Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of the best young adult books I have read. Many of my 7th grade students (mostly girls) borrowed this book before I had a chance to read it. I am so glad I took the time to read this unexpected delight of a book.
Haddix's story of Cinderella, after she has moved into the Charming castle, allows readers a glimpse into a fairy tale gone wrong. While being broken in like a wild horse, Ella finds out that she might not want her new royal life. Through various life lessons and experiences, Ella discovers who she is truly meant to be. Haddix includes something for everyone - action, adventure, romance, self-realization. This surprising coming-of-age story is one that I will definitely recommend to my female students. Cinderella has a new happy ending!