Synopses & Reviews
There's nothing wrong with Wilma Sturtz. She's perfectly nice. But nobody cares about nice at Claverford, her middle school. Wilma is left out, forgotten, ignored--until she meets an extraordinary old lady who grants a wish: for Wilma to be the most popular kid in school. Presto! Everything changes. Now Wilma has more best friends than she can keep track of and forty dates to the Graduation Night Dance; and someone is writing her love poetry. What more could she want? Nothing! But will it last? How can Wilma make sure she is never unpopular again?
From Gail Carson Levine, author of the Newbery Honor book Ella Enchanted,this modern-day fairy tale shows a very real girl in a very unusual predicament, and along the way it reveals some painful truths about whether or not we really want to be liked for who we are.
Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)
When granted her wish to be the most popular girl in school, Wilma, an eighthgrader, forgets that she will graduate in three weeks and her popularity willvanish.
About the Author
Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and has been writing all her life. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted,
was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Dave At Night,
an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre;
and the other five Princess Tales books: The Princess Test, The Fairy's Mistake, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, Cinderellis and the Glass Hill,
and The Fairy's Return.
She is also the author of the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf,
illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley.
In Her Own Words...
"EIla Enchanted began in a marvelous writing course at New York City's The New School. I had to write something and couldn't think of a plot, so I decided to write a Cinderella story because it already had a plot! Then, when I thought about Cinderella's character, I realized that she was too much of a goody-two-shoes for me and I would hate her before I finished ten pages. That's when I came up with the curse: she's only good because she has to be, and she's in constant rebellion.
"As a child I loved fairy tales because the story, the what-comes-next, is paramount. As an adult I'm fascinated by their logic and illogic. Ella's magic book gave me the chance to answer a question that always plagued me about The Shoemaker and the Elves: why the elves abandon the shoemaker. I came up with one answer, but many are possible -- and I think the real solution goes to the heart of gratitude and recognition, an example of the depth in fairy tales.
"I grew up in New York City. In elementary school I was a charter member of the Scribble Scrabble Club, and in high school my poems were published in an anthology of student poetry. I didn't want to be a writer. First I wanted to act and then I wanted to be a painter like my big sister. In college, I was a Philosophy major, and my prose style was very dry and dull! My interest in the theater led me to my first writing experience as an adult. My husband David wrote the music and lyrics and I wrote the book for a children's musical, Spacenapped that was produced by a neighborhood theater in Brooklyn.
"And my painting brought me to writing for children in earnest. I took a class in writing and illustrating children's books and found that I was much more interested in the writing than in the illustrating.
"Most of my job life has had to do with welfare, first helping people find work and then as an administrator. The earlier experience was more direct and satisfying, and I enjoy thinking that a bunch of people somewhere are doing better today than they might have done if not for me."