulmate Felix, collect -rocks and animal skulls,- and practice her swordplay. Abandoned by Felix and without other prospects, down two toes by her own hand, and with her family fortune dwindling, she faces a bleak future. Then, meddlesome Chance steals the map of her life from the Fates and grants Isabelle the opportunity to revamp her destiny, and a fairy queen tasks her with finding the missing pieces of her broken heart in exchange for a wish. The story offers plenty of adventure as one of the Fates, Chance, and the queen of the fairies battle wills, and Isabelle confronts precarious situations as she becomes involved in a war between France and an evil warlord. Focusing on beauty-s many guises, what contributes to hatred and cruelty, and people-s power to take charge of their destinies, the retold fairy tale advocates autonomy and empowerment. Ages 12-up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* "I have known battle-hardened soldiers who could not do what you did," the grand vizier tells Isabelle de la Paumé after, on her mother's behest, she cuts off her toes so she can fit her foot into a glass slipper and win a prince's hand in marriage. He doesn't mean it as a compliment: "She is unnatural. Unhinged. Dangerous." In the end, it is Isabelle's beautiful stepsister, Ella, who marries the prince, and Isabelle's remaining family is shunned. Ugly and disfigured Isabelle's destiny seems mapped and set. But elsewhere, Fate and Chance are at odds. Fate, a wily crone, and Chance, a mischievous young man, have wagered on Isabelle de la Paumé. Chance believes she can alter her sad future; Fate thinks it's better that she doesn't. When Isabelle is tasked with finding the pieces of her heart, she holds in her hands not only her own destiny but also the fates of many. Printz Honor Book author Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of a familiar fairy tale. The gorgeous prose and the fairy tale themes have obvious appeal, but the real strengths here are the depth of character across the board; the examination of the cost of beauty in a world that reveres it; and Isabelle herself, a shattered but not unredeemable girl with a warrior's heart. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Donnelly's books are at the sweet spot st-selling award winners d as she tackles the always-popular Cinderella story, she'll have no trouble finding an audience.
Word Count: 99,388
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 15.0 / quiz: 503773 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:23.0 / quiz:Q76628
Lexile: HL640L
Guided Reading Level: V

* "Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of the familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unredeemable girl with a warrior's heart." -- Booklist, starred review

An instant New York Times bestseller!Optioned for film by Lynette Howell Taylor, the producer of A Star is Born and Bruna Papandrea, producer of Big Little LiesA Seventeen Best of the YearLonglisted for the Carnegie MedalA YALSA pickA Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the YearIsabelle should be blissfully happy-she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.

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