Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shorter Musings: MG Fantasy

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. Some of those are starting to pile up so I thought I would put them all together in one post.

Here are some MG Fantasy books I have read recently with my thoughts.

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
I enjoyed this one more than I did A Tale Dark & Grimm. Jack and Jill are likable heroes and I enjoyed following them on their journey. I positively loved Frog, best fairy tale sidekick talking animal ever. I just think Gidwitz isn't a good fit for me as a reader. I hate narrators who talk to me and interject commentary, and for some reason this narrator annoys me even more than usual. I also feel like there it isn't so much of dark element of the fairy tales being shown as the gross element. Fairy tales are meant to be dark, but the darkness serves a purpose greater than raising the ick factor in the reading experience. I feel like Gidwitz misses this for the sake of trying to add as much blood, guts, and vomit as possible, whether necessary or not. Kids, I'm sure, won't have such qualms with it though.

Rump: the True Story of Rumplestiltskin  by Liesel Shurtliff 
This is a fun retelling of the story of Rumpelstilitskin. It's quite a lighthearted romp to come from what is really such a dark tale. I like that about it. There is a lot of humor and many of the questions the story brings to mind find answers through this story. I loved the nod to all the other fairy tales in it as well. I can see why so many kids are enjoying it. I didn't really feel connected to any of the characters and therefore had a hard time caring what happened to them. This is going to be such an easy book to sell to my students though.
Tilly's Moonlight Garden by Julia Green
Tilly's Moonlight Garden is a quick lovely read about a little girl trying to cope through some scary changes in her life. Eight year old me would have loved this book so much. It made adult me feel all nostalgic. I enjoy stories where there are gardens and old houses to explore. There isn't a lot of action. The story is just an exploration of Tilly's world and how she responds to it. I don't know how well this will go over with most kids but I enjoyed it.  

The Vengekeep Prophecies by Brian Farrey
The Vengekeep Prophecies is a wonderful hero/quest story full of magic starring a not so stellar thief. It is a whole lot of fun, quick paced, mysterious, and full of action and adventure. It is a bit predictable in places, at least for me, but that small flaw can be forgiven for how much pleasure and amusement comes from reading it. This is one that is sure to be a kid pleaser. 

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