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As full as my shelves are of YA books, they are equally full of Middle Grade Lit. I can’t help it. I LOVE Middle Grade books.
If I have the choice of future jobs, I’d love to teach middle grade. Something about that age–the weirdness, the crazy pre-puberty, the smelliness, the imagination… I just love it.
I think I love Middle Grade Lit so much because it is so full of imagination, and fantasy, and different worlds. Which yes, YA is too, but Middle Grade Lit often holds a certain innocence that I never find in YA. It’s just a completely different world of books.

Which is why I’m looking forward to author Shannon Messenger’s  Keeper of the Lost Cities and joining her Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. One of the reasons I started The Hopeful Heroine is so that someday I can use it as a resource in my classroom/library. My certification will allow me to teach 6th-12 grade, so I’d like to collect an array of books of here. I think this is a really great meme and a way for me to feature some awesome Middle Grade Lit out there.

Today, I want to introduce you to my favorite Middle Grade book of all time, and one of the books I give credit in helping create my love of literature, story worlds, and imagination.

Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: magical fantasy, fairy tale, adventure
Pages: 232

In a nutshell, it’s a Cinderella story…but way better than any Cinderella story you’ve read! At birth, Ella is given the “gift” of obedience by the fairy Lucinda, except it turns out that gift is more like a curse. Ella literally has to do everything anyone tells her to do. Her life seems to be spiraling downward after her mother dies and she’s left with an absent father, a horrible stepmother and  two stepsisters. But Ella isn’t about to let them walk all over her. In fact, she’s sort of a rebel, heading out on her own quest to find the fairy Lucinda and getting her “gift” reversed.  There might be a pumpkin, a glass slipper, and even a Prince Char-ming, but there’s also ogres, elves, and giants!

5 reasons why this book is marvelous!

  1. Ella is a rebel (in a good way!) She’s constantly fighting her curse trying to break it, and she stands up to her step family.
  2. She is also a strong heroine–Ella is brave enough to venture out to find a way to make her life normal. And when trouble happens, she isn’t too scared to become senseless.
  3. It’s full of adventure.  Who doesn’t love a story with ogres, elves, giants, and magic?
  4. There’s a Prince Char-ming. He doesn’t quite come in to save the day, but instead befriends Ella and helps her in her journey.
  5. It’s a modern day fairy-tale with some good, hidden lessons to learn.

Ella Enchanted was published in 1997, but if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it!!
Hopeful Reading and have a Marvelous Monday!