Cover image for Cinderella 2000
Title:
Cinderella 2000
Author:
Jukes, Mavis.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
197 pages ; 19 cm
Summary:
Fourteen-year-old Ashley has her heart set on spending New Year's Eve 1999 at an exclusive country club party with an Almost Boyfriend, but her plan is endangered by her stepmother and two bratty stepsisters.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 4.0 54030.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 9 Quiz: 21728 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780385327114
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A hilarious account of preparing for New Year's Eve for the millennium with romance, drama, shopping, two devilish stepsisters, and a happily-ever-after ending. Ashley Ella Toral wants to spend the last hours of 1999 and the first hours of the year 2000 at the Green Hill Country Club with her (hopefully) soon-to-be boyfriend. And what's standing in the way of Ashley's romantic success? A stepmother who yells "Yoo-hoo!" to all Ashley's friends, and twin stepsisters who think there's nothing more fun than listening in on Ashley's phone conversations. At first, Ashley's stepmother, Phyllis, says that she needs a night out and so Ashley must baby-sit the twins. But then Phyllis has the bright idea of calling the mother of one of the party-throwers to get the twins invited, too! So worse than having to baby-sit, she'll have the twins at the party with her. Now Ashley isn't sure it's worth showing up to the country club at all -- never mind what she's going to wear. As the seconds tick down to the year 2000, will some fairy godmother appear to save the night so that Ashley can dance with her Prince Charming and welcome the new millennium?


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. Given the choice between the fairy-tale Cinderella's cruel stepmother and sisters and 14-year-old Ashley's ditsy stepmother and bratty sisters, the reader may be hard-pressed to choose. It's New Year's Eve, the eve of the millennium, and Ashley has a chance to celebrate in style with the boy of her dreams at the "coolest" party imaginable. But her stepmother, Phyllis, wants her to baby-sit for her monstrous twin stepsisters. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a way out--if Phyllis can be trusted to make alternative arrangements for the little girls. But the big night is closing in, and Ashley still can't tell her friends whether she's a yes for the party of parties. Jukes beautifully captures teen angst about social life, dress, parental embarrassment, and self-image in this entertaining romance with a likable, modern-day Cinderella, whose delightful fairy godmother saves the night in a clever if contrived way. --Anne O'Malley


Publisher's Weekly Review

This sassy Cinderella story centers on 14-year-old Ashley Ella Toral, who has just received an invitation to the biggest bash of the season, a New Millennium's Eve party held at the prestigious Ocean Crest Country Club and hosted by her heartthrob, Trevor Cranston. Thwarting her chance to usher in the year 2000 in style are her two bratty, scheming stepsisters, Paige and Jessica, and Ashley's stepmother, Phyllis, who wants Ashley to baby-sit on the night of the big event. At the same time the unpampered princess is wallowing in self-pity, her unlikely fairy godmother (Phyllis's grandmother) is flying in from Florida to bestow enough gifts, cash and service upon Ashley to make most of her dreams come true. Besides offering plenty of laughs, this updated classic adds much color to characters traditionally painted in black and white. Ashley's stepmother is not evil so much as self-centered and overwrought by financial concerns, and Ashley, virtuous though she is, can be rather testy at times. Jukes has a ball adding new twists to an all-too-familiar plot, and readers will want to get in on the fun, too. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Yet another retelling of the classic tale, this time set in northern California at the brink of the new millennium. Orphaned Ashley Ella Toral, 14, lives with her stepmother and mannerless, younger twin stepsisters. Her existence is not as bleak as the lives of many of her fabled predecessors-her stepmother, Phyllis, is merely clueless rather than truly malevolent and her stepsisters might remind many readers of their own bratty siblings. The great dilemma of Ashley's fairly benign adolescence revolves around an invitation to a posh New Year's Eve soiree. Trevor, the boy of Ashley's dreams, will be in attendance, and she frets over appropriate attire, limousine fare, and whether she'll have to baby-sit the dreaded twins on the night in question instead of attending the party. The challenge in retelling a classic fairy tale is to bring something fresh to the literary canon. Results are mixed with this particular effort. While the plot suffers from predictability, the characters are compelling in their three-dimensionality. The stepmother is the most entertaining with her atrocious fashion sense, appalling parenting skills, and quixotic displays of good-heartedness. Ashley herself is a complex teenager who is alternately endearing and annoyingly self-centered. Phyllis's Grammie as the mildly lascivious, lottery-winning fairy godmother is probably the least credible and successful. Of course, the story ends happily and perhaps too neatly. A light, humorous confection for girls who haven't outgrown princess stories.