I have a thing for fairy tales, especially Hansel and Gretel. So when I saw A Tale Dark and Grimm at the library a few weeks ago, I couldn’t hesitate. I needed to read this book.
Firstly, I thought the story was incredibly creative. It’s like the classic Hansel and Gretel except in addition to the witch, they deal with many other scary beings and they move through different fairy tales. They decide they must choose their own fate and they’re trying to locate caretakers that aren’t dangerous and brutal toward them. In a nutshell, they’re trying to stay alive. In between certain tales and sections we have a narrator that lightens the mood and warns before something violent is about to happen. I liked that, but at times it was also distracting.
Secondly, is this seriously Juvenile Fiction for 3rd grade+? It seems way to gruesome for 3rd graders to be reading, but in a way the story is fairly simple which makes me have a love hate relationship with it as far as the reading level. I would put this into the 5-6th grade level, but not 3rd grade and that’s based solely on the content. The author is covering Grimm’s fairy tales here with added twists and I don’t necessarily feel that readers should be spared on the details, but maybe this should be listed for an older audience. It’s fairly sadistic at times. I’d say for younger readers it’s best to read with an adult.
Overall rating on this one is:
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.
Continue reading “A Tale Dark & Grimm (#1) by Adam Gidwitz”