Don't expect a light-hearted romp of a fairy tale in A Tale Dark & Grimm (AR 6.0, Level 4.6) by Adam Gidwitz. This book, now in paperback, is grisly and horrific. It is specifically geared for 'tweens and teenagers.
Hansel and Gretel are seemingly clue-less in the original fairy tale, as they encounter the witch in the woods. In this tale, the two characters are fully-developed and attain preternatural maturity because of all of the horror they experience due to the mistakes of their parents.
Fairy tales are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity at the movies and on television. However, the current incarnations of traditional fairy tales seem to taking a darker path than the Disneyfied versions of the past. Adam Gidwitz's novel can best be described as kiddie horror (is there such a genre?) He explains in his biography that he has personally experienced the horrors he has written about. Personally, I hope he is kidding! Read it, to find out why!
Is how we like our fairytales to end, but in truth most of the Brothers' Grimm fairytales do not end so sweetly. In A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz the narrator tells us the truth about our beloved fairytales and provides us with his take on the story of Hansel and Gretel, the Seven Swallows and a variety of other Grimm's tales. Be warned that these stories are not for the faint of heart, but make for a great adventure with a valuable lesson to be learned by all readers young and old.
If you like this story you may also be interested in the series by Michael Buckley called The Sister’s Grimm. Follow the adventures of Daphne and Sabrina Grimm, descendents of the brothers’ Grimm as they discover their role in the fairy tales written by their ancestors and how they must protect and save the world from the evil characters in these tales.
Want to learn more about the Brothers’ Grimm and their tales?
Want even more?
Check out the Folk and Fairy Tale collections at your San José Public Libraries.