Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Nicolette is an inventor of amazing tools and toys, just like her mother before her.
Oppressed by her selfish "Steps," she spends days cooking, cleaning and sewing, and spends her evenings in the magical hidden workshop left behind by her mother, where she builds gadgets to help her with the daily tasks. But when the king announces a spectacular Exposition and Gala (with accompanying ball to seek a prospective wife for the Prince), Nicolette emerges from her sooty basement to grasp at the opportunity.
This recasting of the traditional Cinderella story is delightfully constructed, with nods to a fairy godmother, a magical coach, and the essential glass slipper...but with an unexpected twist. And perhaps a sequel? We can hope!
Fans of Cinder will demand this similar but unique tale. And they will join us in demanding a second book.
Recommended for ages 12 to adult.