Thursday, June 24, 2010

“Part Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink”

Recommended for grades 4-10

Okay, so it took me over a week to get back to you…sorry, life found a (good) way to distract me. But nonetheless, I’m back with my second dose of fairy tales. These books contain the motifs (it’s my new fancy word) typically found in fairy tales, but they are their own original (for the most part) stories.

I thought I’d be a rebel when Ella Enchanted became popular and read Gail Carson Levine’s other novel, The Two Princesses of Bamarre (grades 5-7). Turns out, I made the right choice. I enjoyed reading about these two sisters (girl-power all the way), Addie and Meryl. Addie, the youngest and the one lacking in courage of the two must partake on a solo journey to find a cure that will save her sister from the Gray Death. Addie must find the strength and will power to stand up against creatures like the spectral and a dragon. How does she fare? Read the book to find out ;)

Can I get a side of humor with this fairy tale? Why, certainly! Once Upon a Marigold (grades 7-9) by Jean Ferris serves up just that, with its many endearing characters and a fast-paced plot. We first meet Christian, who is being raised by a troll, Edric. Soon, we find out he is in love with Princess Marigold (and she with him) from across the river. Christian makes the journey to the castle and becomes hired help there, but soon finds out that the princess is to be wed to another. Christian then uncovers a murderous plot set against the king and Marigold by who else, but the queen herself. Oy!

Last, but not least, I have to plug Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm series (grades 4-6). Clever! Two sisters go off to live with their grandmother, Granny Relda, in a place called Ferry Port Landing. The other residences in the town prefer to be known as the “Everafters,” and include such characters as Snow White and the Three Little Pigs. Turns out, these two sisters are descendants of the Brothers’ Grimm themselves and the book of fairy tales the brothers wrote is actually a history book of cases! As the first title in the series indicates, the sisters now become The Fairy-Tale Detectives.

Buckley, M. (2007). The Sisters grimm: the fairy-tale detective - . New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams.

Ferris, J. (2004). Once upon a marigold. Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Levine, G. (2003). The Two princesses of bamarre. New York, NY: Trophy Pr.

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