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Ninja-Rella: A Graphic Novel

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Cinderella's stepmother and two stepsisters treat her like dirt. Each and every day, they force her to clean their clothes, cook their meals, and only give her rags to wear and crumbs to eat. But each night, in secret and in shadows, Cinderella trains to be a ninja! More than anything, Cinderella yearns to become the Prince's personal bodyguard. When the opportunity to pro Cinderella's stepmother and two stepsisters treat her like dirt. Each and every day, they force her to clean their clothes, cook their meals, and only give her rags to wear and crumbs to eat. But each night, in secret and in shadows, Cinderella trains to be a ninja! More than anything, Cinderella yearns to become the Prince's personal bodyguard. When the opportunity to prove her worth to the Prince finally arrives in the form of an invitation to a royal costume ball, Cinderella's stepmother won't let her go! But this time around, Ninja-rella isn't going to take "no" for an answer...


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Cinderella's stepmother and two stepsisters treat her like dirt. Each and every day, they force her to clean their clothes, cook their meals, and only give her rags to wear and crumbs to eat. But each night, in secret and in shadows, Cinderella trains to be a ninja! More than anything, Cinderella yearns to become the Prince's personal bodyguard. When the opportunity to pro Cinderella's stepmother and two stepsisters treat her like dirt. Each and every day, they force her to clean their clothes, cook their meals, and only give her rags to wear and crumbs to eat. But each night, in secret and in shadows, Cinderella trains to be a ninja! More than anything, Cinderella yearns to become the Prince's personal bodyguard. When the opportunity to prove her worth to the Prince finally arrives in the form of an invitation to a royal costume ball, Cinderella's stepmother won't let her go! But this time around, Ninja-rella isn't going to take "no" for an answer...

30 review for Ninja-Rella: A Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    Okay, Ninja-rella is really fun! As one of the Far Out Fairy Tales graphic novels, the original gets twisted in some imaginative ways. I love that Ninja-rella isn’t hoping to go to the Prince’s ball because she wants her happily ever after, being saved from her circumstances by the Prince and then marrying him. No, this version of Cinderella wants to save herself and the Prince by becoming his “extremely awesome royal ninja bodyguard”. Having learned to be smart from her mother and strong from h Okay, Ninja-rella is really fun! As one of the Far Out Fairy Tales graphic novels, the original gets twisted in some imaginative ways. I love that Ninja-rella isn’t hoping to go to the Prince’s ball because she wants her happily ever after, being saved from her circumstances by the Prince and then marrying him. No, this version of Cinderella wants to save herself and the Prince by becoming his “extremely awesome royal ninja bodyguard”. Having learned to be smart from her mother and strong from her father, Cinderella transforms herself into a kick-ass ninja, now known as Ninja-rella, after her mother’s death. Of course, her father remarries a woman with two daughters and after he too dies, Ninja-rella is relegated to servant by her cliché evil stepmother. On the evening of the ball the most adorable little fairy godninja rocks up to outfit Ninja-rella in appropriate ninja attire and provides her with her glass katana sword! There’s no pumpkin or talking animals in this version so Ninja-rella makes her own way to the ball. Ninja-rella has some brilliant moves and her expressions are priceless. I appreciated that it’s her strength and skills that shine in this story instead of her beauty. I really connected to her and loved her determination and attitude. The illustrations were fantastic, capturing Ninja-rella’s emotions and moves well. I always enjoy the bonus material at the end of the Far Out Fairy Tales stories: an explanation of the original story, illustrated representation of the main differences between the original and Far Out version, questions to get the reader to think about what they’ve read and a glossary that explains tricky words. My main nitpick with this story is that I was disappointed Ninja-rella ran from the Prince so he wouldn’t see her rags at midnight. I would’ve thought this Cinderella wouldn’t give a damn about her clothes and what others thought of them. However I concede it’s a necessary evil to move the plot along to the all important search for the owner of the glass katana. As a side note, I always found it bizarre in the version I grew up with that at midnight all of the fairy godmother magic is undone - except for the slipper the Prince took door to door. Surely the glass slipper should have vanished or transformed back into its pre-magic form like everything else?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Crissy Hensley

