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Guestbook Entries (2850)

Ms. Levine,

This evening, for the first time in a decade or so, I reread "The Two Princesses of Bamarre". I'm 26 now, but I still love the story as much as I did in 2002.

Having gone on to read lengthy, magic-heavy sagas like The Kingkiller Chronicle and A Song of Ice and Fire, I'm struck by how you managed to build a world, develop characters, and fulfill a quest all within a book that I can now finish in one sitting without feeling cheated.

Thank you for creating two brave young women for me to admire (not to mention all those in your other books), and for inspiring me to become a writer myself. You're one of the first authors I can remember asking about at the library, just to be sure I'd read everything available that you'd written.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Maddie M
# 2850 - Maddie 01/20/2021 - 00:33 - City: Sioux Falls - State: South Dakota - Country: USA
Dear Ms. Levine,
I have read some of your books, and my favorite one is Ella Enchanted. I also especially like Fairest. I think you are a great writer. I think Ella Enchanted is better than the traditional Cinderella.

Rose
# 2849 - Rose Storck 01/15/2021 - 13:36 - City: Columbus - State: Ohio - Country: United States
Lillian Lea McCarthy, Eighteen times! Wow! I'm so glad you read DAVE with your students. Thanks for letting me know!

Karen J. Docter, Thank you! Oh, my, studying with Professor Netanyahu. What an experience that must have been!

Sidsel, I'm so glad FAIREST was helpful and that you've found people who really see you. Thanks for letting me know!

Lily, I'm delighted you and your class enjoyed CEILING. You came up with the right answer to your first question. As for the second, historically, most marriages were arranged by parents. After the expulsion, the rabbis and Jewish parents decided to arrange marriages for their daughters, even if they were too young, to protect them on their way to their new home, wherever that might be. Loma didn't have a choice. Later, on the ship, she resolves to make her own choice the next time. Each title has a different story. A CEILING MADE OF EGGSHELLS comes from a legend about King Solomon.

Eli G., I'm happy you wrote to me, although my answer may not satisfy you. I like to put complexity in my stories, in both plot and character. Belo isn't honest with Loma. He wants her to stay with him and not marry for as long as he needs her. At the end, he's willing for her to marry the young man he's chosen, because he believes they'll both travel with him and help him. Loma didn't have a choice about her marriage, and she considers her husband too young to be right for her. The closest thing I can come to a theme is the value of strength and resilience in terrible circumstances. Loma and Belo show those. Belo's highest commitment is to the Jewish community, and Loma's is to her family.
# 2848 - Gail Carson Levine 01/07/2021 - 17:03 - City: - State: - Country:
Mrs. Carson Levine,

I am an 8th-grade student. In my humanities class, we chose to read A Ceiling Made of Eggshells for a description of the context of the Inquisition of the Jews from Spain. As we read, inconsistencies and questions arose frequently—the foremost question surrounding the theme of the book.
Many of the ideas in the book were and contradictory—for example, you constantly emphasized how Paloma wanted to get married and have children, yet she was quite unhappy when she was actually married. (Maybe this is supposed to be ironic; I’m not sure.) Further, Belo constantly was switching between encouraging Paloma to marry, then encouraging Paloma to forget marrying and continue journeying to save the Jews with him, then back to wanting Paloma to marry, etc. This back-and-forth nature was very confusing, and the repetitive nature of contradictory ideas in the book made the theme hard to pinpoint. What, would you say, is the theme of the book? Is it of conforming to community values—about taking community values above your own? Or is it about holding your personal values to a higher standard, so as to reject community values when necessary? The book gave examples of both of these two opposite ideas. Belo seemed to be the harbinger of community values, and Paloma sometimes went along with them and sometimes didn’t. The problem is, the book made it very unclear about which position was correct (i.e., which one led to the ‘better’ outcome)—especially since you ended the book without a resolution, in an open-ended manner, where we have essentially no idea what fate befalls Paloma as a result of her choices. So, amongst all of these repetitive, contradictory ideas, what is the theme of this book?

Thanks,
Eli G.
# 2847 - Eli G. 01/04/2021 - 10:49 - City: West Hartford - State: Connecticut - Country: United States of America
Hi Mrs Carson Levine,
I hope this reaches you and that you are staying safe. My name is Lily and I am an 8th grade student and I am Jewish. My class and I just finished reading a Ceiling Made of Eggshells and before I say anything I just want to let you know how much we all enjoyed this book! : )
While reading we came up with some questions for you.
1) Throughout the book the characters have many small conflicts with each other but it is not until the end of the book that they have to leave Spain. Why did you set the book up like that? Why did you wait so long to get to the main point? I understand why you set the book up like this though because if you just went right into them leaving Spain we would know nothing about her character development or her past. For example we would not have known about Bela or how Yuda converted to Christianity, or even how much her relationship has grown with her family but especially with her Belo.
2) In the book, Paloma would always be talking about how important marriage and having kids was for her, but when she got the opportunity she married someone who she did not even love and then very quickly they separated. Why is that? I understand that Paloma is an independent strong young lady, but then why would she marry someone just to marry?

Thank you for reading this! I cannot wait to read more of your books!
PS; How do you come up with the titles of your books?
# 2846 - Lily T. 01/04/2021 - 10:41 - City: - State: - Country: USA
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