A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although fairy godmothers play an important role in Enchanted, they're not the familiar and harmless sort found in Disney movies. There are dark elements to this story that may spook some sensitive readers, and some enchantments cause death. A king steals others' blood to prolong his life, fairies use their powerful magic to hurt or kill people, and ghosts haunt the living. In addition, the complex and layered plot has many characters and stories-within-stories that may be challenging for some to keep track of. However, those who stick with it will be rewarded with a satisfying story.
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What's the story?
Sunday is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, which, according to tradition, means she has a powerful fate to contend with. But to Sunday, her life seems dull, especially when compared with that of her legendary older brother, Jack. And then she meets and befriends an enchanted talking frog. When their friendship blossoms into love and Sunday kisses him, they're disappointed when he isn't instantly transformed into a man. Neither realizes that their kiss hasn't only broken Prince Rumbold's enchantment, it has also unleashed a slew of other magical happenings. Sunday's fairy godmother, Joy, suddenly appears to teach her goddaughter how to use her previously untapped magical powers, while Rumbold's fairy godmother, Sorrow, has other, sinister plans for one of Sunday's sisters. In alternating narratives, Sunday and Rumbold's stories unfold to reveal tangled family histories they must unravel in order to change each of their fates forever.
Is it any good?
ENCHANTED is a multifaceted story densely packed with references to fairy tales both well known and obscure. Sunday's older sister Monday married a prince in the same manner as "The Princess and the Pea," while her older sister Tuesday died tragically in the manner of the girl in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Red Shoes." There are magical beanstalks, fairy godmothers, and enchanted frogs.
In fact, author Alethea Kontis dashes off the many allusions so casually that it sometimes can feel as though we're not getting the whole story. But ultimately Kontis manages to tie all the various threads together, creating a rich fairy-tale world that's all the more enchanting for being grounded in the earthly reality of family squabbles and feuds.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the author mentions several iconic fairy tale elements, such as a tower where a princess lives. How many did you recognize from other fairy tales?
Sunday must be careful about what she writes in her journal because it has a tendency to come true in unexpected ways. If you had her power, what would you write?
Each of Sunday's sisters has a gift that relates to the nursery rhyme in the beginning of the book, "Monday's child is fair of face." Which of those gifts would you like best?
- Author: Alethea Kontis
- Genre: Fairy Tale
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Fairy Tales
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harcourt
- Publication date: May 8, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 308
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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