Do you enjoy the darkly sarcastic narrator from the Lemony Snicket books? Is The Princess Bride a favorite movie, both for it's fairytale story and the back and forth narrative between Columbo and Kevin Arnold*? Do you have a stomach that isn't bothered by hacked up bodies being thrown into bubbling cauldrons? Then perhaps you might want to pick up Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm.
It's darkly frightening oddly humorous adventure fairytale. And I read it in just one sitting, from 10am this morning until 12:30pm. From richly colored and foreboding cover to the introduction which warns of the blood and awesomeness that lies ahead. From the actual blood and awesomeness (read: a magnificently rendered, true to its origins as a Grimm's fairytale retelling of the story of Hansel and Gretel, yet completely original in narrative voice) to the author's pleading that small children not continue to read/listen further. To the author's note that just makes you feel good inside, it's one heckuva darned good middle grade read. I could most of my middle schoolers have a rollicking good time reading it, even if the older ones later said that book was "too young" for them, and dismissed the enjoyment they took and the giggles and gasps they made along the way.
And now, I should probably email the author and start devising a school visit plan, but I really must continue to read!
Next up: The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch (who I had the pleasure to meet at BEA's Speed-dating with Children's Authors).
*If this sentence makes no sense to you, I urge you to: 1) Netflix or otherwise obtain the ability to view episodes of the television crime series Columbo and the beloved coming-of-age drama series, The Wonder Years (I'd link to the DVD collection, but, much to my and everyone else's despair, it does not exist. 2) View the episodes. 3) Netflix or otherwise obtain the ability to view the comic adventure/fairytale romance etc. etc. that is movie The Princess Bride. 4) View the movie.
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