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A Tale Dark and Grimm
Cover of A Tale Dark and Grimm
A Tale Dark and Grimm
Grimm Series, Book 1
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Adam Gidwitz makes a sparkling debut with a work that children are sure to request again and again. Not content within the confines of their own tale, Hansel and Gretel skip out on their story and jump...
Adam Gidwitz makes a sparkling debut with a work that children are sure to request again and again. Not content within the confines of their own tale, Hansel and Gretel skip out on their story and jump...
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  • Adam Gidwitz makes a sparkling debut with a work that children are sure to request again and again. Not content within the confines of their own tale, Hansel and Gretel skip out on their story and jump into eight other classic Grimm fairy tales. But all is not sugarplums and candy houses. Danger lies ahead, and Hansel and Gretel have much to learn about avoiding witches' ovens and making sure "The End" isn't their end.

 

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  • AudioFile Magazine Johnny Heller's voice is an instant portal to the fairytale world of the Grimm brothers, whose bleak stories are known to be far more brutal than the varnished versions prevalent in many children's books. Author Adam Gidwitz then goes several steps further into scariness. Heller's portrayals of the evil characters are suitably sinister, and the good are sweet without being simpering. We follow Hansel and Gretel through connected narratives that feature spine-tingling antagonists, including adults who behead children or eat them or turn them into birds. Best of all is Heller's snarky, intrusive narrator, who warns of the horrifying events to come under the guise of protecting young listeners, further engaging children (and their parents), who greet the darkness gladly. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 18, 2010
    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 and Gretel become recurring characters in reworked versions of the Grimms' lesser-known tales, such as "Faithful Johannes" and "The Seven Ravens" (here, "The Seven Swallows"). The children are seeking a "nice" family after their father, no woodcutter but a king, pulls the aforementioned beheading stunt ("hey believed firmly in their little hearts that parents should not kill their children"). The perfect family proves elusive, and the children must extricate themselves from one outrageous situation after another—including, yes, a hungry old woman in an edible house. The rhythms and rhetoric of the prose are heavily influenced by verbal storytelling, which can on occasion strike a false note, but mostly add the intended wry wink to an audacious debut that's wicked smart and wicked funny. Ages 10–up.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2011

    Gr 4-7-The Grimm folk and fairy tales have never been for the fainthearted, and neither is Adam Gidwitz's novel (Dutton, 2010). Traditional folktales collected by the Brothers Grimm have been recast with Hansel and Gretel providing the connection between them. The account for which the siblings are best known (the one with less than caring parents and a house made of sweets inhabited by a child-eating adult) is recognizable as are nuggets of other familiar tales, but each has been reinvented with a particular, sometimes peculiar twist. The stories come to life through the unique voice and fine pacing of Johnny Heller. He assumes various accents for different characters, and as narrator, inserts himself to warn listeners when a part gets really dreadful. Chapters end with cliffhangers (of sorts), sure to please those who enjoy grisly tales, gruesome events, and righteousness rewarded.-Maria Salvadore, formerly Washington DC Public Library

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Grimm Series, Book 1
Adam Gidwitz
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