Ella enchanted

Author Levine, Gail Carson.
Language English
London: Collins Voyager, 2003


Interest age level: 8 years and up.

Subjects :

  • Juvenile fiction
  • Obedience
  • Fantasy

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Author Illustrator(s) :

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Best Books :

  • Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002 California Department of Education
  • Adventuring with Books: A Booklist for PreK-Grade 6, 12th Edition, 1999 National Council of Teachers of English
  • Best Children's Books of the Year, 1998 Bank Street College of Education
  • Best Fantasy for Youth, 1998 American Library Association
  • Best First Novels for Youth, 1998 American Library Association
  • Booklist Book Review Stars, April 15, 1997 American Library Association
  • Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 1997 American Library Association
  • Books for You: An Annotated Booklist for Senior High, Fourteenth Edition, 2001 National Council of Teachers of English
  • Books in the Middle: Outstanding Books, 1997 Voice of Youth Advocates
  • Books to Read Aloud to Children of All Ages, 2003 Bank Street College of Education
  • Capitol Choices, 1997 The Capitol Choices Committee
  • Children's Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 H.W. Wilson
  • Children's Literature Choice List, 1998 Children's Literature
  • Kirkus Book Review Stars, 1997
  • Los Angeles' 100 Best Books, 1997 IRA Children's Literature and Reading SIG and the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Middle And Junior High School Library Catalog, Eighth Edition, 2000 H.W. Wilson
  • Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Ninth Edition, 2005 H.W. Wilson
  • Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, 1998 NCTE Children's Literature Assembly
  • Notable Children's Books, 1998 ALSC American Library Association
  • Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, March 1997 Cahners
  • School Library Journal Best Books, 1997 Cahners
  • School Library Journal Book Review Stars, April 1997 Cahners
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 1998 American Library Association
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 1998 American Library Association
  • Young Adults' Choices, 1999 International Reading Association

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Awards, Honors & Prizes :

  • ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award, 1998 Winner United States
  • Arizona Young Readers' Award, 1999 Winner Arizona
  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 2000 Winner Maryland
  • California Young Reader Medal, 2000 Winner California
  • Cuffies: Children's Booksellers Choose Their Favorite (and not-so-favorite) Books of the Year, 1997 Winner United States
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, 1999 Winner Vermont
  • Emphasis on Reading, 1999 Winner Alabama
  • Golden Sower Award, 2000 Honor Nebraska
  • Iowa Teen Award, 2000 Winner Iowa
  • John Newbery Medal, 1998 Honor Book United States
  • Maine Student Book Award, 1999 Winner Maine
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 2000 Honor Book Massachusetts
  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature, 1999 Finalist United States
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award, 2000 Winner Illinois
  • Voice of Youth Award, 2003-2004 Second Place United States
  • Young Hoosier Book Award, 2000 Winner Indiana

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State & Provincial Reading List :

  • Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Maryland
  • Buckeye Children's Book Award, 2001; Nominee Ohio
  • California Young Reader Medal, 2000; Nominee California
  • California Young Reader Medal, 2000; Nominee California
  • Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Arkansas
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2001; Nominee Colorado
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, 1999; Nominee Vermont
  • Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2000; Nominee Washington
  • Georgia Children's Literature Awards, 1999; Nominee Georgia
  • Golden Archer Award, 2000-2001; Nominee Wisconsin
  • Golden Sower Award, 2000; Nominee Nebraska
  • Great Stone Face Award, 1998-1999; Nominee New Hampshire
  • Indian Paintbrush Book Award, 2002; Nominee Wyoming
  • Iowa Children's Choice Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Iowa
  • Maine Student Book Award, 1998-1999; Nominee Maine
  • Mark Twain Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Missouri
  • Massachusetts Children's Book Award, 2000; Nominee Massachusetts
  • MRA Reader's Choice Award, 2000; Nominee Michigan
  • Nene Award, 2002; Nominee Hawaii
  • Nene Award, 2003; Nominee Hawaii
  • Nevada Young Readers' Award, 1999; Nominee Nevada
  • Nutmeg Children's Book Award, 2000; Nominee Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Pennsylvania
  • Prairie Pasque Award, 2000; Nominee South Dakota
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award, 2000; Nominee Illinois
  • Rhode Island Children's Book Award, 1999; Nominee Rhode Island
  • Sasquatch Reading Award, 2000; Nominee Washington
  • South Carolina Children's Book Award, 2000; Nominee South Carolina
  • South Carolina Junior Book Award, 2000; Nominee South Carolina
  • Texas Bluebonnet Award, 1998-1999; Nominee Texas
  • Utah Children's Book Awards, 1999; Nominee Utah
  • Voice of Youth Award, 2003-2004; Nominee Illinois
  • William Allen White Children's Book Award, 1999-2000; Master List Kansas
  • Young Hoosier Book Award, 1999-2000; Nominee Indiana

