Word Spelunking

Cinderella Smith - Stephanie Barden, Diane Goode It’s been a while since I’ve read a book for the younger MG crowd and I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed these fun, quick reads. And Cinderella Smith is a great example of why I love these children’s books so much.Josephine-Kathryn, better known as Cinderella, doesn’t have a wicked stepmother or ugly stepsisters, just a habit of losing her shoes. But when she enters the third grade, Cinderella has even bigger problems: a best friend turned mean girl who is determined to make sure Cinderella doesn’t get to be the Pumpkin Blossom Fairy in the dance recital, a missing red tap shoe and a new friend with a tricky problem. What’s a clever third grader to do?In Cinderella Smith, author Stephanie Barden introduces readers to a wonderful character whose charm and spirit are reminiscent of Junie B. Jones, Ramona Quimby and Judy Moody. Full of lots of laughs, unforgettable characters and relatable situations, this is a very entertaining MG read.The story is told from Cinderella’s laugh out loud point of view and Barden has captured a pitch-perfect third grade voice. Cinderella’s honesty, excitement and joy are infectious and irresistible. I love how when she’s excited, Cinderella talks LIKE THIS!!! And she doesn’t just have problems; she has Problems, with a capitol P. And when life gets dramatic she lets out a sighy Alas. The story is over the top and dramatic in the best, most enchanting way possible.I love that each chapter’s title reflects the pair of shoes Cinderella is wearing, and her habit of losing just one shoe is too funny. Barden touches upon some very relatable and important issues (mean girls, losing best friends, divorce and new step-families) and she explores these in a way that younger readers will understand and parents will appreciate.Readers of all ages will enjoy Cinderella’s sparkling charm, her quirky personality and reading about her genius idea of just how to discover whether her new friend Erin’s future step-sisters are wicked and her troubles with her friend Rosemary T.This book is super Cute, with a capitol "C"!

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