    This was a great quick read! I've been a big fan of Joey Comeau for a long time, so when I saw he'd written this I knew I had to check it out. It's an awesome retelling of Cinderella with ninjas, and interesting for kids too! The back of the book has some visual questions for kids (like, these panels go this way? Why do you think the artist chose to do that?) a page with history about the tale of Cinderella, a page with some of the changes they made from the traditional to the ninja version (lik This was a great quick read! I've been a big fan of Joey Comeau for a long time, so when I saw he'd written this I knew I had to check it out. It's an awesome retelling of Cinderella with ninjas, and interesting for kids too! The back of the book has some visual questions for kids (like, these panels go this way? Why do you think the artist chose to do that?) a page with history about the tale of Cinderella, a page with some of the changes they made from the traditional to the ninja version (like a glass katana instead of slippers) and a short glossary of potentially unfamiliar words. I really enjoyed it and will definitely recommend to kids in the library!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    I think this would be a great graphic novel for younger kids. It has a glossary in the back, explaining possibly difficult words, as well as questions that encourage the reader to think more thoroughly about the artistic choices that were made and what effect they might have on how the story is read/processed. As for the story itself, it is a pleasant and short retelling of Cinderella, in which the girl really wants to be a ninja. It has played with those recognisable Cinderella elements and chan I think this would be a great graphic novel for younger kids. It has a glossary in the back, explaining possibly difficult words, as well as questions that encourage the reader to think more thoroughly about the artistic choices that were made and what effect they might have on how the story is read/processed. As for the story itself, it is a pleasant and short retelling of Cinderella, in which the girl really wants to be a ninja. It has played with those recognisable Cinderella elements and changed them a bit, which works well. Overall a bit odd, but enjoyable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Another great retelling from the 'Far Out Fairytales' graphic novel series. Ninja-rella doesn't want to marry the prince- she wants to show off her awesome fighting skills and be his personal bodyguard! However, when her mother and father dies, and she is left with her evil step-mother and step-sisters, her ninja outfit is burned and she is forced to do all the housework for her family. When the prince holds a grand ball, with the help of her fairy godnija, Ninja-rella has her chance to show off Another great retelling from the 'Far Out Fairytales' graphic novel series. Ninja-rella doesn't want to marry the prince- she wants to show off her awesome fighting skills and be his personal bodyguard! However, when her mother and father dies, and she is left with her evil step-mother and step-sisters, her ninja outfit is burned and she is forced to do all the housework for her family. When the prince holds a grand ball, with the help of her fairy godnija, Ninja-rella has her chance to show off her skills to the prince! I don't have much to add to what I've said in my reviews of other books in this series, but I enjoyed it as much as the rest and I love that these books all have great female heroines for young people to look up to. These books have had mass appeal in our school library among both boys and girls so I'd recommend them for any collection (though they're especially great for low ability & reluctant readers).

  5. 5 out of 5

    meg

    pretty impressed by the far out fairytales series--fun and frankly badass twists on classic fairytales. ninja-rella wants to be the prince's bodygaurd instead of his bride. includes great backmatter including the history of the tale, a simple depiction of what was changed in this version (glass slipper ----> katana sword, etc.), and a visual quiz for parents/teachers who need proof that kids are comprehending all the visual clues, and more. pretty impressed by the far out fairytales series--fun and frankly badass twists on classic fairytales. ninja-rella wants to be the prince's bodygaurd instead of his bride. includes great backmatter including the history of the tale, a simple depiction of what was changed in this version (glass slipper ----> katana sword, etc.), and a visual quiz for parents/teachers who need proof that kids are comprehending all the visual clues, and more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Halli

    I loved this graphic novel retelling of Cinderella. Instead of wanting to marry the prince, 13-year-old Ninja-rella wants to be his bodyguard and leaves her glass katana sword behind instead of a glass slipper. Spectacular design, color, and story! Includes a short history of the original fairy tale, tale twists, visual questions, and a glossary. I look forward to reading the rest of the Far Out Fairy Tales series!