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Curriculum Tools :

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Reading Measurement Programs:

9780060275112, 9780060275105, 0060275111, 0060275103
HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:) 1997.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.6
Accelerated Reader Points 8

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 670
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 3-5
Reading Level 5
Accelerated Reader Points 11

Thorndike Press (Thorndike ME:) 2000.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.6
Accelerated Reader Points 8

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Reviews :

Toni Buzzeo (Audiofile, April/May 1999)
Why did Cinderella carry out the bidding of her evil step-relatives? Now consider whether obedience is a blessing or a curse. What if anyone could control you with an order? Eden Riegel's high, childlike voice is the consummate match for this first-person narrative. Her sweet-voiced Ella, under the dominion of a vulgar stepmother and duplicitous stepsisters, reveals the gift of obedience (from fairy Lucinda) to be a scourge that only someone of Ella's sensitivity and intelligence would have the means to outwit. Riegel's smooth delivery of the exotic languages of the elves, gnomes, giants, and ogres enhances the fantasy element while occasional interludes of music add to the medieval air of the story. A lively and satisfying reading of the 1998 Newbery Honor Book. T.B. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine Unabridged. 1998 (orig. 1997), Random House Audio, Four cassettes, 5.5 hrs., Retail pak, $21.95. Ages 13 up.
(PUBLISHER: BDD Audio (New York:), PUBLISHED: p1998.)

Melody A. Moxley (KLIATT Review, January 1999 (Vol. 33, No. 1))
Riegel offers a charming reading of a delightful retelling of the Cinderella story. The story's narrator, 13-year-old Ella, must, as the result of a fairy spell cast on her at birth, always obey anyone who gives her an order. For an intelligent, spirited and independent girl such as Ella, always obeying is a demanding challenge! Ella luckily has the support of her mother and the family's cook, Mandy, and all is bearable until her mother dies suddenly. Ella is then at the mercy of her mostly absent and always profit-seeking father, and her new stepmother and two shallow and greedy stepsisters. Levine's story is brisk, exciting, and easily weaves Ella's world of magic and fantasy creatures (centaurs, fairies, ogres and giants) around the reader. Her budding romance with Prince Charmont is well told, as is Ella's paralyzing fear of harming the prince with her curse. The resolution features familiar elements (the ball, the pumpkin turned coach) in a fresh and expanded manner, with new surprises. Riegel's youthful voice captures the enthusiasm of the youthful Ella. She also uses gruffness and pitch to characterize the other characters effectively. Young listeners will be charmed, as will adults. This outstanding production is highly recommended. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: JSA*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998 (orig. 1997), Bantam Doubleday Dell, 4 tapes, 5.5 hrs.; Standard cardboard; reader, plot notes., $21.95. Ages 12 to adult.
(PUBLISHER: BDD Audio (New York:), PUBLISHED: p1998.)

Recorded Books (Recorded Books, LLC.)
When Ella of Frell was born, a foolish fairy gave her a very foolish gift: obedience. Now ella must obey any order someone gives her. But Ella has a mind of her own, and she finds ingenious ways to fight against her fate--untill her wicked stepsisters learn her secret. Gail Carson Levine's inventive retelling of the Cinderella tale will delight listeners young and old. nd, n/a, Unabridged Cassette - Library Edition; 21907, $34.75. Ages 10 to 14.
(PUBLISHER: BDD Audio (New York:), PUBLISHED: p1998.)

