Books Your Kid Should Read

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges

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The Wicked Enchantment

23 January 2009

The Wicked Enchantment
by Margot Benary-Isbert

So, it's a new year, a new president (yay!), and you're looking for something new to read to or with your kids. Here's a book that might be a little hard to find, but is well worth the hunt. Translated from the original German, Wicked Enchantment tells the story of a girl named Anemone and her dog Winnie, as they embark on a sort of feminist modern-day Cinderella/adventure story. Intrigued? Anemone's dear father has just remarried after the death of Anemone's mother, and in true fairy-tale fashion, the stepmother and her son, Erwin, are terrible additions to the family. Erwin terrorizes all the family animals and shifts the blame to Anemone whenever he's caught out, but (of course) no one will believe that Anemone is suffering from anything other than jealousy. Finally things get so bad that Anemone lights out for her Aunt's house across town, a utopian abode where cats and mice live peacefully together and everything is more magical than it at first seems. With the help of her Aunt, Anemone disguises herself and her dog as a young boy and sets out to determine just what the heck is going on with her new relations. What she uncovers is an evil plot that threatens the entire village of Vogelsang, and forces Anemone to draw on all her intelligence, courage, and common sense (qualities she fortunately possesses in abundance).

This is a book I found by chance at a public library sale when I was in my teens; I picked it up because it looked like it might be interesting, and the book was soon a family favorite. If you're looking for well-written fiction centering around strong, interesting female characters, this book will be right up your alley.

Interested in this book? Get more details or make a purchase at the bookstore.