  7. 5 out of 5

    K

    Great twist on Cinderella.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    YES.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    Cute twist on the original fairy tale because who doesn't want to be a ninja?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    So cute, absolutely loved the illustrations. Great twist to the classic :) also loved the bit of history about the story at the end. Great book to read by yourself or with the kids.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dichotomy Girl

    A fun graphic-novel retelling featuring a glass Katana and Ninja-rella ending up as the prince's bodyguard.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    More of a picture book, really, than a novel, but I loved it. The illustrations were fantastic and Cinderella is definitely a badass. Super cute and fun. I'll be sharing it with the fifth graders. Grade for any age, really.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    An Energetic and Refreshing Reimagining With Girrrllll Power Stone Arch Books is publishing a number of short, (40 pages), graphic novels under the general series name "Far Out Fairy Tales". The books have been written by a variety of interesting authors, most of whom have some connection to the material or the genre. This one was written by Joey Comeau, which is particularly intriguing. The last book of his that I read was "Overqualified", a collection of pretend desperate cover letters which w An Energetic and Refreshing Reimagining With Girrrllll Power Stone Arch Books is publishing a number of short, (40 pages), graphic novels under the general series name "Far Out Fairy Tales". The books have been written by a variety of interesting authors, most of whom have some connection to the material or the genre. This one was written by Joey Comeau, which is particularly intriguing. The last book of his that I read was "Overqualified", a collection of pretend desperate cover letters which was the most politely brutal funny/sad book I've read in a long time. Comeau is also responsible for the web comic "A Softer World", which is what one would get if a postmodernist like Donald Barthelme stepped in to finish off some cartoons for Gary Larson's "Far Side". With that kind of resume, what kind of Cinderella do we get from Comeau? Well, this Cinderella isn't going to stand idly by while the world passes her. Her dream is to train herself up to become Ninja-rella and to one day serve as the Prince's personal bodyguard. This is a fairy tale heroine for a modern girl. But Comeau plays fair. He tweaks the story but stays within the traditional outlines. This isn't a different story so much as it is a different kind of Cinderella. And it works. We cheer Ninja-rella's hard work, training, independence and courage and we root for her to succeed. That's a pretty sharp way to rethink Cinderella. This is fresh and upbeat stuff. It is not cynical or edgy, and Comeau embraces the positive vibe and goes with it. This is all enhanced by the drawing, which is crisp, colorful and vaguely manga, (with big eyes, button noses and simple compositions). Just like the story telling, the art is brisk and direct. These are supposed to be books for younger readers. Indeed, the books in the series could easily be the first graphic novels a young, (7 to 10-ish), kid reads. They succeed admirably on that score. As a bonus, while they are accessible, understandable and entertaining, they are not puff pieces or lame franchise tie-ins. This is a good story, well told. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I have a feeling that I'm being a bit unfair to this book, but as I was forced to read it, I feel as though I might as well review it. My 4-year old daughter loves this book. She finds the pictures and the simple and clear dialogue fascinating. I found it just unpleasant. When I saw that the story was a revisionist version of Cinderella, I was excited to read it - we've read several of these and generally enjoy them. Unfortunately, the story (possibly due to its graphic novel format) just wasn't I have a feeling that I'm being a bit unfair to this book, but as I was forced to read it, I feel as though I might as well review it. My 4-year old daughter loves this book. She finds the pictures and the simple and clear dialogue fascinating. I found it just unpleasant. When I saw that the story was a revisionist version of Cinderella, I was excited to read it - we've read several of these and generally enjoy them. Unfortunately, the story (possibly due to its graphic novel format) just wasn't very good. There were no explanations for the motivations of any of the characters. The fates of the original mother and father were unclear (I had to explain that they died, and then my daughter wanted to know the whys and hows and I had to say, "because it is necessary for the plot of the story"). Then we have some nice angst from Ninjarella that I thought might lead to character development, but it doesn't really seem to go anywhere and is never brought up again. Then we have abuse from the step-mother and step-sisters but without any attempts at justification or explanations of how Ninjarella's change in circumstances came about. There isn't even a good reason why