Fairy Tales, Folktales and Myths Book Reviews

PRINCESS OF THE WILD SWANS by Diane Zahler
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"A pleasant magical outing. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 8-12)"
In her third fairy-tale novelization, Zahler (The Thirteenth Princess, 2010, and A True Princess, 2011) dips into Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" and mixes in a bit of Celtic folklore. Read full book review >
HAVOC by Jeff Sampson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Plenty of thrilling action, clearly with more to come. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)"
The second exciting installment in the continuing saga of a dorky daytime girl who morphs into a savvy, hot chick and/or werewolf at night. Read full book review >

HANS MY HEDGEHOG by Kate Coombs
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Prickly, a bit funny and a bit dark: classic Grimm, modernized. (author's note) (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-10)"
Hans, half hedgehog and half human, lives as a hermit, deep in a forest with a rooster steed and an entourage of pigs, happily playing his fiddle, until two kings make promises that send him looking for his just reward: a princess. Read full book review >
JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE by Beth Fantaskey
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 9, 2012

"Only readers absolutely desperate for another vampire romance need apply. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)"
This disappointing sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (2009) finds Jessica (a.k.a. Read full book review >
THE INVISIBLE TOWER by Nils Johnson-Shelton
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2011

"Gives new life to Arthurian legends and may just send readers back to more traditional tellings. (Adventure. 10-14)"
In his first novel for middle-grade readers, Johnson-Shelton serves up the first installment of an Arthurian trilogy starring 12-year-old video-gamer Artie Kingfisher. Read full book review >

SLAYERS by C. J.  Hill
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 22, 2011

"Frustratingly ridiculous and sometimes sloppy, but also enjoyably campy—redeemingly so. (Fantasy. 12-17)"
A rich socialite discovers her dragon-slaying heritage in an urban fantasy written under a pseudonym. Read full book review >
INHERITANCE by Christopher Paolini
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Despite the long, anticlimactic wind-down, it is a strong conclusion to the crowd-pleasing series. (maps, multilingual word list) (Heroic fantasy. 12-15)"
Capping the former Inheritance Trilogy, this fourth epic-length episode brings teenage Dragon Rider Eragon at last to a decisive faceoff with his greatest enemy. Read full book review >
THE WITCH'S REVENGE by D.A. Nelson
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Lovers of wisecracking fairies and broody vampires will find this twee, but it has its own silly charm. (Fantasy. 8-10)"
Stolen magical artifacts! Read full book review >
THE TWILIGHT CIRCUS by Di Toft
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Definitely a continuation rather than a freestanding episode, but the author keeps her ongoing plot galloping along and adds an assortment of marvelous new creatures to the cast. (Fantasy.10-13) "
An old foe sets a deadly trap for two young werewolves in a sequel framed by family reunions and positively festooned with hideous vampires. Read full book review >
THE MERMAID OF WARSAW by Richard Monte
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"So visit the Karkonosze Castle or the Wieliczka salt mine or the banished city of Wineta—you may be challenged, but you will not be disappointed. (Folktales. 8-12)"
A gratifying and unusual collection of folktales from Poland. Read full book review >
MARY ENGELBREIT'S NUTCRACKER by Mary Engelbreit
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers (2007) remains the quintessential interpretation, but there is room on the Christmas bookshelves for the Engelbreit version as well. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Engelbreit extends her collection of traditional children's stories with this retelling of the Christmas classic, which blends well with the artist's signature style of highly ornamented illustrations bursting with bows, candies and fantasy flowers. Read full book review >
DAVE AND VIOLET by Sarah Adams
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"A fitting fable for the very young about friendship and diversity. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Violet's best friend Dave has a hard time fitting in. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >