by Gail Carson Levine
At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift--the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse--once and for all.
It fits multiple criteria for reading challenges. It's a Newbery recipient, a fantasy adventure, and it has a little bit of romance and humor too.
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