Ninjarella needs to attend this ball. And why is she so young? NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE. There are hundreds of versions of Cinderella re-told from a feminist or more modern perspective. There are many versions that blend increased agency with quality writing (although they tend to keep the romantic plot line). If your child loves fairy tales and is looking for a story with a sword-wielding daughter, check out the collection in The Serpent Slayer: and Other Stories of Strong WomenThe Serpent Slayer (both my girls love these stories) or even look up Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted for an examination of the importance of agency and choice (but still including romance, unfortunately). If you want your children to develop an appreciation of quality literature and coherent storytelling, I would steer away from this version.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    One of a series of graphic novels that tell amped-up, super-powered versions of popular fairy tales. I very much liked the art style. I could complain that the book is too short and that the story and characters are not super developed, but given the tone and the style a longer book might not actually work. It is what it is, and it's fun. I did very much appreciate the content at the end of the book, after the story's conclusion. There is a page devoted to describing the origins of the fairy tale One of a series of graphic novels that tell amped-up, super-powered versions of popular fairy tales. I very much liked the art style. I could complain that the book is too short and that the story and characters are not super developed, but given the tone and the style a longer book might not actually work. It is what it is, and it's fun. I did very much appreciate the content at the end of the book, after the story's conclusion. There is a page devoted to describing the origins of the fairy tale. There are also two pages that ask the reader to really look at a few panels taken from the story and think about how specific elements found in the artwork conveys information and feelings to the reader. This is fantastic for those who aren't quite used to reading graphic novels and might need a little help learning to understand the style. Of the series, I also read Red Riding Hood Superhero. I preferred the art style in this book, but for reasons unknown preferred Red's story adaptation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    Once upon a time there was a girl. She lived with a cruel step-mother and two step-sisters. She is forced to do all the cooking and cleaning. Only Cinderella has a plan, train to be a ninja and become the prince's bodyguard. Of course, this all has to remain a secret because otherwise her awful step-mother would put a stop to it for sure. Cinderella seems the royal as her opportunity to finally prove herself to the prince and get away from her dreadful "family" once and for all. Only her step-mo Once upon a time there was a girl. She lived with a cruel step-mother and two step-sisters. She is forced to do all the cooking and cleaning. Only Cinderella has a plan, train to be a ninja and become the prince's bodyguard. Of course, this all has to remain a secret because otherwise her awful step-mother would put a stop to it for sure. Cinderella seems the royal as her opportunity to finally prove herself to the prince and get away from her dreadful "family" once and for all. Only her step-mother will not let her near the ball, but she doesn't have to know, right? A fun new take on the classic tale. Ninja-Rella gives the original story a boost in girl power and comedy. With fun characters, this graphic novel encourages girls to take control of their lives and not to let people treat them like doormats. The artwork is colourful, fun, and very appealing for a younger audience. A great introduction to Joey Comeau's retold fairytales and work. No one does it quite like Ninja-Rella.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This book was a blast to read. Ninjas are so cool and when you mix them with a dainty fairy tale princess, you get awesome. Ninja-Rella is a strong character and is not interested in princess things. My only criticism of the story was that it never explains what happens to Ninja-Rella’s parents. They just past away mysteriously. I feel like in older versions of fairy tales, that works. However, modern stories usually offer an explanation. Once I got over being concerned about Ninja-Rella’s paren This book was a blast to read. Ninjas are so cool and when you mix them with a dainty fairy tale princess, you get awesome. Ninja-Rella is a strong character and is not interested in princess things. My only criticism of the story was that it never explains what happens to Ninja-Rella’s parents. They just past away mysteriously. I feel like in older versions of fairy tales, that works. However, modern stories usually offer an explanation. Once I got over being concerned about Ninja-Rella’s parents, I absolutely loved the story again. I don’t want to spoil it, but the ninja twist on the classic glass slipper, pumpkin, etc. is almost better than the original. And of course, she lives happily ever after.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Holland

