YA Fairy Tales – Cinderella

Cicinderella - disneynderelly Cinderelly night and day it’s Cinderelly!

While I wacinderella - folklores never passionate about Cinderella like many of my little girl peers (Little Mermaid FTW!), the story is one of the most popular and one of the longest running fairy tales in the world. The tale falls under the 510B category in the Aarne-Thompson Classification System (remember from last week, this system is the way academics sort through folklore of the world). The 510B category is generally summed up as the “persecuted heroine.”

Basically, you have a girl who is under someone’s thumb as the primary story’s focal point. This framwork is actually widely popular throughout YA right now though (Katniss, Tris, etc). To draw a line between this beloved story device and actual Cinderella retellings, I focused on those books which played with the other parts of the folktale–evilcinderella - egypt/ugly stepsisters and/or stepmother, fairy godmothers/benefactors, and an attraction to a handsome young man.cinderella - india

Most of the European versions of Cinderella have these three additional characteristics along with certain African (West Africa’s Chinye and Egypt’s Rhodopis) and Asian (China’s Yeh-Shen and India’s The Enchanted Anklet) Cinderella stories.

So, without further ado…here are my selections of YA Cinderella retellings:

  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – One of the award-winning retellings that makes the Cinderella heroine powerful in her own right. Rather than relying on a fairy godmother to rescue her, Ella is actually “cursed” with the gift of obedience by her godmother. Just do me a favor, if you are going to watch the movie with Anne Hathaway, judge it separately from the book. While a few things from the movie and book line up, there are not enough similarities to say the movie was derived from the Levine story. cinderella5
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer – What if Cinderella wasn’t so old fashioned? What if she was a cyborg? Futuristic storytelling meets the fairy tale in Cinder. The fact that Cinder is a cyborg makes her a second-class citizen in her world, but her skills as a gifted mechanic help to position her in the middle of an intergalactic struggle and in the heart of Prince Kai. Definitely for those who want their Cinderella with more umph and a sci-fi twist. cinderella4
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass – Being selected as one of the 35 girls who will be given the opportunity to win the Prince’s heart begins as a nightmare for America Singer. She is forced to turn her back on everything she planned for herself. If you want your Cinderella story to be more about love growing between the heroine and her prince, this book is for you. An enjoyment of reality dating shows like The Bachelor would help too. cinderella3
  • The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson – Did you ever think that Cinderella’s stepsisters got a raw deal? This is the book for you if you feel more attached to the poor stepsisters who were only doing as their mother told them. Artistic and quirky Mattie considers herself as the ugly stepsister when pretty and popular Ella gets the attention and even the affection of Mattie’s long-time crush. It is time for the snarky stepsister to rule. cinderella1

YA Fairies – Silent Orchids

Not all fairy-based YA literature has to be on the level of other popular YA. In fact, there are some (like the O.R. Melling books previously covered) that like to embrace a more traditional view of fairy folklore. These options normally have several links to the Celtic traditions of fairies and little people.


The book Silent Orchids by Morgan Wylie is definitely in this stream. However, it takes things in a different direction. Rather than just embracing an ancient story and modifying it for the modern world, she actually uses some elements from the fairy tradition and then just implements them in her own version of the modern world.


It follows the story of a girl named Kaeleigh who was abandoned as a child and is about to turn 18. As she reaches this age of adulthood, she feels the pull to find her family and unravel secrets of her past. She travels with her two best friends Chel and Finn as she tries to reach the fairy realm of her birth, Alandria. Also, the book looks into the Ferrishyn fairy warrior Deagan as he is on a mission that could change the fate of Alandria. The two tales intertwine beautifully as Wylie certainly has a gift for writing and for lovely yet realistic descriptions. The overall feel is very dark and adventurous, making this a great fairy book for guys and girls who prefer more beefy action.

silent orchids


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Make your own paper orchid.


The symbolism of the orchid is a very important part of this book (duh). Therefore, a paper orchid craft project can be a great way to embrace the novel.


There are actually several ways to create a paper orchid since the flower is rather unique in its appearance.


I personally like the written (with picture assistance) directions from Lia Griffith’s DIY site. My preference for this source is that there are plenty of photos of finalized paper orchids and ideas for how to use them. The step by step instructions and pictures make it easy to follow too.






Also, there is a nice YouTube video of a rather simple paper orchid. It is more along the lines of an origami orchid than the Lia Griffith cutting-craft version. This orchid is actually really quick and simple too.




paper orchid1

YA Fairies – Dark Promise

Aaaaand we’re back!


This one is definitely a good choice too. It is called Dark Promise by Julia Crane and Talia Jager. The book was just released last year and has inspired its own book series called Between Worlds. It is a classic example of YA fairy literature mixed with romance.


Basically, the story follows Rylie who feels that everything is going great as she approaches her 16th birthday. However, just before she turns 16, Rylie discovers her life is not what she thought. Her actual mother is revealed to be a fairy and she warns Rylie that on her birthday she will come into her powers. She even will have a change in appearance which she can keep hidden from humans but not from other fairies.


