Tomorrow is the official release date for A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. (No, I don't know why it is released on Thursday instead of the industry standard Tuesday.) I haven't seen it yet--no review copies sent to me in other words--but the preliminary buzz has been great, so it's on my reading list. In other words, it's being reviewed by most major reviewers and receiving starred reviews. And I love the cover since that is the most I've seen so far. It is wonderful!
Here's the publisher's description:
In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.
Here's a teacher's take on it from Coming Soon: Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm by Moncia Edinger:
I’ve been teaching a Cinderella unit for decades now and always begin by having the class tell the version they already know, each child adding a sentence as we go around the circle. This telling is always dominated by the Disney/Perrault version, but sometimes as we get toward the end there will be someone who will, with great relish, tell of the stepmother’s bloody efforts to make her daughters’ feet fit the slipper. More occasionally someone else will know of those girls’ dreadful final punishment (involving birds and eyes in case you didn’t know). And, of course, the rest are completely captivated. Always, always, always they want to know that story.You can read the first chapter on Gidwitz's site here.
And so this year, knowing of their fascination with this lesser-known side of fairy tales, not only will they get to know that story, but an arguably even darker one — Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm. As we explore the ins and outs of Cinderella, fairy tales, and what they are today I will be reading aloud this remarkable debut novel in which traditional Grimm tales are woven in and among new tales. Then, as always, the children will write their own stories. And as they do, it will be interesting to see how and if this novel affects their writing. Will they be inspired to try a storyteller narrator perhaps? A narrator that feels just like a kind teacher, someone who knows that this is a dark story with scary elements, one who warns and explains just as I would reading the story aloud, but won’t need to with this book because the narrator will be doing it for me? Maybe or maybe not.