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St. Patrick’s Day books

Posted by Sherry on 3/16/2017 in Celebrations, Children's Fiction, Folktales, Ireland, Nonfiction |

I have several books for St. Patrick’s Day or about Saint Patrick and Ireland in my library: Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of St. Patrick’s Day Symbols by Edna Barth is more than just a listing of St. Patrick’s Day symbols and customs. It’s a children’s introduction to the history and culture of Ireland, […]

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The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

Posted by Sherry on 11/30/2015 in Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General, Romance, Young Adult Fiction |

This take-off on the story of Tam Lin and the Fair Folk is an oldie-but-goodie that deserves to be revived. Since fairy tale and folk tale retellings are so popular these days, young adult fans of authors Donna Jo Napoli, Jessica Day George, Robin McKinley, and Shannon Hale should check out this combination of folklore […]

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The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville

Posted by Sherry on 4/29/2015 in 2015, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

Fairy tale meets Gothic romance in this tale of recent graduated she-bear Ursula Brown, governess to young Teddy Vaughn, the only living child of the rich and well-regarded Vaughn family, who live in a manor house in the woods near Bremen Town. The imposing manor is fondly nicknamed The Cottage in the Woods. As Ursula […]

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Happy Birthday, Mr. Grimm

Posted by Sherry on 2/24/2015 in --February, Birthdays, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

Wilhelm Carl Grimm, b. 1786. While he and his brother Jacob were in law school, they began to collect folk tales. They collected, after many years, over 200 folk tales, including such famous ones as Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, The Bremen Town Musicians, and Rumpelstiltskin. Both Wilhelm and Jacob were librarians. […]

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The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson and Five Things That Made Me Smile

Posted by Sherry on 2/9/2015 in Folktales, General, Romance, Young Adult Fiction |

I do enjoy a good fairy retelling, but unfortunately this novel, based on the story of Cinderella, is not quite up to par. The characters—Gisela (Cinderella), Valten (the prince), Ruexner (inserted villain), and other minor characters—all seem rather wooden and dull and obscurely motivated. Ruexner especially is the stock villain, complete with black armor and […]

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Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

Posted by Sherry on 11/11/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Christian Life, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

A nameless girl dressed only in spiderwebs enters the Pennyroyal Academy, a place where girls are trained to become princesses who do battle with witches and boys are trained to become knights who fight dragons. If that introduction intrigues you, Pennyroyal Academy is the book for you. If you got stuck, as I did, on […]

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A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

Posted by Sherry on 10/23/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

A sequel to Chainani’s first novel, The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes takes Agatha and Sophie back to the fairy tale world that they worked so hard to escape in the first book. Only this time the questions and dichotomies are multiplying in a dizzying way: Is Sophie reformed, or is […]

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Thrones and Bones: Frostborn by Lou Anders

Posted by Sherry on 10/8/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

This middle grade fantasy adventure takes place in the frozen North, very Norse, but on a different planet than Earth, one with two moons? The mythology that the story incorporates is definitely Norse/Scandinavian, but the different planet aspect allows the author to deviate from Norse folklore and culture whenever he wants without getting accused of […]

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Dreamwood by Heather Mackey

Lucy Darrington, age twelve, runs away from her school in San Francisco and rides a train to the Pacific Northwest where her father, a scientist and expert ghost clearer, has been searching for a job. Mr. Darrington promised Lucy that he would send for her as soon as he got settled, but Lucy hates her […]

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The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Posted by Sherry on 8/23/2014 in 2013, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

I think Kathy Appelt is a polarizing author; you either love her style of storytelling or you really find it annoying. I love it. I thought her tale of hound dog and kittens in the Big Thicket of East Texas, The Underneath, was excellent storytelling, and it should have won the Newbery in 2009 instead […]

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