Stanley, Diane. 2006. Bella at Midnight.
If you think Bella at Midnight is just another Cinderella-type tale...you'll be surprised with what you get. Yes, there are trace elements of the fairy tale here--a mean stepmother, two stepsisters, glass slippers. But there is much more than that. Bella, the daughter of a knight, was raised by a very loving peasant family. After her mother's death (during childbirth), her aunt takes her away and finds her a wet nurse. The girl's father wants nothing to do with her. Wants no reminders of his wife around. Years go by. Bella grows up. She makes friends. She is happy and secure in her own little world little thinking that she is more than just another peasant girl. Her best friend, the prince, seems to think she is much more too. Yes, she not only knows of the prince--he's her best friend. But as they grow up, things begin to change. Differences begin to matter. Julian, the prince, goes away to resume princely duties--even if he is the third son of the family. Bella's aunt comes for her. Her father has remarried a widow with two daughters. Now Bella must try to blend in with the aristocracy...she must shun her peasant-like behavior and learn how to be a *real* lady. Problem is, Bella doesn't want to change. She doesn't want to become a shallow, fake, insincere creature like her stepsister who is a lady in waiting (or perhaps a maid in waiting) to the Queen. She is happy being herself. But Bella's world is soon to be turned upside down when the latest gossip reaches her--the Prince is in danger...and only she can save him. Will she have the courage and strength and know-how to succeed in her mission? And just how do those glass slippers come into play during that rescue mission? Find out in BELLA AT MIDNIGHT.