Monthly Archives: March 2012

Once Upon a Time…

So first it was vampires (Oh Edward).  Then the werewolves (team Jacob).  Then we had post-apocalyptic worlds and the teenagers struggling to survive (Katniss Everdeen you’re our hero!).  So why not let the Fairy Tales have a turn. I know fairy tales have been around for quite some time and Disney has made millions off of the princesses, but lately the book stores are starting to see a surge of titles being released that are re-imagining the classic fairy tale.  Also we can thank Hollywood and the TV networks for bringing an onslaught of fairy tale themed movies and programs*. 

*Sidenote: Loving ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC), and GRIMM (NBC).  Looking forward to seeing SNOWWHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (out this summer) and will probably take my niece to see MIRROR MIRROR (out now). I am also looking forward to seeing the new programs that are coming this fall.

Ok I’m back.  So what I was saying is that there are plenty of books coming out that are finding inspiration from the Brothers Grimm.  And here are a few that have definitely peaked my interest and have also got some of my students talking as well.


The Grimm Legacy

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library—a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles. When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime—or captured by the thief.




A Tale Dark and Grimm

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.




Sisters Red (a spin on Red Riding Hood)

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris–the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend–but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?


Sweetly (follow up to Sisters Red and a spin on Hansel and Gretal)

The forest invites you in . . . but will never let you go. As a child, Gretchen’s twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch’s forest threatening to make them disappear too. Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They’re invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion. Life seems idyllic, and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past — until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn’t gone — it’s lurking in the forest, preying on girls after Live Oak’s infamous chocolate festival each year, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet, the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is. Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Cinder (Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles series and a spin on Cinderella)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.




Come and mend your broken hearts here. Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.



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Hungry for More???

With the one of the most anticipated movies opening today (psst it’s The Hunger Games for those who have been living under a rock), I wanted to give you a list of books that would be the perfect follow-up read to the popular series. These YA novels are only some of the amazing series and stand alone books out there for teenagers, and adults.  I would suggest parents, teachers, and librarians to look over them first before  recommending them to certain age groups. 

The Maze Runner series

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.  Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.  Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.   Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

The Barcode Tattoo

Individuality vs. Conformity
Identity vs. Access
Freedom vs. Control
The bar code tattoo. Everybody’s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.
But what if you say no? What if you don’t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There’s no option but to run…for her life.

The Uglies series

Set in a future post-scarcity dystopian world in which everyone if turned “Pretty” by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching the age of 16.

Tomorrow series

The Tomorrow series is a series of seven young adult invasion novels written by Australian writer John Mardsen, detailing a high-intensity invansion and occupation  of Australia by a foreign power.  The novels are told from the prespective of Ellie Linton, a teenage girl who is part of a small band of teenagers waging a guerrilla war on the enemy soliders in the region around their fictional home town of Wirrawee.  Though this series was first published in 1993-1999 it has a very Hunger Games quality to it.  It also reminds me of the 1980’s movie Red Dawn.


The Elevent Plague

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving. In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing–and their lives–forever.

Divergent series

One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail! Thrilling urban dystopian fiction debut from exciting young author. In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions — Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) — each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly “perfect society.” To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

The Gone series

The series is centred around the fictional Californian town of Perdido Beach. Every human over the age of 15 vanishes and the town and surrounding areas (later named the FAYZ) are encased within an impenetrable bubble. Many of the people and wildlife develop unnatural powers.

The Mortal Instruaments series

In The Mortal Instruments series, Clary Fray discovers the world of the Shadowhunters as they fight to protect the world from demons. This is a six book series with the sixth book coming out in October of 2014.

Infernal Devices series

This series takes place in Victorian England, ten years after the peace treaties between the demon-fighting Shadowhunters and Downworlders (vampires, faeries, werewolves, and warlocks) was signed. As Shadowhunters consider themselves superior or purer than Downworlders or demons, they may have no qualms about killing either. The first book in The Infernal Devices is entitled Clockwork Angel  and begins the story of Tessa, an orphaned teenage girl who discovers she is an Eidolon, or shape-changer, with unique powers. But these new-found abilities plunge her into a world she never knew existed, and she will have to learn to master them if she wants to find her brother, and to do this she will have to forge an alliance with some Shadowhunters if she wants to survive in this dangerous world. Many of the family names of the shadow hunters used in the first series are introduced in this series. Another character, Magnus Bane, the High Warlock of Brooklyn, plays a part in this Victorian England series. 145 years later, he is a part of the Mortal Instrument series.

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