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A TALE DARK & GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz

A TALE DARK & GRIMM

By Adam Gidwitz

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42334-8
Publisher: Dutton

Fairy tales for the horror set blend themselves into one intact thread that’s satisfying enough to overcome an intrusive narrator. The storyteller’s voice (presented in bold type) opens by asserting that original Grimm tales are “awesome,” “violent and ... bloody,” while “all the versions of the stories you’ve heard [are]… mind-numbingly boring” due to sanitization. It’s an odd premise for a piece whose audience is surely aware of many fractured fairy tales that are dark and/or awesome. The narrator contributes unnecessary platitudes, but on the plus side, savvily warns when little kids should leave the room, effectively cautioning big kids that upcoming content is sad or gory—and it really is. Heads are lopped off, blood flows, men reach down girls’ throats and pull out their souls. Old Grimm tales and Gidwitz’s original additions weave together into one arc, with fiercely loyal siblings Hansel and Gretel at the heart. The narrator’s presence lessens; action and emotion deepen; funny gross-outs pop up amid serious violence; and everything builds to one painful and triumphant catharsis. (Fractured fairy tale. 10-13)