The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy, #1)
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The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  8,472 ratings  ·  1,557 reviews
Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library - a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales; seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother's sinister mirror that talk...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jillian -always aspiring-
Nov 15, 2011 Jillian -always aspiring- rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Middle-grade readers who will likely not mind the simple plot and characters
After reading this book, I fear that I am becoming a bit of a reading snob. You see, two or three years ago, I might really have enjoyed The Grimm Legacy, whatever issues I may have had while reading it. I like to think myself fair when I spot flaws in a book. Some flaws I can shrug off and forget; others I can't. Unfortunately, The Grimm Legacy's flaws fall into the latter. This isn't a horrible book by any means, but it really felt to me as though it could have been so much more than it was.

In...more
Cara
Jun 29, 2014 Cara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Ash
Ms.Shulman totally gets fairy tale readers. When I finised this book I thought; Now why didn't I think of that?

Elizabeth at the moment is friendless. Her best friend has moved to California and she is still trying to get accustomed to her new home situation, new stepmother and two step-sisters who thankfully are at a college now. Things start to shift when Elizabeth decides to do her paper in history over the Grimm fairy tales. Elizabeth's history teacher gives her a recommendation to work at...more
Valerie
I can't resist books like this. The thought of a library that has magical objects you can actually borrow is amazing. I've always liked Fairytales (though probably not as much as Elizabeth) so the title is what really caught my attention.

We find Elizabeth in a rut. She has no friends at her new school, and all she does at home is chores and homework. So when she is given the opportunity for a job after school at an unusual library she takes it with optimism. And this new job of hers leads Eliza...more
Ash
Jan 07, 2014 Ash rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ash by: Cara
This is a very original and magical story. I have always loved fairy tales of all kinds and I don't think I'll ever grow out of it. Maybe it's a girl thing. Either way I don't care because I had so much fun reading this book. Yes, I felt that I literally had fun.

Quick Overview: Elizabeth Rew hasn't been doing too hot lately. Her best friend has moved away, and she hasn't made any friends at her new school. Things seem to be finally going in the right direction though. After a referral from her...more
Anne
I really wanted to love this book, very attractive premise. But I found the writing surprisingly unpolished - like they skipped all the editorial passes and went straight to production. The characters, flat to begin with, became increasing frustrating, making stupid choices clearly only to twist the plot into a more hackneyed shape. The pacing was odd as well in the second half of the book, where the action scenes felt rushed and more ambient interludes were emphasized.
I wanted this book to be...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Morgan Oats
This book was in no way a "bad" book, but it wasn't altogether great either. At times I really thought I liked it, and then there were others when it fell to "okay." Overall I would give it about a 2.7 stars because at times I was intrigued.

If I had to give this book a one word description I would say cheesy. I could think of others as well, but right now "cheesy" comes to mind. The book is about a girl named Elizabeth who writes a paper over the Brothers Grimm and is recommended a job at a rath...more
Stacy
There is something rather grand about finding a new, good book to read. And it is always disappointing to discover that the new, good book isn't all that good. "The Grimm Legacy", by Polly Shulman, was wonderfully writen, for the most part. The dialogue was weak in a few areas, and the plot was too slow in some spots and too fast in others, but these issues were easily forgotten as I continued reading. But, as is inevitable in "modern" teen lit, the author decided that her charming story couldn'...more
Lindi
So much fun! I adored Enthusiasm and have been waiting for Polly Shulman's second book ever since. Once again we have a charming high school girl learning about love and friendship in the context of classic stories, but this time the stories are folk tales.

Elizabeth Rew is having a rough year. Her widowed father has remarried and, with two stepdaughters in college, he can no longer afford the tuition for her old school or for her ballet classes. Her best friend has moved to California and Eliza...more
Chrissy
I loved the concept of this book: What if there were libraries that lent out magical objects instead of books? The New York Circulating Material Repository is one such place. It's home of the Grimm Collection, which includes - you guessed it - magical items from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

