Limit this search to....

A Tale Dark & Grimm
Contributor(s): Gidwitz, Adam
ISBN: 0525423346     ISBN-13: 9780525423348
Publisher: Dutton Childrens Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: School And Library - Other Formats
Published: October 2010
Annotation: Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hanseland Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Fairy tales.
Characters in literature; Fiction.
Brothers and sisters; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore | Adaptations
- Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2009053289
Lexile Measure: 690
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 3-4, Age 8-9
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.00" (0.85 lbs) 256 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 141155
Reading Level: 4.6   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q51780
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 12.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Adam Gidwitz taught in Brooklyn for eight years. Now, he writes full time—which means he writes a couple of hours a day, and lies on his couch staring at the ceiling the rest of the time. As is the case with all of his books, everything in them not only happened in the real fairy tales…it all also happened to him. Really. Learn more at, on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter: @AdamGidwitz 

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring)
Gidwitz weaves several Grimms' tales into one darkly humorous book starring Hansel and Gretel. The author interrupts the main text periodically, speaking directly to readers (e.g., "I'm sorry. I wish I could have skipped this part. I really do ). The combination of powerful stories and grade-school humor may do for the popularity of Grimm fairy tales what the Percy Jackson books did for Greek mythology. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #1)
Instead of the oft-tried technique of expanding a single Grimms' fairy tale into a novel, Gidwitz takes several tales and weaves them together into one darkly humorous chapter book starring Hansel and Gretel. The brother and sister are two of the unluckiest children ever, as they fall into the clutches of a succession of terrible grown-ups, from their father who cuts off their heads to the baker woman who wants to eat them, and even the devil himself. In the bloodiest and most terrifying story, Gretel falls in love with a handsome young man who lures her to his home in the woods where he daily hacks young women to pieces for dinner. The author introduces the stories and interrupts them periodically in passages set off in bold type, speaking directly to the reader in a deliberately modern and informal tone: 'I'm sorry. I wish I could have skipped this part. I really do. Gretel cutting off her own finger?' The commentary can occasionally feel grating, but the combination of powerful stories and grade-school humor will probably introduce Grimm fairy tales to modern children just as Percy Jackson has popularized Greek mythology. SUSAN DOVE LEMPKE Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2010 October #3)

Hansel and Gretel actually had their heads chopped off. Who knew? If that statement sends you scrambling for your favorite search engine, Gidwitz is savoring that reaction. And for readers who shriek with bloodthirsty delight, not skepticism, he has much more in store. Fracturing the folk tales of the Brothers Grimm, Gidwitz brings together old and new traditions of matter-of-fact horror. Hansel and Gretel become recurring characters in reworked versions of the Grimms' lesser-known tales, such as "Faithful Johannes" and "The Seven Ravens" (here, "The Seven Swallows"). The children are seeking a "nice" family after their father, no woodcutter but a king, pulls the aforementioned beheading stunt ("hey believed firmly in their little hearts that parents should not kill their children"). The perfect family proves elusive, and the children must extricate themselves from one outrageous situation after another--including, yes, a hungry old woman in an edible house. The rhythms and rhetoric of the prose are heavily influenced by verbal storytelling, which can on occasion strike a false note, but mostly add the intended wry wink to an audacious debut that's wicked smart and wicked funny. Ages 10–up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2010 November)

Gr 3 Up—With disarming delicacy and unexpected good cheer, Gidwitz reweaves some of the most shocking and bloody stories that the Brothers Grimm collected into a novel that's almost addictively compelling. He gives fair warning that this is no prettified, animated version of the old stories. "Are there any small children in the room now?" he asks midway through the first tale, "If so, it would be best if we just...hurried them off to bed. Because this is where things start to get, well...awesome." Many of humanity's least attractive, primal emotions are on display: greed, jealousy, lust, and cowardice. But, mostly it's the unspeakable betrayal by bad parents and their children's journey to maturation and forgiveness that are at the heart of the book. Anyone who's ever questioned why Hansel and Gretel's father is so readily complicit in their probable deaths and why the brother and sister, nonetheless, return home after their harrowing travails will find satisfying explanations here. Gidwitz is terrifying and funny at the same time. His storytelling is so assured that it's hard to believe this is his debut novel. And his treatment of the Grimms' tales is a whole new thing. It's equally easy to imagine parents keeping their kids up late so they can read just one more chapter aloud, kids finishing it off under the covers with a flashlight, and parents sneaking into their kids' rooms to grab it off the nightstand and finish it themselves.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

[Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.