Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Title: A Tale Dark & Grimm
Author: Adam Gidwitz
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Hardcover, 251 pages
Date Published: October 28, 2010
Source: Bought
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.
A Tale Dark & Grimm is certainly dark at times and very much grim as well. Adam Gidwitz’s fairy tale retelling is imaginative and properly Grimm. There is blood and death and despair, but also happiness in its pages. Hansel and Gretal are the two main characters and they give the reader an instant connection. We know who these two children are, but we’ve never heard their story this way before. And I must say, this version of their tale is far more complicated and gloomy than anything I ever expected.

We all know the tale of Hansel and Gretel and we’ve all heard many Grimm Brothers tales, but I guarantee that no one has ever read something like this before. Gidwitz has deftly woven several Grimm stories into the lives of young Hansel and Gretel. We get dragons and man beasts and old women with houses made of food; there are kingdoms and devils and destruction. The best part though, the part that middle grade readers will revel in, is that, in the end, it’s the children that conquer; the children that make all of it worthwhile.

A Tale Dark & Grimm is a fun, fast-paced, creatively entertaining fairy tale retelling that readers will love. It’s a bit darker than most fairy tales are, but stays in the vein of the original Grimm Brothers tales. There are lessons in each chapter, and two characters to adore and grow with. Oh, and the narrator is hilarious throughout…what with his warnings to children and the bad things to come.

Opening line: Once upon a time, in a kingdom called Grimm, an old king lay on his deathbed. ~ pg. 5

Favorite lines/passages: You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide.
No guide, that is, but courage. ~ pg. 238

 4.5 stars
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Adam Gidwitz online:

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Meghan G said...

This is on my list of books to read. I am even more excited to read it.

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