Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous GreenBeanTeenQueen over at her blog. Bloggers use the meme to highlight awesome reads for tweens.
You've heard about Hansel and Gretel before right? With the witch and her crazy house made of candy and cake? Well, then, you haven't heard the whole story. The real story of Hansel and Gretel is a much darker, bloodier, and more Grimm adventure than you might imagine.
So don't say we didn't warn you.
What a delightfully Grimm novel! Gidwitz weaves together several of the Grimm brothers' tales into one witty and darkly funny story held together by our brave young protagonists, Hansel and Gretel. The very involved narrator interjects sly and wry comments throughout the story and kids will greatly enjoy this hilarious commentary. Additionally, readers who like creepy and bloody tales or fairy tale retells will be quickly hooked on this story, which combines both subgenres into one twisting and eventful adventure.
As I have said before, I am a big fan of fairy and folktale retellings. I had heard good things about this particular fairy tale-inspired novel but wasn't quite sure what to expect when I turned the first page. What I found was a very unique re-imagining of the now iconic Grimm tales. Gidwitz draws on the darkness and the gore of the original tales; instead of white-washing them, he highlights their scary qualities. He finds overarching truths embedded in several separate stories: grown-ups are unreliable, the world is a frightening and unsafe place, and no one is truly innocent. Through these common themes, he crafts a new story that will likely appeal to many children for the ways it acknowledges how very scary the adventure we call 'growing up' can be.