I just have to say that I LOVE The Sisters Grimm series (from Amulet, which is an imprint of ABRAMS, who I apparently am obsessed with as every book I’ve picked up recently is theirs). I grabbed the first two in this series on a whim and was absolutely smitten. In book one (there are eight in print with #9 coming next spring! eek!), we are introduce to Sabrina and Daphne Grimm whose parents have inexplicably gone missing, forcing them to go into foster care in New York City. After bouncing from home to home, they learn that they have a grandmother named Granny Relda who will take them in. This is quite the shock seeing as they had both been told she was dead. That is when things start to get really interesting…
Sabrina and Daphne are taken to Granny Relda’s home in a little town called Ferryport Landing only to learn that not only are Fairy-tales real, but that Granny Relda (and thus Sabrina & Daphne) are decedents of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and that the children are expected to go into the family business of being fairy-tale detectives. Talk about sensory overload for a kid!
Basically, the Brothers Grimm were not writing stories, but recording histories to educate humans about fairy people (or Everafters as they prefer to be called). They then helped the Everafters escape persecution in Europe and resettle in America. This went pretty well for a while, until some of the Everyafters started getting uppity and thought that the neighboring towns would be pretty nice to have as well. Before they had time to assemble and take over the other towns, Wilhelm Grimm went to the most powerful Everafter, Baba Yaga, and made a deal that would keep all of the Everafters within Ferryport Landing. The catch (because there is always a catch when you make a deal with a witch) was that a Grimm always had to be within Ferryport Landing, otherwise the spell would be broken and the Everafters could run willy-nilly wherever they please.
Fast forward to present day where the Everafters have been stuck in Ferryport landing for what feels like a zillion years to them. The Three Little Pigs comprise the local police force, Prince Charming is the Mayor, and Sleeping Beauty runs the local coffee shop. Things are relatively peaceful, if somewhat awkward at times (Prince Charming has been married to Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White at different times, which makes parties pretty tense), but hostility is building against the Grimms. You see, not only are they keeping everyone within Ferryport Landing, but they also are the keepers of magical items, with the help of the Magic Mirror. When you enter the Magic Mirror, you walk into the Hall of Wonders with hundreds of doors labeled with things like, “Magic Wands,” “Pegasus,” and “Magic Beans.” The only thing between the Grimms and certain death at the hands of an angry mob is Mr. Canis, a.k.a. The Big Bad Wolf, who is their loyal companion and protector. (He’s trying to repent after being a murderous, bloodthirsty, Grandma-Eating beast for so long.)
Needless to say, this does not sit well with some of the Everafters. Throw in that there is a secret society of angry, vengeful Everafters called The Red Hand hell bent on war and who (probably) kidnapped Sabrina & Daphne’s parents and you have a whole lot of magical insanity that you can’t put down. It is a perfect book for kids or adults, and I definitely recommend it for those reluctant readers out there. Puck’s antics alone will keep them entertained.
My only criticism of these books is that the Grimms are supposed to be fairy-tale detectives… but the characters aren’t all from fairy-tales. I understand wanting to have characters easily recognizable to kids, but there were a lot of folktales and literary characters that pop up that didn’t always make sense to me when there are so many amazing fairy-tales out there to pull from. Being the child of a storyteller, I am well acquainted with the 398 section of the library, which includes folktales, fairy-tales, myths & legends, and when Miss Muffet and her Spider friend popped up in Ferryport Landing, I couldn’t help but go, “Hey now! That is not a fairy-tale!” Honestly, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the books. You get sucked into what is happening and you are willing to believe whatever happens within the pages, even if I am bit-picky about where the characters come from.
We are giving away a copy of the first book in the series… but you have to earn it! Check out the list of characters below and answer in the comments section if they come from a folktale, fairy-tale, or other. Whoever gets it right wins!
2. Little Red Riding Hood
3. Baba Yaga
4. Little Miss Muffet
5. The Queen of Hearts
6. Snow White
8. Oscar Diggs, aka The Wizard of Oz or The Great and Powerful Oz
9. The Little Mermaid
10. The Blue Fairy