Fairy Tales Retold for Teens

Card, Orson Scott. Enchantment. 1999. (YA Science Fiction Card.O & Science Fiction Card.O) Cover Art

Enchantment is "a classic fantasy with a modern twist," that's what the cover says, and that is what Card delivers. It's the story of Sleeping Beauty, but this time the story is about the man who wakes her up, Ivan. The story begins when Ivan is ten years old, it is then that he first encounters the slumbering woman. Time passes and he feels himself pulled back to his homeland and the woman. It is after he has awakened Katerina, the sleeping princess, that the story really begins. Time plays an important part in the book. The modern age that Ivan is from, the time when Katerina was put under the spell, and now, whenever that is. There's also a fantastic magical element, as the curse would suggest, but it doesn't end there.

 

 

Datlow, Ellen. The Faery Reel : Tales From The Twilight Realm. 2004. (YA Fiction Stories Datlo.E) Cover Art

A collection of short stories by some of the moat renowned names in fantasy today: Neil Gaiman (The Sandman Chronicles, Stardust), Gregory Maguire (Wicked, Son of a Witch), and Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) to name just a few. This book gives you the chance to become acquainted with these writers without committing to an entire book.

 

 

Datlow, Ellen. A Wolf At The Door : And Other Retold Fairy Tales. 2000. (YA Fiction Stories Datlo.E) Cover Art

Another collection of short stories edited by Ellen Datlow. This one is filled with nothing but re-imaginings of fairy tales. Everything from instructions on how to survivie a fairy tale, courtesy of Neil Gaiman, to Hansel and Gretel lured by rows of Playstations and a Coke machine.

 

 

Dixon, Heather. Entwined. 2011. (YA Science Fiction Dixon.H)Cover Art

Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish in this riveting reimagining of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

 

 

Dokey, Cameron. Golden. 2006. (YA Fiction Dokey.C) Cover Art

As this is story about Rapunzel, it is also a story about hair, or in this case, a lack of it. Rapunzel is born bald without hope of growing hair, which disgusts her mother. That disgust enables the sorceress Melisande to take Rapunzel, per the deal she struck with her mother.

 

 

Flinn, Alex. Beastly. 2007. (YA Fiction Flinn.A) Cover Art

Kyle Kingsbury has it all: good looks, money, popularity, and a famous father to boot. Despite, or perhaps because of this, Kyle is a total jerk. One day he messes with the wrong Goth girl, and she curses him. Kyle's outside becomes as ugly as his inside, complete with fur and fangs. He hides out at home, chatting online with the group Unexpected Changes, whose members include Froggie and Silent Maid. It's little touches like this, and the Beast/Kyle's perspective that make this version of Beauty and the Beast a classic itself.

 

 

Gaiman, Neil. M Is For Magic. 2007. (YA Fiction Gaima.N) Cover Art

While not traditional fairy tales, Neil Gaiman's short stories include trolls, villains, and knights. One of the most amusing stories, is the investigation into the death of Humpty Dumpty by a hard boiled private detective.

 

 

Gruber, Michael. The Witch's Boy. 2005. (YA Fiction Grube.M & YA CD Fiction Grube.M & eAudiobook) Cover Art

Lump , named so for his misshapen form, was abandoned as an infant and taken in by a witch. This is merely the start of his strange tale. Truth be told, Lump is not a nice boy. He frees a djinn in order to exact revenge on those who were cruel to him. Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rumplestiltskin all appear. These are just some of the quirky details of this story. But you'll have to read to get the full scope.

 

 

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. 1999. (YA Fiction Haddi.M) Cover Art

What happens when happily ever after isn't so happy. Ella fought tooth, nail, and a evil stepmother to get to the palace, but now that she's engaged to marry Prince Charming, she's not so sure. For one thing, it turns out that Prince Charming is a bit of a bore. Also, it seems that Ella has an instructor for everything: dance, decorum, palace protocol, needlepoint, painting, and a few more for reasons she can't figure out. She may have left back breaking labor behind, but Ella still has to work at all that is expected of the new princess to be. Also, there's the small matter of her feelings for her tutor Jed that she has to contend with, along with the horrid Madame Bisset, her decorum instructor. What's a princess to be to do?

