Reviews

Grimm Books Reviews

Adam Gidwitz captures, in ways that no child psychologist has managed, how children react to the dark side of fairy tales.  I so appreciate his wisdom about how children instinctively protect themselves from books that are too frightening for them: Over the course of my career as a teacher and writer for children, I have become aware of one of nature’s greatest gifts to both to children and... Continue Reading »

- Maria Tartar’s Breezes from Wonderland Blog
Gidwitz is back with a second book that, if possible, outshines A Tale Dark & Grimm (Dutton, 2010). Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, cousins Jack and Jill have had a particularly tough day. Jack has a mean-boy problem: he’s bullied and tortured by a clique whom he hero-worships. Jill has a mirror-obsessed, pettily cruel mother who lets her daughter walk naked, unaware, in front of... Continue Reading »

- School Library Journal, Starred Review
The grossness quotient has gone up in Gidwitz’s companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm, his grisly reimagining of classic fairy tales. Translation: this second foray is even more enjoyable than the author’s acclaimed debut. The protagonists in this installment are Jack, Jill, and a talking frog, whose adventures begin separately in reworkings of “The Frog Prince” and “The Emperor’s New... Continue Reading »

- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
A creative romp through traditional and tradition-based story-scapes, compulsively readable and just as read-out-loudable. More from the review to come after September... Continue Reading »

- Kirkus, Starred Review
When I was 10, I found an ancient collection of Grimm fairy tales in the basement. I cracked the dusty black cover, not expecting much (I knew Cinderella and Snow White and their stupid hair and trilling voices from movies I’d outgrown) and was transfixed. These stories were sick, serious and bloody. Cinderella’s sisters did what to their feet? I sat on that cold basement floor and read the... Continue Reading »

- Marjorie Ingall, The New York Times
Adam Gidwitz has dug into seldom- explored corners of the Grimm Brothers' oeuvre to extract the bones of "A Tale Dark & Grimm" (Penguin, 192 pages, $16.99), a marvelous reworking of old stories that manages to be fresh, frightening, funny and humane—if not all at the same time. On the assumption that modern children don't realize how gory fairy tales once were, the author warns: "The land... Continue Reading »

- The Wall Street Journal
A Tale Dark and Grimm was chosen by the editors of the New York Times as one of the notable books of that week. Other authors honored were Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul... Continue Reading »

- The New York Times
Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome. I know, I know. You don't believe me...Little girls in red caps skipping around the forest? Awesome? I don't think so." In a book where all nine chapters begin with "Once upon a time," author Adam Gidwitz is obviously taking on this genre directly. His narrator offers us the back-story, if you will, of Hansel and Gretel, as well as their life after the... Continue Reading »

- Mary Harris Russell, The Chicago Tribune
With disarming delicacy and unexpected good cheer, Gidwitz reweaves some of the most shocking and bloody stories that the Brothers Grimm collected into a novel that’s almost addictively compelling. He gives fair warning that this is no prettified, animated version of the old stories. “Are there any small children in the room now?” he asks midway through the first tale, “If so, it would be... Continue Reading »

- School Library Journal, Starred Review
Hansel and Gretel actually had their heads chopped off. Who knew? If that statement sends you scrambling for your favorite search engine, Gidwitz is savoring that reaction. And for readers who shriek with bloodthirsty delight, not skepticism, he has much more in store. Fracturing the folk tales of the Brothers Grimm, Gidwitz brings together old and new traditions of matter-of-fact horror. Hansel... Continue Reading »

- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Gidwitz debuts with a deliciously twisted reworking of Grimm's fairy tales that casts Hansel and Gretel in lead roles in several other stories, as they seek a perfect (or even just "nice") family. Quite gory and quite funny, Gidwitz's expertly engineered collection has heart, too, and is all but certain to reignite readers' interest in the source... Continue Reading »

- Publishers Weekly, Best Children’s Books 2010
I’ve been teaching a Cinderella unit for decades now and always begin by having the class tell the version they already know, each child adding a sentence as we go around the circle. This telling is always dominated by the Disney/Perrault version, but sometimes as we get toward the end there will be someone who will, with great relish, tell of the stepmother’s bloody efforts to make her... Continue Reading »