Tammy (BookHive (www.bookhive.org))
Ella has a strange problem. She's been blessed with obedience, and it's ruining her life! She has to do whatever she is told, no matter who tells her, no matter what they tell her to do. So Ella decides to set forth to find the fairy that "blessed" her and convince her to take it back. But that is no easy task. On her search, she runs across ogres and giants, has to deal with wicked stepsisters, and hardest of all, she finds a prince. But what will Ella do when she knows that she can't marry him until she gets rid of her cursed “blessing”? Category: Adventure; Award Books; Fantasy. Grade Level: Intermediate (4th-6th grade). 1997, HarperCollins. Ages 9 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Ilene Cooper (Booklist, April 15, 1997 (Vol. 93, No. 16))
The canon of retold fairy tales encompasses some distinguished titles, among them, Robin McKinley's Beauty (1978) and Donna J. Napoli's Zel (1996). Now room must be made for Levine's superbly plotted and thoroughly enjoyable retelling of the Cinderella story. Ella is blessed by a fairy at birth with the gift of obedience. But the blessing is a horror for Ella, who must literally do what everyone tells her, from sweeping the floor to giving up a beloved heirloom necklace. After her mother dies, and her covetous, caustic father leaves on a trading trip, Ella's world is turned upside down. She battles both ogres and wicked stepsisters, makes friends and loses them, and must deny her love for her prince, Charmant, to save his life and his realm. In making this ultimate sacrifice, she breaks the curse. As a beloved friend tells her, "You rescued yourself when you rescued the prince." As finely designed as a tapestry, Ella's story both neatly incorporates elements of the original tale and mightily expands them, not only with the myriad consequences of the curse but also with a heroine so spirited that she wins readers' hearts. Category: Older Readers. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Gr. 5-8. Starred Review.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Susie Wilde (Children's Literature)
Gail Levine, who won a well-deserved Newbery honor award in for Ella Enchanted, may have inspired some recent Cinderella stories. This story, which is new in paperback, seems to be the retelling response of an author who loves fairy tales, but hates Cinderella's wimpy character. Levine's Ella is compliant because she lives under the curse of a fairy who's given her a birth "gift" of obedience. As the plot unwinds, it explains all the traditional elements in an untraditional way, as Ella, an adventuresome linguist, takes us around her world of ogres, giants, and magical creatures. She uses wit and humor that win her the heart of the hero, Prince Charm, and lots of new reading fans, too! 1999, HarperTrophy, $5.95. Ages 8 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature)
When the fairy Lucinda bestows the "gift" of obedience on Ella at birth, she had not foreseen the horror that would be Ella's life. Imagine having to follow every command. "Jump off the cliff!" "EAT!" She could even be made to betray her kingdom. Ella is a take charge heroine who weaves her own magic spell as she confronts ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and a charming prince with cleverness and determination. This deserves book of the year with its winning combination of humor and adventure. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95, $14.89 and $4.95. Ages 8 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Carolyn Mott Ford (Children's Literature)
In a world populated with elves, gnomes and ogres, a young girl lives under the spell of the fairy Lucinda. The spell decrees that Ella must always be obedient. Lucinda meant it to be a gift, but it is a curse. As Ella grows up, she is forced to obey, not merely just orders, but any order put to her directly. This leads to dreadful consequences after her mother's death and her father's remarriage. Enter the evil stepmother, two unattractive, crude stepsisters and a handsome prince. In a take off on Cinderella, Ella dances the night away in glass slippers and finally finds the strength to break the spell. The underlying message is that little girls are told from birth to be nice and obedient, but at some point, women must take control of their own lives. Written for ages 8 and up, the vocabulary level is a bit high and the death of the mother in the beginning of the book could be troubling to a child of 8 or 9. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 8 up.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Mary Sue Preissner (Children's Literature)
Obedience. That was her curse. Upon birth, the fairy Lucinda bestowed the gift of obedience on Ella, which very nearly wrecked her life. Fortunately for her, two-chinned, frizzy-haired Mandy was more than the housekeeper, cook and nanny. While Mandy couldn't prevent problems for Ella, she was able to give her fairy gifts that enabled Ella to help herself. This "expansion" of the classic Cinderella tale will delight middle school readers with its magic, action, humor, drama, and hint of romance. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 9 to 14.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1997)