 

 

Hale, Shannon. Book Of A Thousand Days. 2007. (YA Fiction Hale.S) Cover Art

This is based on a lesser known tale by the Grimm Brothers. It's written in diary form, from the perspective of Dashti, Lady Saren's maid. Both are imprisoned in a tower because of Lady Saren's refusal to marry.

 

 

Hale, Shannon. The Goose Girl. 2003. (YA Fiction Hale.S & eAudiobook) Cover Art

Within a few days: Ani, the Crown Princess of Kildenree's father dies, she's passed over for the throne, and she's betrayed by her guards and lady in waiting en route to her intended. She barely escapes this treachery with her life.

 

 

Harrison, Mette Ivie. Mira, Mirror. 2004. (YA Fiction Harri.M) Cover Art

Did you ever wonder what happened to the Magic Mirror that Snow White's wicked mother had? What made the mirror answer her? The Mirror was once a girl named Mira. She was a witch's apprentice, as was the Wicked Queen. It was the Wicked Queen who imprisoned her. But she's gone now, and Mira might just have a chance at freedom, and a life of her own.

 

 

Lackey, Mercedes. The Serpent's Shadow. 2001. (Science Fiction Lacke.M) Cover Art

There is a faint hint of Snow White in this book. Dr. Maya Witherspoon's Indian priestess mother and British physician father are dead, under cloudy circumstances. Maya flees her native India to London. There she struggles to break into the prejudiced medical community. Though she has surrounded herself with every protection she can think of, including her mother's seven pets, the evil that took her parents is pursuing her.

 

 

Lanagan, Margo. Red Spikes. 2007. (YA Fiction Lanag.M) Cover Art

Though this book does not contain a Sleeping Beauty, or a Cinderella, it will still be of interest to fairy tale and fantasy aficionados. Lanagan takes elements common to fairy tales, such as: ogres, queens, and magic.

 

 

Levine, Gail Carson. Fairest. 2006. (YA Fiction Levin.G & YA CD Fiction Levin.G) Cover Art

If you enjoyed the book or movie, Ella Enchanted, also by Gail Carson Levine, then this will be right up your alley. This time Levine, using the story of Snow White, crafts a darker tale. The fairy Lucinda is back. This time it is the gift of that fateful mirror she gives. Aza may have the mirror, but it is her voice that is her true gift.

 

 

Lynn, Tracy. Snow. 2003. (YA Fiction Lynn.T) Cover Art

Jessica is not what her father had hoped for, she is a girl. Not only that, but her mother dies giving birth to her. Her father decides to start fresh with a new wife. This new wife hates Snow, as Jessica is known because of her beauty. Soon Snow must flee to London. There she is taken in by a band of outcasts. But here wicked stepmother isn't done with her yet.

 

 

Mah, Adelien Yen. Chinese Cinderella And The Secret Dragon Society. 2005. (YA Fiction Mah.A) Cover Art

Chinese Cinderella, or CC as she is better known, is born to a life of privilege. But she is at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. CC seeks solace in Grandma Wu's martial arts school. It is there she gains skills and confidence, while letting go of some of her pain and hurt. Soon she becomes part of the Chinese Resistance movement against the invading Japanese.

 

 

Maguire, Gregory. Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister. 1999. (Fiction Magui.G) Cover Art

Set in 17th century Holland, this is the story of Iris, whose path crosses with Clara, an inexplicably beautiful girl. Fate has destined that they will become sisters. As the title reveals, this is Iris's story, here life is much more than just being an "ugly stepsister." This is the same author that wrote Wicked, so if you liked that one you may want to give this a try.

