Lundquist, Jenny. Seeing Cinderella.
20 March 2012, Aladdin
Callie needs glasses, so her mother takes her to a run down strip mall where an odd doctor loans her a pair of ugly black frames. When she gets to school that next day, she starts to notice that the glasses allow her to read people's thoughts. This is helpful, because Callie has a lot of problems. She is struggling with math and Spanish, fighting with her best friend, unsure how to help her new neighbor Ana fit in, missing her dad, who has been kicked out of the house, and generally have a miserable middle school time. The glasses do have the added benefit of making her a little more outgoing, so she makes a few friends and has the courage to try out to be understudy for the school play, Cinderella. She continues to be able to read people's thoughts and is able to overcome some of her problems with her friends, even if she is not able to solve all of her family's problems.
Strengths: The middle school drama will please the girls who are attracted to the bright cover.
Weaknesses: It's 2012 and we STILL haven't gotten over the idea that glasses make girls ugly? And I can think of two other books where ugly glasses figure largely in the plot-- Homzie's Things Are Gonna Get Ugly and Haston's How To Rock Braces and Glasses. I just don't get it. Sure, the magical touch is all well and good, but why make them UGLY glasses? Eh. The girls will like it; even in middle school, I didn't care for the drama. For me, Callie wasn't all that likable, although my readers may not feel that way.