Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cinderella Smith

Barden, Stephanie. Cinderella Smith.
Nominated for the Cybils by Catherine Nichols

Josephine-Kathryn Smith, otherwise known as Cinderella because of her bad habit of losing just one shoe, is having a hard time at the start of the school year. Her best friend suddenly won't talk to her and she has to explain her name to a MAN teacher. Luckily, she makes a new friend in Erin, who is new to the school. Erin thinks that Cinderella must be an expert on evil stepsisters because of her name, so she seeks advice: her mother is getting married, and she will be getting two new college-age stepsisters. Cinderella is glad to help Erin investigate the possibility that they are evil, but she has a problem, too. In her tap class, she is up for a starring role, but she has lost one of her shiny new red tap shoes. Her former friend offers to loan her a pair but doesn't come through. Will the step sisters be evil? Will Cinderella get to dance?
Strengths: This was far better than Junie B. Jones for the third grade crowd. While we never find out what grade Cinderella is in, this would be okay for K-5 because of this ambiguity and the nice depiction of friend drama.
Weaknesses: A little precious, with the Cinderella concept, and the inclusion of a neighbor boy named Charlie Prince. Cinderella's dialogue is a bit odd, as well. She uses "alas" a lot. If the writing were slightly different, and the pictures not so young, this could have succeeded for older students as well.


As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I'm not familiar with this book, so I'll have to see if it's stocked in our store's children's section. I hate the Junie B books and I'd love to have an alternative to give to parents & kids.

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