Monday, May 7, 2012

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

I love to read books for kids.  I don't care if I'm not a kid.  After reading some heavy stuff, it's always refreshing to "clean the palate" with a novel written for the younger set.  

This novel was recommended by a co-worker who reads a lot of young reader books.  She's got two young boys and she's always looking for something fun they can read together.

This book is definitely one that is not for little kids!  I'd say probably around the ages of 9-11 for sure.  Why?  Cause while it's a hoot and very amusing, it is a bit bloody.  But you've been warned by the author, over and over again that things will get unpleasant.  It's reminiscent of the Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket.  It makes you grin and wince at the same time.
This is the tale of Hansel and Gretel.  Not the one we've grown up reading, but a bit expanded and enhanced.  Hansel and Gretel are twins who are born to a King and Queen in the Kingdom of Grimm.  Their life is great until their father cuts their heads off in order to save a faithful servant.  Yep.  He does that.  They are put back together again, but realize what their father has done, and decide to run away.  This is where their adventures begin, as they travel from the chocolate cake house in the woods to other lands and other adventures, often times encountering horrible people doing horrible things that only occur in fairy tales dark and grimm.  But through it all, they remain constant in their faith and sense of what's right.  Courage is a main theme in their lives.

I throughly enjoyed this book--it's the kind of tale I would have read as a kid.  But I don't think my Mom would have let me read it. She would have felt it was too gory.  Nah. It's not scary, and it does have some wonderful points about loyalty, faithfulness, and family.  The humor is definitely dark but not overbearing.  This is nothing that will give a child nightmares--unless they are too young to read it!  

I look forward to seeing what else this author writes.  According to the blurb on the back cover, he's a school teacher in Brooklyn.  I'm sure he's got many more ideas for great stories!

Rating:  3/5  Enjoyable read for slightly older kids who will not be frightened by a bit of blood and gore.  

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