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The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece…

The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece

by Anthony Manna

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In this story an unfairly treated orphan finds fortune when she marries the prince of the kingdom. Many of the traditional Cinderella elements are found in this version. However a few things are different. For example, there is no fairy godmother--instead there is the voice of her dead mother. She also doesn't get locked up in the attic. The theme in this book seems to be about hope and destiny. I suppose the Cinderella tales evolved in order to give children--girls especially--a sense of fate/destiny, especially for poor girls living in sad/bad circumstances. In this story, she does go out on her own determination to decide her fate, but only because she hears her dead mother's voice urging her to do so.

I would definitely check this book out again if I were doing a unit comparing Cinderella stories. It would be fun to compare this with other versions from around the world. I found this cool website:


Overall, this book wasn't my favorite. But I've never been a Cinderella fan anyway.
  WeaverJ | Oct 27, 2015 |
I liked this book due to various reasons. First, I really enjoyed this authors writing style. He had a lot of parallel structuring to his story. For example I loved when he wrote “What did the father do? What could he do? Why he…” I feel like the way he repeated this phrase really placed emphasis on the helplessness that some of the characters faced. It gave the characters more depth and enhanced the flow of the story. The author did a very good job of really telling this story. There was never a dull moment in this book, and although the story was predictable and did not contain too many changes from the original story, there were still enough variations to make the story interesting and captivate the reader’s attention. For example, I loved how her gifts came from “mother nature and her children,” rather than one magical entity. I also really enjoyed how the orphan really took her fate into her own hands while still obeying the words of deceased mother, showing her faithfulness. The one aspect of this story that I found slightly disappointing was the lack of cultural insertion of Greece. I did not learn anything about the Greek culture through this book, but it was still a delightful story with a happy ending that I really enjoyed. ( )
  EmilyXia | Sep 2, 2015 |
This is much like the Cinderella story that we all know with a few twists. The authors of the story wanted to give her the option to take it upon herself to seek her destiny instead of living in misery like that of some of the other Cinderella stories. This Cinderella is self-motivated and finds her happiness inspired by the Sun, the Moon,the Dawn give her brilliance, beauty, and gracefulness. The Morning Star, Evening Star, the Meadows and the Sea give her the clothing to catch her man. ( )
  nickycook7 | Jul 13, 2015 |
The Orphan is a story that is similar to the one we all know, Cinderella. She has a evil step mother that does everything she can to hurt the orphan. But she does have nature in her favor and the spirit of her mother. the prince comes to the village and becomes very fond of the orphan and will do anything to find her. Another great book and i though it was very different and had great artwork.
  mackenzie27 | Jun 7, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is a great twist on a classic book. Orphan is closely related to the fairytale Cinderella, and I think because of this it has many of the same positive traits. First, the characters are believable, and certainly well-deveoped. The characters are developed with such realistic traits, that I found it impossible not to like this book.

Second, I also liked the plot. It brings the reader just the right amount of suspension and tension that they want to keep flipping the pages. The plot keeps a steady pace, and brings the conflict the orphan experiences not too soon, yet not too late.

The last couple of reasons I found this an enjoyable read was because the illustrations matched the written text, they kind of had a dull appearance, which gave it a mythological feel. The book pushes readers to think about tough issues and broadens perspectives, and this is the main message of this book. It is telling the reader that sometimes households hold different kind of families, it is telling them that people don't always get treated as nicely as they should, yet it should never stop you from pursuing your goal, which is exactly what The Orphan did. ( )
  Skaide1 | Dec 7, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375866914, Hardcover)

Once upon a time in Greece, fate left a young girl an orphan. Her stepmother was so hateful that she counted every drop of water the orphan drank! But with the help of Nature's blessings, the orphan was showered with gifts: brilliance from the Sun, beauty from the Moon, gracefulness from the Dawn—and even a tiny pair of blue shoes from the Sea. When the prince comes to visit their village, he only has eyes for the mysterious beauty. Children will love this fanciful folk retelling of the Cinderella story, accompanied by luminous watercolor illustrations by Giselle Potter.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:03 -0400)

In this variation on the Cinderella story set in Greece, a girl mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters manages to captivate the prince, with help from Mother Nature and her children.

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