Levine plays her debut expansion of the Cinderella story as a straight--well, nearly straight--romance, sloughing off its layers of Freudian symbolism and creating a lively, stubborn heroine to keep the action tumbling along. Lucinda, an extraordinarily foolish fairy, bestows on baby Eleanor the gift of obedience, condemning her to a childhood in which she's compelled to follow every order, no matter how casually given. By the time she is a teenager, Ella has perfected the art of turning any imprecision in a command back on its giver. With the help of her fairy-godmother-cum-family-cook, Ella keeps her curse a secret; along the way she is sent off to finishing school with the cruel daughters of her simpering stepmother-to-be, launches a fruitless quest to beg Lucinda for release, and falls in love with Prince Charmont (and he with her). She derails their courtship, realizing what a danger she would be to him, but can't pass up a last chance to see him. From that point, the story follows its traditional course, with masked balls, pumpkin coach, and glass slippers. When the prince entreats her to marry him, Ella fights an agonizing internal battle and, driven by love, breaks the curse at last, delightedly screaming refusals over and over before melting into his arms. This refreshing take on one of the world's most popular fairy tales preserves the spirit of the original but adds plenty of humorous mists and a spunky, intelligent female lead. 1997, HarperCollins, $14.95; PLB $14.89. Starred Review. © 1997 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Levine's artful debut novel features a spunky heroine whose trials, all faced with admirable steadiness, give new twists to the classic Cinderella story. Ella is burdened with a curse (she cannot disobey a command), bestowed at birth as a gift from an addled fairy and this--plus the loss of her beloved mother--causes all sorts of troubles. Before her death, Ella's mother commands her daughter to keep the curse a secret--only the cook, Mandy, who is also a fairy, knows the truth. Although Mandy won't use what she calls "big magic," she does give Ella a magical book that, through glimpses of other people's correspondence, lets her see what is going on in the lives of her new friend, Prince Charmont, her soon-to-be stepsisters and her greedy father. Levine ably creates tension between the good and evil characters, throwing in an assortment of ogres, elves and gnomes. Young readers will be charmed by the budding romance between Ella and her prince and touched by her crippling fear of hurting the prince via the curse. After a humorous and inventive re-enactment of Cinderella's three appearances at the royal ball, the action concludes with a slightly skewed but happy ending. Although the pace of the story flags in spots, and the author never wholly engages a suspension of disbelief (Ella's escapes often come too easily--for example, when she tames ogres who want to make a meal of her), Levine provides a winning combination of memorable characters and an alluring fantasy realm that will leave readers with hopes of future tales of Ella and Prince Char. Ages 8-12. (May)
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Janis Harmon (The ALAN Review, Fall 1997 (Vol. 25, No. 1))
Levine adds new dimensions to the fairy tale of Cinderella in this humorous story of Ella, the fifteen-year- old daughter of a traveling merchant, cursed from birth by the whimsical fairy Lucinda, who bestows upon her the gift of obedience. This gift becomes a burden to Ella, who must obey the slightest commands from everyone. She is saddled with much unwilling obedience as she attends a finishing school with her future stepsisters, encounters friendly gnomes, and tests her wits against despicable ogres. Her budding romance with Prince Charmont also unfolds as she seeks to find Lucinda to reverse the curse. Although Ella becomes a scullery maid for her hateful stepfamily, she still wins the heart of the prince. Now she must wrestle with the dilemma of how her curse would adversely affect the prince if she married him. As Ella comes to terms with her predicament, she undergoes her rite of passage in order to "live happily ever after." In a delightful and enchanting way, Levine has created a new lived-through experience with a well- known fairy tale that is engaging and entertaining. 1997, HarperCollins Publishers, 232 pp., $14.95. Ages 11 up.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Elizabeth Bush (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, May 1997 (Vol. 50, No. 9))
In this novel-length Cinderella, the complete tale of everyone's favorite rags-to-riches maiden comes vividly to life. Levine adopts neither the effusive detail of McKinley's Beauty (BCCB 12/78) nor the haunting somberness of Napoli's Zel (7/96), but renders Ella as a sensible adolescent who refuses to roll with life's every punch and can even appreciate the more comic aspects of her dilemma. The gift of obedience bestowed upon Ella by a well-meaning fairy has been a perpetual burden. An offhand remark by a stranger can send her into purposeless activity for hours and, needless to say, the malicious commands of her selfish stepsisters wreak even more havoc. But her fairy godmother, the family cook, assures her that she will someday break the spell, given the right incentive, and even though the threat of losing her own life proves insufficient to lift the curse, readers can anticipate that true love for her Prince Charmont is. Levine leaves the familiar motifs intact-wicked stepmother, glass slipper, midnight curfew at the ball-but by establishing an easy, playful friendship between Ella and the prince which blossoms gradually into love, she offers readers with feminist sensibilities the assurance that life with Charmont (the prince you want to bring home to mother) will in fact be happy, ever after. R--Recommended. Reviewed from galleys (c) Copyright 1997, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1997, HarperCollins, [240p], $14.89 and $14.95. Grades 5-8.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

