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Fairest

Cover of Fairest

Fairest

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Aza is far from beautiful. With pale skin and blood-red lips (not to mention ungainly size), she is seen as odd, at best. But Aza does have one blessing: a voice of astonishing beauty. In Ayortha, where singing is the main mode of communication, this gift is no small thing, and soon Aza finds herself rising at court. But, as she will discover, unexpected good fortune can also bring unexpected danger... Funny and moving, wise as well as uplifting, Fairest represents New York Times bestselling author Gail Carson Levine at her finest. Composer-director Todd Hobin has crafted melodies for all the story's lyrics and songs, resulting in a unique listening experience -- an audiobook that has as much original music as a Broadway show!

Aza is far from beautiful. With pale skin and blood-red lips (not to mention ungainly size), she is seen as odd, at best. But Aza does have one blessing: a voice of astonishing beauty. In Ayortha, where singing is the main mode of communication, this gift is no small thing, and soon Aza finds herself rising at court. But, as she will discover, unexpected good fortune can also bring unexpected danger... Funny and moving, wise as well as uplifting, Fairest represents New York Times bestselling author Gail Carson Levine at her finest. Composer-director Todd Hobin has crafted melodies for all the story's lyrics and songs, resulting in a unique listening experience -- an audiobook that has as much original music as a Broadway show!

Available formats-
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.1
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    6 - 10

Recommended for you


 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Gail Carson Levine was awarded a Newbery Honor for her debut novel, Ella Enchanted. She has since published many other favorites, including The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, and Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly, a guide to writing for young authors. Gail lives with her husband in New York's Hudson River Valley.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine What fun! A full-cast audio production is a great vehicle for presenting this fairy tale. Set in a land where writing songs and singing them is a highly admired skill, the story offers a combination of singing and speaking roles for a rich cast of characters. The skilled cast makes the most of their roles and appears to be having great fun. Enchanting melodies that range from the simple to the complex are provided by Todd Hobin. Sarah Naughton plays Aza, the homely and common maid with the uncommon voice. In typical fairy-tale fashion, she finds herself in precarious circumstances among the king, queen, handsome prince, nobles, and gnomes. Naughton's portrayal fully captures the paradigm of the sweet and unassuming girl who tries to please everyone she meets. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 24, 2006
    In an alluring companion novel that some readers may argue even surpasses Ella Enchanted
    , Levine gives a visionary rendering of the Snow White tale that challenges conventional ideas of beauty. Fifteen-year-old narrator Aza is anything but pretty. In fact, she is so unsightly that her loving innkeeper parents (who found Aza abandoned as a baby) keep her hidden from most of their guests. However, Aza possesses two special gifts and when, through a series of events, she winds up in the royal court, her talents draw notice. She has a stunning singing voice (something prized among her fellow Ayorthaians), and she has the ability to throw her voice, so that it appears that someone else is singing (a talent that comes in handy when the vocally challenged queen is asked to sing in public). After Aza is made lady-in-waiting, she discovers a magic mirror that has the power to make her the fairest in the land. But becoming a raving beauty brings more heartache than joy—and could even cost Aza her life. Readers will instantly fall in love with the heroine, whose heart proves to be as warm as her voice. They will eagerly follow Aza's circuitous journey, one that leads to a tribe of gnomes (who may be distant relatives), lures Aza into a deadly trap and eventually brings her back to court, where she reunites with the man she adores, a prince who recognizes her inner beauty. Ages 8-14.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 28, 2008
    Levine's enchanting, intelligent fairy tale, set in a kingdom devoted to singing, lends itself well to full-cast production; this one features 32 voices. Composer Todd Hobin has set Levine's lyrics to music; Naughton does a terrific job as maid Aza, the narrator, a demanding role that requires near-operatic talents. Homely Aza, abandoned at birth, not only sings like a lark, she can throw her voice and mimic others, a skill she calls illusing. In a chance meeting, the treacherous new queen, whose abrasive voice has a Valley Girlesque quality, discovers Aza's talent and blackmails the girl into secretly providing her voice for all of the queen's public singing. Additional background music augments the many perilous predicaments Aza finds herself in, as well as providing a backdrop to the fairy-tale romance that develops between her and Prince Ijori. This is a rare case: the book itself is superb, but the audio production surpasses it. Ages 10-up. (Reviews, July 24, 2006.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Full Cast Audio
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Fairest
Fairest
Gail Carson Levine
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