    The story was kind of thin, but I liked the feminist twist of Cinderella wanting to be the Prince's ninja bodyguard rather than his doting wife. I liked the discussion questions at the end, because they get readers thinking about how comics work, in terms of how illustrators use certain drawing techniques to communicate emotion or ideas. The The Princess in Black books are relatively popular right now, and I think this would be a pretty good read-alike. It would also be good for beginning reader The story was kind of thin, but I liked the feminist twist of Cinderella wanting to be the Prince's ninja bodyguard rather than his doting wife. I liked the discussion questions at the end, because they get readers thinking about how comics work, in terms of how illustrators use certain drawing techniques to communicate emotion or ideas. The The Princess in Black books are relatively popular right now, and I think this would be a pretty good read-alike. It would also be good for beginning readers who are interested in comics.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Bateman

    Fractured fairy tales are everywhere today. This is a graphic novel fractured version of Cinderella. A poor ninja girl ends up having her ninja outfits destroyed by an evil stepmother. A ball is pending. She hopes to finish her chores using her ninja skills. When all seems lost her fair godninja appears and she's able to attend the costume ball and show off her skills to the prince when he is attacked. Now he's searching for the girl who goes with the glass katana. Found, she becomes his ninja b Fractured fairy tales are everywhere today. This is a graphic novel fractured version of Cinderella. A poor ninja girl ends up having her ninja outfits destroyed by an evil stepmother. A ball is pending. She hopes to finish her chores using her ninja skills. When all seems lost her fair godninja appears and she's able to attend the costume ball and show off her skills to the prince when he is attacked. Now he's searching for the girl who goes with the glass katana. Found, she becomes his ninja bodyguard. Crisp, bright illustrations are filled with energy and magic. This is sure to be a winner with both boys and girls. It's part of a series. I hope the rest are as enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bethe

    Anime feel to the illustrations but for younger readers in this fractured fairy tale in graphic novel format. More back story than original Cinderella story to establish her ninja self. I like the history of the Cinderella story but the back matter should have stopped there. Pointing out the different bits and the questions at the end just aren't necessary in a book intended for pleasure reading, cost the book at star.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    As can be guessed from the length (33 pages), this was a very, very fast read. It's also very much the straight Cinderella story with the exception of the fact that what the main character wants is a job and not a husband. I liked the art. I liked the main character. I'm hoping that our library will get more in this series. I'm considering this one as a possible gift for my four year old (soon to be five) niece.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    When I saw Joey Comeau's name on the spine, I couldn't pass this one by. It's not revolutionary, but it's a pretty cute retelling of Cinderella in which Cinderella doesn't want to be a princess, but the prince's ninja bodyguard. There is also a nice little history of Cinderella in the back of the book, as well as questions about the story that parents might want to discuss with their kids. Pretty cute.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    A short variant of Cinderella, in which she trains to be a ninja at night. I appreciated the "girl power" ending, for it is not to marry the prince to which she aspires. Great back matter not only provides a history of the tale, but also teaching opportunities on how to read the illustrations in this graphic novel. A unique addition to my Cinderella collection.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    3.5. In this twist on the fairy tale, Cinderella's parents raise her to play chess and be a ninja, and the stepmother wants none of that. Instead of wanting to marry the prince, Ninjarella wants to be his bodyguard. She gets a supercool ninja outfit and glass sword from her fairy godninja. A little simplistic, but lots of fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin Gunderson

    Would work either for ninja or fractured fairy tales theme. Honestly, this graphic novel is soooooo cheesy I can't decide if it's great or terrible. It reminds me of the kind of story a kid might write in early elementary school.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane G Meyer

    I was pleasantly surprised by this quacky re-telling of Cinderella. It was cheesy, but adorable, and full of laughs and surprises... The visual questions at the end were a great addition. I'm going to chase down the other titles in this series to see how they've been treated...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elvira

    The artwork is bold and captivating, the story is very simplified and relies too much on knowing the original story it's based on. Though the sparse story is good for a beginner reader trying a graphic novel style story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Valleri

    My favorite of the Far Out Fairytales. Ninja-rella is no longer obsessed with marrying the prince but in becoming his bodyguard so that she can stay strong and get away from her horrid step-family. Woohoo for girl-power!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Super cute and short children's book. I got it from the library today, and all 4 of my children, especially my son and my 2 year old, have been fighting over it. I think we'll be looking for this whole series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    emyrose8

    Loved it! Very clever, and some neat twists on the Cinderella story! Cool illustrations too. I also like the resources in the back of the book... all about the original tale, a guide to ninja-rella's tale twists, visual questions (to help aspiring comic/graphic novelists), and a glossary.

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