As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

December 28, 2010

THE GRIMM LEGACY by Polly Shulman, 2010

The Grimm LegacyElizabeth has a new job at an unusual library— a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles. When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime—or captured by the thief. Polly Shulman has created a contemporary fantasy with a fascinating setting and premise, starring an ordinary girl whose after-school job is far from ordinary— and leads to a world of excitement, romance and magical intrigue. (Amazon product description)

Review by Kim Thacker, writer and mommy

Ever wonder what you’d look like wearing Marie Antoinette’s wig?  Well, if your hometown had a library-esque “circulating material repository” like the one in Polly Shulman’s THE GRIMM LEGACY, you could try on the famous queen’s wig (Don’t worry--it’s not the one she was beheaded in!).

I fell in love with the plot of THE GRIMM LEGACY the minute I read the jacket flap.  This book does not disappoint.  Imagine working at a place that’s kinda like a library, but instead of checking out books, patrons can check out STUFF.  Cool concept!  Even cooler is the fact that the circulating material repository checks out magical items collected by the Grimm brothers when they were researching their fairy tales!  The Grimm Collection contains items such as the twelve dancing princesses’ shoes (some of them), Snow White’s wicked stepmother’s mirror (horrors!), and a bludgeon that unlocks locked doors.  Now, I love my public library, but I think I would flip for a circulating material repository like the one in THE GRIMM LEGACY! 

Now, a word about the writing in THE GRIMM LEGACY:

It’s wonderful.

I was very impressed by Shulman’s ability to satisfy the reader’s obvious questions without spending a lot of time on the nitty-gritty of how a circulating material repository would work.  The main character, like the reader, has questions, and the big ones are answered, but in answering the questions, Shulman doesn’t bog down or slow down the story.  Also, many Grimm tales are referenced throughout the book, and while I hadn’t heard of several of them, my lack of knowledge didn’t prevent me from understanding the book.

I would recommend this story to any young person who enjoys contemporary magical realism (Harry Potter is an example of contemporary magical realism--or magic that is somehow tied to our world rather than to an entirely made-up world).  I would also recommend this book to fans of fairy tales, of course!  Give THE GRIMM LEGACY a try if you’ve read and enjoyed Jessica Day George’s PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL, Robin McKinley’s BEAUTY, Jaclyn Dolamore’s MAGIC UNDER GLASSShannon Hale’s THE GOOSE GIRL, or, to step away from the fairy tales, Marianne Malone’s THE SIXTY-EIGHT ROOMS, or E.L. Konigsburg’s FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER.

Market:  Young Adult
Language:  None
Sensuality:  Mild (a sweet kiss or two)
Violence:  Mild (adventure peril)
Mature Themes: (racial prejudice is VERY lightly touched on)

Book formats:
The Grimm Legacy (hardcover)
The Grimm Legacy (e-book)

To learn more about the author visit: Polly Shulman


The Girl in the Other Room said...

I was wondering about this book and now I am going to pick it up immediately! Thank for the review!

Alix said...

Great review, this book sounds so fun and original!

auntiejenni said...

The Idea Room sent me on over and for a bibliophile, i think i've found heaven...oh, man..i LOVE you girls for this...truly love you. i would like to win this book, but i'm sure i could say this for any book on your review list. thanks for the opportunity to win!

Anonymous said...

it is way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way waay way way way a million more ways to late for any one to be reading a comment on this book, but I just want to say thanks Mrs. Thacker, for introducing me to a great book!:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous! I'm so glad you liked this book!