A Tale Dark & Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
AR Level 4.6, 6 points
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book by a new author that I really enjoyed. Adam Gidwitz writes in a way that reminds me of Lemony Snicket in that he speaks to the reader, giving the reader warnings to discontinue reading or clear the room of small children. I like when the author interacts with me, because it pulls me into the story. Reverse psychology apparently works on me. Well played, Gidwitz.
A Tale Dark & Grimm follows Hansel and Gretel. The witch with the home made of candy does appear, but Gidwitz takes us through a mash of various fairy tales, in which Hansel and Gretel did not actually come from a poor family, but from a king who stole his queen. Together, they journey through forests and villages, fighting witches, dragons, the devil, and themselves. I found myself looking forward to the author’s voice more than what would happen to Hansel and Gretel, because of his technique of warning me.
What I liked about this book was that it was kind of gory. You don’t often read a children’s book where people are beheaded or killed in a gruesome or morbid way. There were a few parts that actually grossed me out or made me think that it might not belong on my classroom bookshelf, but then again, that’s probably what would keep my students wanting to read more.
What I didn’t like about this book was that I couldn’t figure out what was based on a real fairy tale and what was the author’s imagination. I do not recall reading a story where a little child when to Hell and tricked the Devil by dressing up as his grandmother, but I’m really not as well-read in Grimm’s tales as I should be.
I definitely plan to read the 2 books that come after, In a Glass Grimmly and The Grimm Conclusion. This is an author I’d like more of.
Book 20 of 40 (year 2)