On My Bookshelf: A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

September 07, 2020

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz is full of fun, humor, and unexpected twists. Young readers will delight in an interrupting narrator and children who are wiser than their foolish parents. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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.

Why I liked it: I usually love fractured fairy tales, and I mostly liked A Tale Dark & Grimm (it's the first in a series). The plot is full of fun, humor, and unexpected twists, but the interrupting narrator got on my nerves (younger readers might find it entertaining). Likewise, younger readers will likely delight in the children who are wiser than their foolish parents. While I've decided young adult fractured fairy tales are more my style, I would still read the next two books in this series.
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz is full of fun, humor, and unexpected twists. Young readers will delight in an interrupting narrator and children who are wiser than their foolish parents. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

Classroom application: This novel is appropriate for 5th grade and up. After reading, have students generate a list of essential elements in a fairy tale. Students could then evaluate whether or not this book fits the genre. The official recommendation for the book is grades 5 and 6, ages 10 - 12. Students could debate whether this book is too violent for this recommended grade/age range.

This would also make for a great pairing with some of the original versions of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales. Students could try to identify the fairy tales incorporated in A Tale Dark & Grimm in addition to the obvious inclusion of Hansel and Gretel (I tried to find a list, but I couldn't). Similar to debating the violence and age appropriateness of A Tale Dark & Grimm, students could debate what ages the originals are appropriate for and/or discuss how the originals evolved into the tales we know today.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of A Tale Dark & Grimm for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz is full of fun, humor, and unexpected twists. Young readers will delight in an interrupting narrator and children who are wiser than their foolish parents. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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