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Two thousand silver helium balloons, with curled silver ribbons hanging down? "You must be kidding!" said Ashley. She twirled the phone cord around her finger. "Two thousand?" "That's what I heard . . . ," said Ana. "And there's going to be an ice sculpture in the middle of the buffet table: two, zero, zero, zero--with flower petals frozen in the numbers. But you can't tell anybody." "I won't." "It's a total secret." "Fine," said Ashley. "But--who told you?" "Emily. Brittany and Mara were talking about it in that new store next to Starr's. In the dressing room. They didn't realize Emily was trying on tops in the next booth." "Oh." "Emily hid in there till they left." "Did she get any tops?" "No. But she got a plastic tulip lamp." Ana paused. "Did your stepmom say you could get a new dress for the party? Or no." "I've put off asking." "Well, you'd better hurry up. The party's in two days!" "I know," said Ashley. "But Phyllis's been saying she's all 'spent out from Christmas . . . that the new couch and La-Z-Boy chair were really 'presents meant for all of us.' " Ana grew quiet. "Well, if Phyllis doesn't say yes, remember: You really do look cute in your little black dress, Ashley." "You think?" "Mmmm-hmmm! Do you have shoes?" "I can polish those little black strappy heels I got for Emily's Bat Mitzvah." "They still fit?" "I think so." But come to think of it, thought Ashley, I hope my toes don't hang over the edge. Ashley heard a low rumbling sound. She lifted the curtain and looked out the window. Yup. Her stepmom was pulling in. Ashley watched the ancient green station wagon lurch to a stop, barely missing one of the two dented garbage cans sitting on the side of the driveway. "I have to go," Ashley told Ana. "Phyllis's home. And it's my turn for dishes--again." "Talk to you later," said Ana. They said goodbye and Ashley hung up the phone. She spied on her two stepsisters as they got out of the car, each holding a shopping bag from Zil's. They left the car door open and strolled toward the front stoop. Ashley heard her stepmother shout, "Shut the car door!" but neither Paige nor Jessica responded. "I mean it!" "You!" yelled Paige. "We have to watch the soaps." "You do not! One of you shut that car door!" Words were exchanged; one sister swung her bag at the other. There was a brief scuffle, followed by a chase across the front yard. Ashley let the curtain drop to the sill. She turned and surveyed the kitchen. The sink was half full of greasy water and piled with dirty dishes. A frying pan had been dunked and left to soak. A piece of fried egg was dangling from the handle. There was even a stalk of celery floating in the water. Ashley fished it out by one leaf and dropped it into the trash under the sink. Ick! she thought. She drained the sink and began to fill it again. There was a loud thump at the front door, and Ashley heard a shout and giggles as her stepsisters raced down the hallway and slammed their bedroom door. A moment later, Ashley's stepmother appeared in the kitchen. "You'll never guess," she said. Ashley looked up. Phyllis's glasses were on top of her head, pulling back her hair and making two frightful wings. "You guys went to the mall," said Ashley. "Again." She squirted some dishwashing liquid into the water and watched the bubbles rise. "Right," said Phyllis. "We hit the sale at Zil's. The twins got velvet jumpers. And black dresses--similar to your black dress." "How similar?" Ashley asked. Phyllis shrugged. "Anyway, I've got news! My grammie has overcome her fear of flying! She's spontaneously decided to come out. And she's coming in guess when. Tomorrow afternoon! Can you believe it? I'm picking her up from the airport bus, right after I get off of work." "You're not meeting her flight?" "How?" said Phyllis. "You're on vacation, I'm not. That bum of a boss of mine has me working all the way up to four o'clock on New Year's Eve . . . like I don't have a life. But I have news for him and the rest of the world: My whole life's in front of me, not behind