Nancy Thackaberry (VOYA, August 1997 (Vol. 20, No. 3))
This retelling of Cinderella takes place in the land of Kyrria during the once-upon-a-time period, with elves, centaurs, ogres, gnomes, and fairies. Ella is a spunky fifteen-year-old whose story begins after her mother has died from a bad cold. Ella was cursed at birth with obedience, although the fairy Lucinda intended it as a blessing. If Ella does not do as she is told, she begins to fell nauseated. Only Ella and the cook, Mandy, are aware of the curse, and Ella's mother had commanded her never to tell anyone else. Ella defies her obedience with small battles, only partially obeying commands. Her estranged father, Sir Peter, commands her to come closer, so she takes only one step. Mandy tells her to hold a bowl still, which she does while hopping on one foot. Ella meets Prince Charmont of Kyrria at her mother's funeral. Ella's future stepmother and stepsisters, Dame Olga, Lady Hattie, and Lady Olive, also are introduced to readers in the funeral scene. Soon after the funeral, Ella's father, a wealthy, dishonest merchant who finds his daughter clumsy and unmannerly, sends her to finishing school with the two sisters. But Ella, determined to find Lucinda so that she can undo the fairy spell, escapes finishing school despite the risks of travel. She overcomes an ogre attack with the help of Prince Charmont (Char), who is enchanted by her wit, not her obedience. Still, Lucinda will not undo her "blessing." Levine transforms her fairy tale characters so that the CinderElla story is concealed until the nineteenth chapter, when Sir Peter announces his marriage plans and the traditional story takes shape. A careful reader might begin seeing similarities as early as chapter four, when Mandy explains to Ella that she was her mother's fairy godmother as well as Ella's. Ella endures her stepfamily, who soon discover her obedient behavior and uses it to their advantage. You know the rest. Eventually, Ella's convictions are strong enough to undo the spell. She refuses to obey Char's command to marry him because her obedience could mean danger to the whole kingdom. Now, she is free to choose whether she wants to marry. The characters' personalities and motives are comically crystal clear, but never boring. It is a magical bridge of fantasy and romance that will keep romance fans reading, but the plot is not intriguing enough to keep a die-hard fantasy fan interested. There are two loose ends that will leave the reader feeling cheated and wanting more, even though the book is longer than traditional formula romance. Ella takes a fairy-made carpet with her to the finishing school but the carpet never comes back into the story. Magical belongings taken on a journey are usually powerfully purposeful somewhere along the way. The reader is left wondering: What is the point of the rug? Also, the glass slippers are forced into the story when Char and Ella happen to find them while exploring a castle during Sir Peter's and Dame Olga's wedding. Where did the slippers come from? Who put them there? Why were they laying with old gardening tools? And why aren't Char and Ella more curious about the slippers since Char mentions just three pages before that his father, the king, was raised in that very castle? Readers of this lighthearted story will probably be few, but they will be cheering for Ella all the way through to her happily ever after. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P M (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 1997, HarperCollins, 234p., $14.95 and $14.89. Ages 11 to 14.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollinsPublishers (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1997.)

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Publication Details:

  Publisher ISBN Notes
London: Collins Voyager, 2003

Media Type: Language Material
240 p. ;
Film tie-in.
Originally published New York HarperCollins Children's 1997; London Collins 2000.
London: Collins, 2000

Media Type: Language Material
238 p. ;
Newport Beach CA: Books on Tape, 2000

Media Type: Nonmusical Sound Recording
4 sound cassette (6 hrs.):
Thorndike ME: Thorndike Press, 2000

Media Type: Language Material
294 p. ;
PZ7.L578345 ([Fic])
New York: BDD Audio, 1998

Media Type: Nonmusical Sound Recording
4 sound cassettes (330 min.):
New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio ;, 1998

Media Type: Nonmusical Sound Recording
4 sound cassettes (5 hr. 42 min.):
PZ7.L578345 ([Fic])
"Newbery Honor Book."-Container.
"Unabridged children's."-Container.
In container (22 cm.).
Title from container.
New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1997

Media Type: Language Material
232 p. ;
PZ7.L578345 ([Fic])

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