So the idea was pretty appealing, especially to a librarian. BUT the execution was abysmal. I felt as though the story needed to percolate for a few more years before it was put on paper. Toward the...more
A Canadian Girl
Right from the start, it was extremely easy to get lost in the pages of The Grimm Legacy. The world that Shulman has created is so realistic and vivid that it’s not hard to imagine the New York Circulating Material Repository, a building that looks like a normal Manhattan brownstone on the outside but is actually much bigger on the inside, having expanded into the neighbouring properties. I especially love the fact that Shulman began each chapter of the book with a Repository object that would b...more
Lauren
I tried two times to read this book and got about halfway through it the second time before I gave up. I really, really wanted to like it. The premise was fascinating: an enchanted library collection, and not of books, but objects--objects from famous fairy tales? It sounded like a perfect blend of reality and fantasy. But try as I might, I couldn't get into it. In part, I think, because it had a lot less to do with the Grimm fairy tales than I thought it would, I think. But mostly, the characte...more
Inge
What to say about The Grimm Legacy? It was strange, but in a very good way. Elizabeth gets a job in a sort of rotating library for objects instead of books. People borrow things and bring them back later. It can be something as trivial as a lamp, but then there are the special collections. Especially The Grimm Collection catches Elizabeth’s eye, but it’s not until everyone trusts her that she learns about the true magic of these objects. There’s a flying carpet, tables that set themselves, wishi...more
Jeanne
The Grimm Legacy was a disappointment. Polly Shulman is a decent writer (Enthusiasm, her previous book, was a cute piece of Austen-inspired YA fluff), and the idea that not only do relics from fairy tales exist but also that they are kept in a special lending library sounded amazing. Unfortunately, unlike the artifacts, The Grimm Legacy has no magic in its soul.

Elizabeth, a Cinderella-esque teen who finds herself alone in a new school, is recommended for a page post at the New York Circulating M...more
Jenna Avid Reader Musings
The Grimm Legacy is a great book for readers who love fairy tales. Author Polly Shulman uses the Grimm Brothers stories to craft a funny and imaginative novel about a young girl who, while working at a materials repository, discovers that magic is real.

I like how Shulman is able to create distinctive voices for each of her main characters. While the story is told from Elizabeth's point of view, readers get a glimpse into the other characters through their dialogue and actions. I would have liked...more
Aaron
Elizabeth Rew is about to find out how magical libraries really can be. After completing a research paper on the fairy tales of the Grimm brothers, Mr. Mauskopf, her social studies teacher, recommends her for a position at unique library. The New-York Circulating Material Repository is a library that specializes in realia, or objects of interest, rather than books. What is really interesting is that these objects are not just regular every-day ones, but important historical objects.

She arrives...more
Susie Carson
I enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on fairy tale novels. I liked that Elizabeth was a little bit like Cinderella, but that it wasn't just a retelling of the fairy tale, and I liked the little snippets of lesser-known stories the Brothers Grimm recorded. And the whole idea of a lending library for magical objects was very cool. The writing wasn't perfect, but it was well paced and the characters were sympathetic. There were a couple of reasons why I didn't give it 4 stars: I didn't like how...more
Jean
“The Grimm Legacy” is Polly Shulman’s first novel. I enjoyed it immensely and would consider reading it to a Year 6 class; I would certainly recommend it to confident Year 6 readers, both boys and girls. Elizabeth is the main character in the novel. She is unhappy at home with her new step-mum and sisters, and finds refuge in the job which is offered her at the library. She is recommended for the job by her Social Studies teacher, Mr Mauskopf. Very quickly it becomes apparent that this is not a...more
Grace
As a library employee AND an afficionado of fairy tales, this book captured my attention from the very blurb. It is the story of a young woman in New York City who goes to work for a lending library of objects, including some quite magical items from fairy tale lore. The Grimm Collection especially intrigues Elizabeth (as it would me), and she eagerly awaits the day when she can explore the collection. But all is not as it seems at the library. Magical objects are going missing, and Elizabeth ne...more
Sarah
Elizabeth works in a magical library and solves a mystery. Overall, I found this book to be oddly amateurish - the dialogue, the background, and the plot seemed unrefined and kind of lumpy. It reminded me a lot of Connie Willis's Blackout; in both, amazing power was inexplicably given to very incompetent people, who then used it in unforgivably stupid ways. I understand this is a teen book, and as such you want to see teens as lead characters who get access to the magical objects. Just make it m...more
CLM
Dec 25, 2010 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Abigail, Lisa, Kate
I very much enjoyed this story of a lonely NYC high school student whose social studies teacher recommends her for a job at an unusual library. Instead of books, the library deals in magical objects representing classic fairy tales, and Elizabeth soon learns that someone is trying to steal these precious items. Having read and reread all of Grimm in a voluminous green bound hardcover that my grandmother owned I loved every fairy tale mention.

