Retellings

Twice-Told Tales by Nanci Milone Hill (NoveList Plus)

Though Disney would like to make us forget, fairy tales were once intended for adults. Grimm’s stories were dark, dangerous morality tales. In our watered down versions, we have forgotten that they are not all about the happily-ever-after, since even today’s retold tales often have happy endings. Fairy tales were meant to make us think, and even with happy endings they make us question our codes of conduct and reevaluate our choices. Today’s retold tales do so by looking at old stories in new ways. Sometimes, they are told from a lesser known characters’ perspective, as in Gregory Maguire’s Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Other novelists tie in old tales with our own horrific history, such as Jane Yolen in Briar Rose. While the original versions used the premise of once-upon-a-time, many retold tales deal with the here and now. Because they reflect on universal themes, they have timeless appeal, no matter what setting they use. So, roll up your sleeves, check out a good book, and prepare to do some thinking while you are entertained.


 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan but discovers not all is as it seems within the palace.

 

 


 

A Song for Ella Grey by David AlmondA Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

Claire witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if Ella Grey has been captured and taken from her, but the loss of her best friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world in this modern take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in Northern England.

 


 

Rook by Sharon CameronRook by Sharon Cameron

In the Sunken City that was once Paris the guillotine rules again, while Sophia Bellamy from the Commonwealth across the Channel Sea tries to rescue as many of the revolution’s victims as she can smuggle out, and some prisoners disappear from their cells, with a red-tipped rook feather left in their place–but who is the mysterious Red Rook and where does Sophia’s wealthy fiance,́ René Hasard, fit in?

 


 

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah FineOf Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

In this loose retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, set in a reimagined industrial Asia, a ghost becomes obsessed with sixteen-year-old Wen, the daughter of a staff doctor in a slaughterhouse, who falls in love with one of the Noor, a despised group of men, racially different, hired as cheap factory labor.

 


 

A Little in Love by Susan FletcherA Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Eponine, the street girl from Les Miserables, tells the story of her life and her unrequited love for Marius, which ultimately leads to her death on the barricades during the short-lived rebellion of June 1832.

 

 


 

The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca HahnThe Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn

Chloe, Serena, and Xinot, the Fates, live on a secluded island spinning, measuring, and cutting the threads of human life but when Aglaia, a mortal, finds them Chloe must try to keep her sisters from getting attached to the girl and involved in her dark fate that could unravel the world.

 


 

Beastkeeper by Cat HellisenBeastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast–unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

 


 

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie OakesThe Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

A handless teen escapes from a cult, only to find herself in juvenile detention and suspected of knowing who murdered her cult leader.

 

 


 

This Broken Wondrous World by Jon SkovronThis Broken Wondrous World by Jon Skovron

As Boy, the hacker son of Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride, moves to Switzerland to enroll in college, the secret world of monsters and mythical creatures, hiding in plain sight, is torn apart by conflict.

 

 


 

Fables by Bill WillinghamFables by Bill Willingham

Who killed Rose Red? In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case – and, along with Rose’s sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams.

 


 

last updated: February 2016
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About Princess Leia

I am the Teen Services Librarian at the Grayslake Area Public Library.
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