me. Right?" "Right." "And Grammie and I are going to ring in the new millennium with a bottle of French champagne she's been saving since 1984." "Cool," said Ashley. She looked down at the suds filling the sink. "Where will she sleep?" "Actually that's something we need to talk about," Phyllis began. She walked over to Ashley and put her arm around Ashley's shoulder. "It will only be for four nights," she whispered, giving Ashley a squeeze. "Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Help me out here." "She can't sleep in your bed with you? It's a king!" "The woman's seventy-five years old," said Phyllis. "I think she's entitled to her own room, at her age." Ashley picked up the dish brush and scrubbed at the little icky plugs of garlic stuck in the garlic press. She rinsed it and put it into the drain. "The Christmas couch is really fluffy," said Phyllis in a cheery way. "And you can snuggle down in--in all those orange pillows." "Can't the twins?" Ashley asked. "Two? On one couch?" "Well, what about one in a sleeping bag, on the floor? Or in the La-Z-Boy, tipped all the way back?" "Sleep on the floor or in a chair? That wouldn't be fair. Would it?" Ashley said nothing. It was plain that she would be giving up her room; it was pointless to discuss it. But hmmmm, she thought. Maybe now would be the moment . . . Even though she was generally a jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers girl, there was a streak of princess in Ashley. She looked down at the dishwater. Steam was rising. Imagine, she thought. You're floating into the New Millennium's Eve party, wearing high-heel shoes and a new dress, with part of your hair drawn up and fastened on top with a crown of rosebuds, each bud on an individual hairpin . . . or maybe just pulled back with some rhinestone clips . . . and the rest of your hair tumbling onto your shoulders and down your back. Ashley popped her eyes open. Where was her body glitter? She hadn't seen it lately. So much steam had risen from the sink, Ashley had practically given herself a facial. She quickly washed and rinsed the dishes, putting them neatly into the drain. "Phyllis?" she said. "Is there anything else you want me to do?" Phyllis had wandered into the living room and was sorting through some bills. "Could you please come in here and talk to me? I don't like to talk room to room. You know that." Ashley dried her hands on a dishtowel. "Could I get a new dress for the New Millennium's Eve dance?" she quietly asked as she stood in the living room doorway. "I saw an ad in the paper for a huge post-Christmas sale at Starr's." "Mom!" cried Jessica's voice from the other room. "What!" "Where's the remote?" yelled Paige. "I don't know! Find it!" called Phyllis. She glanced up at Ashley. "You mean that country club party?" "Yes," said Ashley. "That party's on . . . New Year's Eve?" said Phyllis. "Yes! You knew that!" "Shhh! Maybe I did know. Let me think for once, will you, Ashley? Don't hound me. I've got more to worry about than the Ocean Crest Country Club. My gosh. Look at this Visa bill!" "Mom!" called Paige. Phyllis looked at the ceiling. "What!" she hollered back. There was no answer. "Ashley?" said Phyllis. "Keep this in mind: I don't keep your social events in my head. It's not my job. Did you mark this party on the calendar?" "We don't have a year 2000 calendar." "December thirty-first is not on a year 2000 calendar!" said Phyllis grumpily. "In the future, mark things on the calendar on the wall by the back door. Anyway, I forgot. And now I'm banking on you to hold down the fort on New Year's Eve." "Hold down the fort?" said Ashley. "On New Year's Eve? Of the year 2000?" "Yes. Flying out to see me is the first spontaneous thing Grammie's done in fifteen years. She's been so cooped up. Do you know that she couldn't even fly out for your father's and my wedding? I had to drag him all the way out to Florida to meet her." "You mean when you and Dad went on your honeymoon and stopped off in Florida, on your way to Bermuda, and left me and the baby-sitter home to deal with the twins?" Phyllis grew very quiet. "When they were in their terrible twos?" "They're still in their terrible twos . . . ," said Phyllis. You can say that again, thought Ashley. Phyllis looked down at her hands. "Grammie wanted so much to come out here for your father's funeral. And that would have meant so much to me. But she just couldn't make it. She's had such a terrible fear of flying ever since . . . well. You know the story." "Yes, I know the story." "You're not the only orphan in town, Ashley." "I know that, Phyllis. And I'm sorry about what happened to your parents. But--" "I'll have you know," said Phyllis, "that Grammie hasn't even set eyes on my children. Except once, when I took the twins out