I do wonder, however, whether my niece (to whom I gav...more
Kate
Elizabeth is just your average girl with two stepsisters and an evil stepmother when she does a report on the Brother Grimm for history class. This leads to her teacher recommending her to work at a special library that circulates interesting items rather than books. Aside from lending things like Marie Antoinette's wig, Elizabeth finds that there is a special collection for items collected by the Brothers Grimm... items that are magical. Unfortunately, someone has been stealing items from the G...more
Alan
A must read, especially for any Middle School or HS girl, but really anyone who loves fairy tales. It has a wonderful female protagonist, Elizabeth, and it is full of the "things" from fairy tales. Those "magical things" carpets and shoes and mirrors are all real, and many of them are kept in the New-York Material Repository. Elizabeth, who, by the way, has a stepmother and two stepsisters, gets a job at the Repository, where she comes to learn that magic is real. We follow Elizabeth as she lear...more
Sara
This was fun! I love the setting (a library that lends out objects? Neat! Special collections made up of magical objects, sci-fi stuff, futuristic computer things, and more? Even more neat). The story movies on at a goodly pace, has enough mystery and romance to keep you reading. A fun summer read, and even more fun if you get the fairy tale/literary allusions.
Kyla
There is nothing more depressing than witnessing a killer concept drown in a morass of poor writing, cardboard characters and hit and miss plotting. I mean, a material archive! a job as a page! Magical objects from fairy tales available for lending out! Pneumatic tube messaging!
And the aforementioned terrible writing. Oh well.
Sharon
ARGH! This book drove me up the wall. The Grimm Legacy has a great concept but suffers from piss poor execution. The book started off promising enough when the main character Elizabeth starts her new job at the lending library filled with not only books but magical items. The first few chapters of her experience at the job were quite entertaining. I very much enjoyed reading about all the cool new objects that Elizabeth got to work with. However, I quickly lost interest when the secondary charac...more
Samrat
I didn't care for this book. Rather than write a super-smart and critical review, I'm mostly going to share my notes on the book. After ereading the last few and finding out how easy annotations were, I found I had to keep a notebook handy to retain that level of involvement. So here goes my spoilerific thoughts...

(view spoiler)...more
Jocelin
I really enjoyed this book. The story was really interesting and I thought the characters were well-written. The author incorporated stories from The Grimm Brothers fairy tales. The main character was a page for an unusual lending library of magical items. It created a great fantastical adventure and I thought this kept you well engaged.
The main character Elizabeth Rew's life is almost reminiscent of Cinderella's life (she has a slightly mean stepmom & 2 self-absorbed stepsisters). Her life...more
Luiza Salazar
I was so excited to read this book. I mean, A LIBRARY with all of the stuff from the GRIMM FAIRYTALES??? What's not to love. Well, a few things. The general story is great but that's kinda where it stops. The writing is so childish, evertything comes so easy, so efortlessly. The main character is the most standart, girl next door I've ever seen. She's not bitchy and it's cool that's she's always trying to see the good in people but seriously, who's like that all the time? And who is so freaking...more
Megan
This book has a very intriguing concept and great world building to back it up. Shulman eases the reader into the adventure and the world she has created at exactly the right speed. Shulman also does an excellent job of never quite letting you know who to trust. The prose is serviceable, but on the bland side. Likewise, most of the characters are rather flat and one-note with the exception of Jaya who is absolutely wonderful in her smug, bratty ten year old charm. While the pacing at the beginni...more
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What did you think of Grimm Legacy? 5 22 Jun 07, 2014 07:06AM  
MHS Library Club: Grimm Legacy 4 4 Mar 17, 2014 02:44PM  
Favorite Character 7 30 Jan 01, 2014 12:11PM  
What item would you most like to check out? 9 24 Oct 14, 2013 12:13PM  
What item would you check out and what would you trade in? 1 6 Sep 26, 2013 05:17PM  
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Polly Shulman has edited and written articles about books, infinity, edible jellyfish, planets, circuses, and many other subjects for the New York Times, Science, Salon, and many other publications. She is an alumna of Yale, where she majored in math. She puts cayenne pepper in her chocolate cookies and reads forgotten books with frontispieces. In high school she worked as a page at the New York P...more
More about Polly Shulman...
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“The one who asks questions does not lose his way.” 58 likes
“What I mean is, all the terrible things that happen in fairy tales seem real. Or not real, but genuine. Life is unfair, and the bad guys keep winning and good people die. But I like how that's not always the end of it...Evil is real, but so is good. They always say fairy tales are simplistic, black and white, but I don't think so. I think they're complicated. That's what I love about them.” 48 likes
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