A Tale Dark and Grimm – Adam Gidwitz

Okay, I saw this book at the library, and knew that I had to take it out.  The whole concept of fairy-tales for older readers is awesome, and I love the Grimm works.

Basically, this book follows Hansel and Gretel through several different Grimm fairy-tales.  However, what is so interesting about this book is that it makes everything part of one story.  Despite the tale being told through different fairy-tales, the way the plot unfolds cleverly puts Hansel and/or Gretel into each tale, while keeping the over-arching plot in tact.

The book is dark, not shying away from the original tales, blood and guts included.  But there is also a lot of humour, as the narrator interjects (more heavily near the beginning of the book, while you are getting acquainted with the tale, and less by the end).

This book also has what I love the most in literature; strong characters.  Hansel and Gretel go through entirely too much for a little boy and girl, and yet they manage to keep strong through it all.  They are not superheroes or anything, and they are not egotistic about their strength.  All they want to is to settle down with a nice family, and live happily ever after.  But when this doesn’t happen, they make the best of it and kick whatever evil presence they are encountering to the seven seas!  I love it.

This is a great book.  It’s dark, it’s funny, it pulls classic literature into a story for older readers and makes the original Grimm works more accessible for some of today’s youth.  Definitely recommended if you like things dark and grimm! ****1/2

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