Looking for more magical book recommendations? Watch Ella Enchanted and Ogre Enchanted author Gail Carson Levine give her top 3 book recommendations! Happy Reading!
Hi, I’m Gail Carson Levine.
I’m the author of Ella Enchanted and Ogre Enchanted, and these are my three book recs.
One of my top picks is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, and it’s one my favorites, because, for one thing, kids run away from home.
The main character runs away, not because her family is horrible, but because they fail to appreciate her, and so I have a lot of sympathy for that.
And when they run away, they go to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I spent a lot of my childhood.
I did not run away there, I did not get myself locked up there in the middle of the night, but I know that place that so well, and when I read it, it took me right back there.
And I love the way they managed to evade the guards, how they bathe in the fountain.
They managed to handle all the challenges of being away from home, being independent, and they face every challenge that comes up in a very thoughtful and untroubled way, and I love to watch them operate.
So the next one is Anne of Green Gables, and I read that book, I don’t know how many times as a kid, hundreds.
And the moment that’s my favorite and I think it’s lots of people’s favorites, is when Anne Shirley smashes her student’s slate.
Which is like a little blackboard that she would write on, over the head of Gilbert Blythe, who has insulted her hair.
And every time she did it and every time I read it, and even now telling about it, I feel this flame of satisfaction that she did that.
And she pays the consequences and she pays the consequences of having to face that, and yet it is so satisfying when she does it.
And I think there is a thread in there that kind of goes to Ella Enchanted, because in doing that, she is supremely disobedient.
Nobody wanted her to do that, but she was moved to do it, and she did it, and I’m glad she did.
Beauty by Robin McKinley, which I read directly before writing Ella Enchanted, and which, I would not have written Ella had I not read that book.
It’s a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and so it also connects to Ogre Enchanted, which is a different retelling of a different Beauty and the Beast.
One of the things that I love about it is that it does not make the family, the sisters, into the villains, and they are treated sympathetically and the way that the story unfolds I think is very beautiful and thoughtful and measured.
And I loved the kind of atmospheric and the deep love that develops is wonderful for the romantic that I am.
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