Thursday, May 08, 2008


The Fairy-Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm Book One, Michael Buckley, Amulet Books, 2005, 284 pp

What Jaspar Fforde has done for adult literary mystery, Michael Buckley has done for young readers, except that he has fused mystery and fairy tales. The Grimm sisters are descended from the brothers Grimm. In this first book of the Sisters Grimm series, Sabrina and Daphne have lost their parents, who just vanished one day. After a horrific series of foster homes, they land in a small town with a woman claiming to be their grandmother. While she is nice, especially compared to the other foster parents, she is quite odd and according to the girls' parents she was supposed to be dead.

Eventually the story gets straightened out and Sabrina and Daphne become full-fledged fairy-tale detectives. Grandmother Grimm gets captured by a giant, who came down a beanstalk naturally. The girls must figure out which are friends and which are foes as they meet Jack, Prince Charming and other fairy-tale characters and rescue their grandmother.

This is a highly imagined madcap adventure set in the modern world. I like the way Buckley has made fairy-tales relevant and created a couple of great female heroines. There are five books in the series with a sixth coming soon. (Ages 8-12)

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