Johnson’s anthology of retold fairy tales, most based on Grimm, should be wildly popular as the 17 authors include such well-known names as Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, and Malinda Lo. Many authors bring the tone and focus back to the original Grimm tales, and graphic gore abounds. Sometimes the violence feels gratuitous, but often it’s completely appropriate. Rachel Hawkins’ opening story sets Bluebeard in a trailer park, with truly creepy foreshadowing from the heroine’s alcoholic mother. Jon Skovron’s “Raven Princess” has delightful contemporary touches, such as a same-sex giant couple rearing an infant, and a Shrek-like ending. Readers are bound to like some stories more than others, but the diversity of tone and treatment should please most fans of the genre. For many of the authors, the retold fairy tale is something new to their body of work. Hopefully, readers drawn by Ellen Hopkins’ novels on contemporary issues will discover the appeal and relevance of “tales as old as time,” such as Sarah Rees Brennan’s charming treatment of Beauty and the Beast. Grades 8-12. --Debbie Carton
About the Author
A native of Michigan, Christine Johnson has lived in every corner of the state’s lower peninsula. She holds multiple degrees from the University of Michigan but prefers small-town life. After a decade as a librarian, she plunged into writing novels and never looked back. She and her husband now split their time between Michigan and the Florida Keys. You can read more about Christine at http://christineelizabethjohnson.com.
Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things; how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math class is a great way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.
Julie now lives is Louisville, KY with her husband and furkids. She is the international and NYT bestselling author of The Iron Fey series. Visit her at juliekagawa.com.