Wendy Mass tells the story of Beauty and the Beast, as never heard before!
When you're stuck with the name Beauty, people expect a lot from you - like beauty and grace and courage and a sense of style. But what if you have none of these things? What if all you like to do is read books and search for odd objects that other people drop? Oh, and you have a perfect older sister who really should have had your name instead of you.
And when you're a prince, you're supposed to be athletic and commanding and brave and tall. But what if you are none of those things? What if all you like to do is play the bagpipes (badly), study the stars, and try to figure out how to make worms live forever? Oh, and you also have a perfect older brother who is a lot more princely than you'll ever be.
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Wendy Mass is the author of the award-winning books for readers A MANGO-SHAPED SPACE, LEAP DAY, JEREMY FINK AND THE MEANING OF LIFE, HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL, EVERY SOUL A STAR, THE CANDYMAKERS, 11 BIRTHDAYS, FINALLY, and the Twice Upon a Time series. She tells people her hobbies are photography and hiking, but they're really collecting candy bar wrappers and searching for buried treasure with her metal detector. Wendy lives with her family in New Jersey. Visit her at www.wendymass.com.From School Library Journal:
Gr 4-7-This installment in the series tells of Beauty, a plain girl whose life drastically changes after a fire destroys her father's business, and Riley, a prince who would rather gaze at the stars than dance at lavish balls. When a mischievous witch turns Riley into a hideous beast and renders his family completely invisible, he must find a girl to love him before his time runs out. Told in alternating viewpoints, this is an appealing fairy-tale spin-off. The characters and dialogue emphasize the importance of family strength in times of adversity. Both Beauty's and Riley's families face serious problems, but they handle their issues with integrity, humor, and courage. At times, however, the dialogue doesn't sound authentic and seems pieced together with little or no transition. Pacing is also a concern. The stories meander through lots of events before the two finally meet, but they all seem random and do little to enhance the plot. It isn't until about 70 pages from the end that the traditional story begins, leaving some to wonder what took so long. Still, Mass and fairy-tale retellings are popular with tweens, and librarians looking for light, nonviolent retellings will find that Beauty fits the bill nicely.-Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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