Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Grimm Legacy

Shulman, Polly. 2010. THE GRIMM LEGACY. New York: Putnam. ISBN 9780399250965 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]

Magic is available for loan in Polly Shulman’s enchanting novel set in the New-York Circulating Material Repository. Elizabeth is having a difficult time adjusting to her new high school when her social studies teacher offers her a job at a most unusual library. From the moment she walks in the door, Elizabeth feels that there is something odd about the repository. Her suspicions are confirmed when she earns the trust of the librarians and a key to the Grimm Collection, a room filled with magical relics from famous fairy tales. All is not well at the repository, though. Elizabeth and her fellow pages must uncover the secret behind a giant bird stalking the young employees, a missing page, and stolen objects replaced with non-magical duplicates.

Shulman’s novel successfully immerses readers in the magical world of the New-York Circulating Material Repository. The dark stacks, odd behavior of Elizabeth’s co-workers, and often-uncontrollable magical objects create a mysterious mood well-matched to the storyline. Elizabeth and her three newfound friends mature in sometimes surprising, but satisfying, ways through the course of the story. Teens looking for new fantasy stories will enjoy Elizabeth’s tale.

Novels based on fairy tales offer natural writing extension activities. Readers can write fractured or spin-off stories for their favorite fairy tales or create original stories featuring magical fairy tale items in different settings.

Other novels based on fairy tales in more modern settings:
Flinn, Alex. A KISS IN TIME. ISBN 9780060874193
Harrison, Michelle. 13 TREASURES. ISBN 9780316041485

By Kimberly C. Kinnaird

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