to Orlando to visit her." "You mean when you took the twins on a vacation to Disney World?" said Ashley. "And had your grandmother meet you guys there? And you all stayed in the Magic Castle, or whatever that place is, with five pools?" "Yes." "While I stayed home? And 'held down the fort,' with Dad?" "Well, it wasn't your birthday, Ashley. And we couldn't all go . . . ," said Phyllis. "In any event, I would appreciate it very, very much if you would stay home with the girls on New Year's Eve, so my grandmother and I can do something elegant. And memorable. And adult." Ashley's heart began thumping. "But you said I could go to the party!" "I'll duplicate everything to do with that ridiculous party, I promise you," said Phyllis. "You want me to pop a prime rib in the oven? You want Shirley Temples? And parfaits for dessert? Raspberries on vanilla ice cream! I'll get out the parfait glasses. Invite a friend over. Is Ana available?" "No." Phyllis wasn't listening. "And how about Emily? You'll be three peas in a pod. I'll buy you those little paper champagne bottle poppers, with streamers inside. You guys can rent movies to distract the twins. It'll be a blast! A real hoot!" Ashley heaved a fat sigh. "It will not be a blast. Or a hoot! Nobody is available for Shirley Temples, peas in pods or prime rib! And even if they were, we hate big slabs of cow meat!" "How about a small turkey, then?" "I want to go to the party, Phyllis! This is not just any party. It's the biggest party ever! With two thousand balloons!" "Oh-kay," said Phyllis. "Oh-kay." She be- gan slowly nodding and pacing. She suddenly whirled around. "You want balloons?" she asked Ashley. "I'll buy balloons. My friend Julia works at Spencer's Rentals and let me tell you, we can set you girls up with some major balloons, if that's what it takes to make you happy! Put in your order." She began rapidly clicking her fingers. "Come on . . . come on . . . how many do you want? You name the number!" "That's not what it takes to make me happy!" "Well, what does it take?" Ashley stood her ground. "I want. To go. To the party!" "I can't believe you're pressuring me like this," Phyllis muttered. "Well, it's a very important party!" "Oh, yes--I know," said Phyllis sarcastically. "I know all about it. Five families--the town royalty--make the Biggest, Most Very Important Party Ever for their five popular kids, and these five kids get together to determine who will be graced with an invitation . . . and therefore become officially certified as being in with the crowd." Ashley blinked. What was that supposed to mean? "And you're totally down for this whole event, even though your own best friends have been excluded. Am I right?" Ashley didn't answer. "Or wrong." Ashley still said nothing. "I thought so." "Ana and Emily have plans! Their families are spending the whole weekend at the beach. In that same cabin they once rented, and invited me to. Right on the beach--out on that sand spit. Remember?" "How would I remember?" said Phyllis. "They're going to watch fireworks go off over the ocean," said Ashley, "then stay up all night around a campfire and watch the sunrise." "How would I remember?" asked Phyllis again. "Was I invited along? No. Were the twins? No. Anyway--you know what? Good for them, for renting the cabin on the beach. I wish I had thought of something so good. I don't approve of this country club affair. And I don't care for the snob factor." Stay calm, Ashley told herself. Stay calm and say nothing until you think of something good to say. "Well," she ventured a moment later, "just out of curiosity, Phyllis, where would you two go on New Year's Eve, with your bottle of champagne?" "I haven't decided. This has all come up so suddenly--maybe the Shangri-La Room, at the Crown Hotel. I'll call and see what's shakin'." What's shakin'--at the Shangri-La Room? thought Ashley. "Well, wouldn't it be better to drink champagne at home?" she asked, in as polite a way as possible under the circumstances. She didn't wait for an answer. "And do you really think it would be good to keep your elderly grandmother up till midnight--at her age?" Phyllis closed her eyes and shook her head. "I'm a widow and a single parent, therefore I'm incapable of having a good time. Ha! Is that what you think, Ashley?" "No." "Good. Because that would be a rather sexist notion, wouldn't you say? And that an elegant and educated senior woman would be too far over the hill to stay up till midnight? Or responsibly drink a glass or two of champagne? We're not planning to get tiddly!" "I didn't say you were!" "I'm surprised at you, Ashley. I really am." From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpted from Cinderella 2000 by Mavis Jukes All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.