To make matters worse, it turns out Rylie’s birth father promised her to the prince of dark fairies named Kallan. The dark fairies are therefore after her to fulfill the deal. Buckle up for a fun adventure laced with plenty of fairy romance.

dark promise


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Fairy Make-up – Just in time for Halloween!


One of the coolest aspects of Rylie’s transformation into a fairy involves her appearance. Specifically, her facial marking seem really amazing to me. With this in mind, fairy make-up is the perfect way to honor the novel. Not being very gifted with specialty make-up tools myself (mostly because I don’t have a very steady hand which leads to problems in pretty designs or even basic things like eyeliner), I think we need to outsource to a professional for this one.


Here is a link to my personal favorite YoutTube tutorial for fairy make-up. Also, I think that the end result would be rather close to Rylie’s look.



fairy makeup


For those who are more inclined to read their instructions (this is a literary blog after all), here is a link to a step by step tutorial for fairy make-up in written form as well.



fairy makeup 2

YA Fairies – The Faerie Path

Obviously, most fairy literature is actually targeted toward teen girls. This fact means that girls are the protagonists and tend to be main characters—which is another reason why I thought it would be a good follow up on so much guy lit!


Keeping with this tradition (and more hardcore Irish mythology and folklore) is The Faery Path series by Allan Frewin Jones. The original book series was not believed to be very successful. However, it was released at just the right time to sync up with the fairy YA lit boom. Several new covers were therefore created and another book was released, dividing part of the 4th book then extending upon it. I actually bought these books while this transition was taking place and believe me it was totally confusing to grab what I assumed was a new release in the series to read the end part of what was “my fourth book.” Honestly, it was insane. HOWEVER, the story itself (especially the first book) is great with a very mystical feel embedded with real world elements.


The story begins with a girl named Anita in the modern human realm who has memories of a world she shouldn’t know about and does not seem to fit in. Later she discovers she is actually a reincarnation of a Faerie princess named Tania. Upon this discovery, she becomes torn between the world in which she was raised and the world she is supposed to belong. Also, she is in the middle of a plot that could overthrow the entire Faerie realm.





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Moon Pocket Craft


Magic, especially emphasis on the moon and stars, plays a large role in all the books of The Faery Path series—the main character is after all the daughter of King Oberon and Queen Titania.


Embracing the moon in this simple craft can link to the story in a very delicate way. It also creates a handy pocket carrier for jewelry, change, or other shiny things that seem to attract the “little people” of Celtic folklore.



2 Colors of Felt

Sequins, buttons, beads


Embroidery thread

Cotton balls or cotton stuffing



  1. Cut out two full circles from the felt from one of the colors. Then, in the other color, cut a semi-circular half moon shape.
  2. On the half moon, sew on any sequins, buttons, or beads in any design you like. Items can be glued if you want but know that you need to be extra careful with glue and felt. The glue can dry and make the felt look weird if it overflows from the bedazzled piece.
  3. Sew partially around the circular felt to hold the two circles together. Stuff the partially closed circle with the cotton to fill as much as desired.
  4. Put the decorated half moon circle against the unsewn portion of the stuffed full circle. Sew the full circle closed while attaching the half moon pocket.

moon pocket 1moon pocket 2

YA Fairies – The Hunter’s Moon

The new theme for this week and next week is….


Since the fairy theme almost won during the last poll, I thought it would be suitable for the blogs of this week and the next as I didn’t have time to arrange a poll last week. I also wanted to note that the semester has officially started—meaning the posts won’t necessarily be as frequent. Yet, I will be trying to fit two to three posts into every week.


We will start off with what is probably one of my favorite fairy authors though—O.R. Melling.

Her YA stories focus greatly on implementing modern twists within traditional Irish and Celtic folklore. Honestly, the majority of her best work is basically narrative forms of these older stories.


The notable series completed by Melling is known as The Chronicles of the Faerie. The first book, The Hunter’s Moon, starts off the series with a bang and is probably my favorite in the long run. It follows two teenage cousins as they set out to find a magic doorway to the Faraway Country (land of faeries), where humans must bow to the little people. The writing has an easy flow and is very mystical. Yet, it is best for older teens and those with elevated reading levels since the wording and vocabulary can be a bit heavy for younger and struggling readers.

hunters moon



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Make fairy wings!

Not all of the Fae throughout the literature and even the works of Melling have wings. Yet, in The Hunter’s Moon, the little people are described as having very large gossamer wings. They are even shown that way on the book’s cover.


There are actually several ways to make the wings. Therefore, I decided to simply gather the best links to the best fairy wing projects. Check them out to find one that suits your desires and skill level.

Wire Fairy Wings

Simple Fairy Wings from Old Tights

No Sew Fairy Wings (for those not craft with a needle)

fairy wings 1 fairy wings 2 fairy wings 3