Imagine wanting to be a fashion designer when your mother is the actual Sleeping Beauty who fell asleep under a spell for 100 years after pricking her finger on a spindle.
Middle schooler Aria Thornbrier is the fashion-conscious daughter of Sleeping Beauty, but her mom forbids her to sew, as she believes that Aria may prick her finger and suffer the same fate. Defying her mother’s needle phobia and determined to become a fashion designer, Aria secretly joins the school’s new Couture Club. Wearing one of her designs while on an outing with her fashion classmates, Aria is noticed by a talent scout who recruits her to audition for the reality TV show Teen Couture. Aria becomes a contestant, but predictably, soon into the competition, she pricks her finger and falls under a spell—not one that puts her to sleep, however, but that compels her to speak only in Shakespearean dialect, or Shakespeak. With very little time, she must figure out who cast the spell, as her new language will ruin her chances of winning Teen Couture. Assuming her readers’ familiarity with the Grimms, Littman jumps right in with characters from European fairy tales who somehow live in modern-day New York. Although she never quite explains how Sleeping Beauty’s family arrived in the 21st century, young aspiring fashionistas will enjoy this junior version of Project Runway.
A cute story with a few leaps in logic. (Fantasy. 8-12)