Bella at Midnight

By Diane Stanley
:  YA Literature
Genre:  Fairy Tale
Age Level:  12+
Subjects:  Family, loyalty

Summary:   Though the daughter of a knight, Bella is raised by a peasant family.  Her foster parents, Martin and Beatrice, also care for the king’s fourth son Julian when he is a babe, so Bella’s favorite childhood playmate is none other than a prince.  Unaware of her noble birth, Bella is happy and well loved in her humble home until her father remarries and summons his daughter to his estate.  Bella’s stepmother, grieving for her first husband and the loss of her own estate, wants nothing to do with uncultured, uneducated Bella.  Miserable, Bella takes to kitchen work and dreams of her former home.  When she overhears a plot that threatens Prince Julian’s life, she embarks on a dangerous journey to warn him.  But even if she reaches her destination in time, is anyone likely to take the word of a simple peasant girl?

Notes:  Fairy tale lovers will enjoy this re-imagining of Cinderella.  In alternating first person narrative, Bella at Midnight explores the point of view of the step-mother, step-sisters, godmother, and prince.
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