 

 

Mckinley, Robin. Beauty : A Retelling Of The Story Of Beauty & The Beast. 1978. (YA Fiction Mckin.R) Cover Art

It has been thirty years since this book was first published, but it is still talked about and recommended as much now, as it was then. Honour is the youngest of three daughters. She doesn't much care for her nickname of Beauty, especially with her larger hands and even bigger feet. One day her father comes back from an enchanted castle that is home to the Beast. And so the story goes. There are those who absolutely adore this book, and there are those who think it's long and overly drawn out. If you love fairy tales give it a read and see where you weigh in on this debate.

 

 

Medley, Linda. Castle Waiting. 2006. (YA 741.5973 Medle.L) Cover Art

Modern sensibilities and sass mixed with medieval setting. Medley uses comic form to tell the tales of those in Putney. All the niceties you usually encounter in fairy tales are swiftly disposed of here. Bearded ladies, a witch who is named Mald because she is bald, and a mysterious pregnant woman all populate this hysterical book.

 

 

Murphy, Louise. The True Story Of Hansel And Gretel. 2003. (Fiction Murph.L) Cover Art

Hansel and Gretel are not their real names, their real names would betray their secret. The little boy and girl are Jewish. It is Nazi occupied Poland and they have been left in a forest. So begins their tale.

 

 

Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound. 2004. (YA Fiction Napol.D) Cover Art

After the death of her father, Xing Xing is bound to her Stepmother and half sister, Wei Ping. To maker herself fit for marriage, Wei Ping, binds her feet. But it is Xing Xing who must tend to her during the painful process. Xing Xing practices her calligraphy and poetry, while dreaming of a life free of her obligations.

 

 

Schmidt, Gary D. Straw Into Gold. 2001. (YA Fiction Schmi.G) Cover Art

This is an unusual take on Rumplestiltskin. As with the classic, there is a riddle. "What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold?" Only the answer can save Tousle, Innes, and a group of rebels from a death sentence. The two boys, Tousle and the blind Innes must journey to find the answer to this riddle. A great twist, what happens when the queen can't guess the little man's name correctly.

 

 

Scieszka, Jon. The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales. 1992. (JPicture Scies.J) Cover Art

Irreverent. Hilarious. The Stinky Cheese Man is Jon Scieszka's take on classic fairy tales. No beloved character is spared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shulman, Polly. The Grimm Legacy. 2010. (YA Fiction Shulm.P)Cover Art

New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

 

 

 

 

Tomlinson, Heather. Toads And Diamonds. 2010. (YA Fiction Tomli.H)Cover Art

Tomlinson sets this richly imagined retelling of the classic Perrault fairy tale in pre-colonial India with a lavishly  realized backdrop. Two stepsisters, Diribani and Tana, receive gifts from a goddess and each walks her own path to find her gift's purpose, discovering romance along the way. When Diribani speaks, jewels and flowers fall from her lips. When Tana speaks, toads, frogs and snakes hop and slither out of her mouth. Unlike the original tale, these two sisters care deeply for one another, a refreshing change from the old worn stereotype of warring stepsisters.

 

 

Vande Velde, Vivian. Cloaked in Red. 2010. (YA Fiction Vande.V)Cover Art

In these eight quirky versions of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red isn't always the main character and new situations and personalities populate the classic narrative. Granny a werewolf? Brothers Grimm as the bumbling sons of the woodcutter? Vande Velde adds her own blend of horror, sarcasm and satire.

 

 

Weyn, Suzanne. The Night Dance. 2005. (YA Fiction Weyn.S) Cover Art

This is another interpretation of Grimm's Twelve Dancing Princesses. But what separates it from Dia Calhoun's The Phoenix Dance, is the incorporation of characters from the King Arthur Legend, namely Vivienne, Morgan La Faye, and a knight of the Round Table.

 

 

Willingham, Bill. Fables. 2002. (YA 741.5973 Willi.B bk. 1) Cover Art

These are characters of fairy tales as you've never seen them before. They are hard boiled detectives, tricksters on the run from the law, and ruthless criminals just to name a few.

 

 

Compiled by Bridget Petrites
Updated by Loft Staff: June, 2011
evanston logo

Contact us          ©2008-2013 Evanston Public Library   Evanston, IL 60201   847.448.8600   

Home