Book Discussion Series: Ella Enchanted

***JUST SO YOU KNOW*** All of the posts in our book discussion series contain questions and reviews that could possibly reveal parts of the plot you may rather discover by reading the book. Proceed with caution!***

The Book Discussion Series enhances the reading experience by providing a list of interpretive questions compiled by librarians of the Cleveland Heights University Heights Public Library

Continuing after a brief hiatus is our book discussion series! Don’t forget that the library owns many (20-30) copies of the titles in this series. This makes them perfect for a class or social book discussion group. You can check them out all at once, and if you are a teacher you can check them out for an extended loan period. The other aspect of our series is to provide you with a list of questions that you can use to facilitate your discussion, or just for your own use.

This installment’s novel is Ella Enchanted. In this novel based on Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Discussion Questions:

    • What did you think of this book? Why?
    • Ella Enchanted is a Cinderella variant; how is it similar to/different from the original? Do you like Cinderella? Do you like Ella? Why? Gail Carson Levine thought the original Cinderella was too much of a “goody two shoes” and that’s why she gave Ella her curse. Does it work?
    • Is Ella a likeable character? Why? What is she like? If she hadn’t been cursed by Lucinda, would she be different? Is she a strong character? Do others like her? Why does the prince feel the way he does about her? How does this compare to the original story? After Charmont is tricked by Ella’s letter, Areida sticks up for her, defying the Prince, why does she do this? (p 198-200)
    • What is meant by “Friends of Fairies”? (p. 25) How does Ella show her Fairy Blood?
    • What do you think about Prince Char? Is he charming? He’s not perfect; what is it about him that annoys Ella? Why does she still care for him?
    • The prince writes to Ella and tells her his faults, does Ella have any character flaws herself? What are they?
    • What kind of picture of fairies and magic (large and small) do you have after reading this book? What is the difference between small and large magic? Why does Mandy keep from doing big magic? Why doesn’t Lucinda?
    • Does Lucinda change from the beginning of the book to the end? Are there other characters that also change?
    • What is Ella’s father like? Are the servants right about his character? What does Ella think about him? What is their relationship like? Is Ella at all like her father? Like her mother? Like Mandy?
    • Are Ella’s stepsisters and stepmother evil? Do you feel any different toward Olive than toward Hattie? Why do you think Hattie decides to order Ella to stop her friendship with Areida?
    • Why doesn’t Lucinda break Ella’s spell (or any of the other spells that she has cast)? When Ella calls upon Lucinda, why does she help her? Is what she’s doing big magic? Why do you think so/not?
    • Why does Ella break the Prince’s heart? Must she do it this way? Does she make the right decision by not telling the prince she loves him? Could she have done this differently?
    • Mandy asks her, “why go and break your heart again?” Why does Ella decide to go to the balls? And why does she insist on having the prince dance with her (instead of the “yellow haired wench”), when she knows she cannot marry him?
    • Why is Ella happy at the end of the 2nd ball?
    • Does the prince know that Lela is really Ella? Why does he write Ella instead of Lela in his diary?
    • Although Mandy doesn’t think Ella should go to the ball, why does she help Ella, first by enhancing the dresses and then by giving her the necklace and tiara before the 3rd ball?
  • How does Ella break the curse? Why do you think it’s broken this way? This command is finally something she wants to do, and she says no to this.

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