Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome. I know, I know. You don’t believe me. I don’t blame you. A little while ago, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. Little girls in red capes skipping around the forest? I don’t think so.”
Interesting Quote: “The young man leaped from his chair and began to chant the words of a dark curse, but before he could finish, someone came up behind him and knocked him unconscious with a tray of sausages.” pg. 112
This story follows Handsel and Gretel as they weave through multiple violent Grimm’s Fairy tales. Because of a curse that happens before they are born, they wander through a landscape of beheadings, transformations into wild beasts, treasure, betrayal, rewards for unexpected kindness, punishments for unexpected greed, and a lot of magic. In the end, in spite of all of the difficulties they have gone through, the siblings are united and everything pretty much works out.
Why should I read this book?
I mean, the story is good and so are the characters, but honestly, the real reason to read this book is the narrator’s voice. The narrator gives warnings of violence to come, assures the readers that certain disaster is not always certain, and conveys to the reader that things can always get worse. It is that voice that gives us hope and tells us things are pretty much hopeless. The narrator’s voice is funny, sympathetic, reassuring, and above all, relatable
Who is this book best for?
Strong fourth grade readers and up would like this book, especially if those readers have quirky senses of humor and can tolerate gratuitous (but not explicit) valence This book would be great for a classroom library, a read-aloud, a school library, ad I can even imagine using it in class in middle school for a unit based on folk tales,
Challenge Rating: Potential Challenge
Although the violence is not described in any detail, there is a lot of it.
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