The Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley This is the first book of a delightful fantasy mystery series for elementary-age kids. Everyone has heard of the Brothers Grimm, but what if the stories they wrote down were real? Sabrina and Daphne Grimm didn’t think so, until their parents disappeared, the only clue a red handprint painted on the dashboard of their car. Two years later, they’ve been shuttled from one bad foster home to another, when someone claiming to be their grandmother comes to take them home to Ferrytown. Daphne trusts Granny Relda immediately, even when she starts telling them things that can’t possibly be real. The older Sabrina is more skeptical – even when a first attempt at running away has them surrounded by stinging pixies. But the next day, Granny Relda brings them along as she investigates a crushed house, crushed into what looks remarkably like a giant footprint. Many of the old fairy tale characters came to America when life got too uncomfortable in Europe, she tells them. They’ve mostly settled in Ferryport, where a spell the Grimms arranged for keeps the Everafters safely inside and unwanted people out. It’s not an entirely popular solution, and the modern-day Grimms face a good deal of resistance as they investigate the crime and try to keep the peace. The premise is remarkably similar to the excellent graphic novel series, Fables by Bill Willingham, though appropriately lighter for a younger audience. Still, we find, for example, Prince Charming mayor of Ferryport, and not entirely popular among the many princesses he’s wed and left. Strong characters, an engaging setting, and a fast-moving plot make this a great choice for young readers, or even their parents looking for a light read.
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