Levine, Gail Carson.
New York : HarperCollins, 2006
IL 5-8, RL 3.9
is a loose re-telling of Snow White. 15 year old Aza lives in Ayortha,
a kingdom where beauty and singing ability are valued above all else.
Aza only has one of these traits: she can sing like an angel but she is
big, awkward and ugly compared to other girls. Not only can she sing,
but she is the only one who has the gift of illusing. That means
she can imitate any voice and throw her voice far, sort of like a ventriloquist.
When the beautiful but wicked new queen, Ivi, who sings horribly, discovers Aza’s talent, she manipulates Aza in to singing for her while the queen lip synchs. Aza feels horrible at tricking the whole kingdom, especially Prince Ijori.
The handsome prince Ijori really likes and trusts Aza for her honesty, kindness and intelligence. They start a friendship and they fall in love. Aza, however, can't accept her lack of conventional beauty. She discovers this mirror that can make her more beautiful. However, it comes with an unpleasant price. She decides to take the chance anyway. When the secret about Aza singing for the queen is discovered, Aza is blamed and must escape to save her life. That, combined with the consequences of the magical mirror that made her beautiful, lead her on a dangerous adventure. (Davinna Artibey, Denver Center for International Studies, DPS, CO)
Beauty, Personal -- Fiction.
Singing -- Fiction.
Self-acceptance -- Fiction.
Identity -- Fiction.