- Monica Edinger, Educating Alice Blog
Didn’t want to read this. Nope. Not a jot. Three reasons for that. First off, the title. I’ve said it about twenty times since reading it and every time I can’t quite get it right (derivations have included “Something Dark and Grimm”, “A Grimm Tale”, and “Something Grimm”). Second, the jacket of the hardcover edition of this book isn’t particularly new. Silhouettes against a... Continue Reading »

- Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production, SLJ.com
In this captivating first novel, Adam Gidwitz reimagines a half-dozen Grimm tales with Hansel and Gretel in the starring role. This clever through-line allows him to examine the relationship between children and adults in classic fairy tales. I know, I know. You're saying, "Must I really open yet another book published this year inspired by the Brothers Grimm?" Yes, you must!   The... Continue Reading »

- Jennifer M. Brown, Children’s Book Critic, Shelf Awareness
In a Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz. A follow-up to Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm, "which expands to include Andersen's fairy tales, as well," says Gerard. "This is very exciting for anyone who loves contemporary fairy tale retellings, and all who love Adam Gidwitz." Note, also, the awesome cover art. This is not your grandmother's Jack and the Beanstalk. (Penguin, Dutton Childrens; September... Continue Reading »

- The Atlantic WIre
Insanely funny, awesomely written, incredibly entertaining. I read it in less then a day. It's rare that I read a book that isn't terribly short and finish it that quickly. Which means that it was one of the best books that I've read in a while.   Now, this wasn't the cleanest book in the world, violence wise. This violence includes a cannibal baker who tries to eat Hansel and Gretel, a... Continue Reading »

- Austin, Teen Reviewer, Reading Teen
Follow Hansel and Gretel on a series of scary stories as they leave the bread crumbs behind and enter 8 classic Grimm tales. Readers be warned; Gidwitz doesn’t shy away from frightening details present in the classic Grimm fairy tales, but that won’t stop you from reading this book in one... Continue Reading »

- Canadian Family, Family Jewels Blog
My Response to Neil Gaiman's Modest Proposal   The master-of-the-macabre suggests that: ... on Hallowe'en or during the week of Hallowe'en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they'll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they'll enjoy.   Great idea, I say. And since there are plenty of well-known books for kids-who-love-to-be-scared out there, I... Continue Reading »

- Monica Edinger, Huffington Post
Just a quick warning: two small children are about to get their heads chopped off. It’s kind of gross.” If this statement alone doesn’t get your reluctant boy readers grabbing for A Tale Dark and Grimm in less than five seconds, you need to work on your delivery. With an introduction that is on par with the opening lines of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Gidwitz assures that young... Continue Reading »

- Andrea Greenlee, Galley Talk, Publisher’s Weekly
Newbery/Caldecott 2011: The Big Questions Yes, it’s time yet again to try to figure out what might win this year’s Newbery (for the best written work for children) and Caldecott (for the best illustrated book for children) Awards for 2011.  Let’s try something a little different from Part One and Part Two of this year’s predictionfest.  Now with Heavy Medal restarting and sites... Continue Reading »

- Elizabeth Bird, discussing dark horses for the Newbery medal, A Fuse #8 Production, SLJ.com
Witty, heartfelt, and spattered with gore... Adam Gidwitz tells his tale with urgency and... Continue Reading »

- Laura Amy Schlitz, Newbery-winning author of GOOD MASTERS, SWEET LADIES
This wonderfully grizzly retelling of the Brothers Grimm is to your typical Happily Ever After what an axe is to a butter knife. My advice: just nod and smile and tell your parents it’s only a book of fairy... Continue Reading »

- author of THE SECRET SERIES
When I teach my second graders about Grimm’s fairytales, they are often shocked by the graphic details in the stories they know only through the Disney movies they have watched since toddlerhood. It’s interesting to watch their faces when Cinderella’s stepsisters lop off their toes and heels or when Snow White’s stepmother dances to her death in red-hot iron shoes. Now that I have read... Continue Reading »

- Robin Smith, for BookPage
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Feb
09
“This sweeping adventure set in medieval France features three extraordinary children, each with a seemingly... Read more »
Feb
01
On the Newbery Honor!                  ... Read more »