Saturday, June 23, 2012

Books By Theme: Fairy Tale-ish Fiction

"The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in."

 -W. H. Auden

Come Fall by A.C.E. Bauer book cover
Come Fall
by A. C. E. Bauer

Foster kid Salman Page is starting seventh grade in yet another new school when he's assigned a "designated buddy," eighth-grader Lu-Ellen Zimmer. Past experience has made him distrustful, so he tries to avoid Lu at first, but Salman eventually becomes friends with her and another kid on the fringes, Blos Pease. The three of them deal with the ups and downs at Riverfalls Junior High together, little suspecting that the fairy Puck (who narrates many chapters of the book) is meddling in their affairs. Based loosely on Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, this absorbing mix of realistic fiction and fantasy "makes middle school feel like a trip through a dark and scary forest" (Publishers Weekly), but it has a triumphant, feel-good ending.

Reckless by Cornelia Funke book cover
by Cornelia Funke

After his father goes missing, 12-year-old Jacob discovers that a mirror in his house is a portal to another realm -- the dark and magical Mirrorworld. For many years after discovering the portal, Jacob visits Mirrorworld and retrieves enchanted fairy-tale objects (such as locks of Rapunzel's hair) for profit, but when his younger brother, Will, follows him into the mirror, disaster looms. Reckless is sure to make fans of somewhat sinister, action-packed fantasy adventures (like Chris Wooding's Malice) shiver with glee. 

Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz book cover
A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz

If you think of fairy tales as nice, pretty little stories to bore children to sleep with, A Tale Dark & Grimm will make you think again. Weaving the disturbing bits of several Brothers Grimm tales and plenty of his own mischief into a single story, author Adam Gidwitz tells his own version of the (often gruesome) adventures of Hansel and Gretel. Readers who enjoy wry humor, grisly horror, and interrupting narrators (à la Lemony Snicket) will be thrilled with this book -- and might also like the dark but less bloody stories in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's collection Troll's Eye View.

Which fairy tale adaptations are your favorites?


Lisa said...

Ah, I keep forgetting that I want to read A Tale Dark & Grimm! Thanks for the reminder - now I just have to remember when I get to the bookstore.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I love fairy-tale-ish books almost as much as straight-up retellings! Tale Dark and Grimm is fabulous and I can't wait for the next book.

Zibilee said...

Reckless sounds amazing! I am listening to The Snow Child right now, which is based on the fairy tale of The Snow Maiden, and really enjoying it. It's so gentle and wonderful, and I can't wait to see how it ends. Great mini-reviews today!

Anonymous said...

I really want to read all of these! Thanks for the list.

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