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A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,518 Ratings  ·  2,595 Reviews
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 subv

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 28th 2010 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Ray-ray This book is not for people with weak tolerance for death, blood, and overall gore. The ending is fairly happy, but VERY bloody things happen on the…moreThis book is not for people with weak tolerance for death, blood, and overall gore. The ending is fairly happy, but VERY bloody things happen on the way. The book is very good, though. There are 'warnings' about when blood is coming. (less)
Nyra It is nothing like The Sister Grimm, besides the whole based-on-the-stories-of-the-Grimm-Brothers part. Personal opinion, this book was better. Beauty…moreIt is nothing like The Sister Grimm, besides the whole based-on-the-stories-of-the-Grimm-Brothers part. Personal opinion, this book was better. Beauty is in the eye of the book holder, so if you want to disagree read it and find out.(less)
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10th out of 136 books — 542 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I loved, loved, loved this book! This is the kind of book that I wish I could find more of. I think it was a wonderful fix of humor, horror, suspense, angst, and a great coming of age story. I didn't think that I would appreciate a story with Hansel and Gretel thrown into other fairy tales, nor could their story sustain a full-length novel. I was wrong on both counts. Hansel and Gretel became very dear to my hearts. They started out as little children who were doing what little children did. Liv ...more
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it really liked it
This debut YA novel is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Gidwitz manages to balance the grisly violence of the original Grimms’ fairy tales with a wonderful sense of humor and narrative voice, somewhat reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s take on the penny dreadful, but also completely fresh and unique. Gidwitz weaves the fairy tales together into a single narrative featuring Hansel and Gretel, and does it so well you’ll be wondering if this was the way the stories were meant to be told back ...more
Jul 26, 2010 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Didn’t want to read this. Nope. Not a jot. Three reasons for that. First off, the title. I’ve said it about twenty times since reading it and every time I can’t quite get it right (derivations have included "Something Dark and Grimm", “A Grimm Tale”, and “Something Grimm”). Second, the jacket of the hardcover edition of this book isn’t particularly new. Silhouettes against a blue background. Ho hum. Third, I couldn’t believe that I was dealing with yet ANOTHER middle grade novel adapting fairy t ...more
Jan 22, 2016 Sanaa rated it really liked it
[4 Stars] I actually finished this last week but am just now getting to this review. I listened to the audiobook and highly recommend it! It's quirky, different, self-aware, gruesome, but also silly! There was one portion of Hansel's story that I found to be a bit out of place, and sometimes the narrator would be a bit annoying with his repetition of "that's the end of the story etc. etc." Regardless, this was still really enjoyable. I recommend it to those who was something simultaneously grim ...more
Mar 12, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: home-library
I studied fairy tales a bit in college -- one of my favorite subjects, in fact -- so the premise of this book intrigued me. Imagine if all those children in Grimm stories, the ones who pop up when a poor couple bemoans that they have no children, or who get entrapped by a creepy devil man, or who get killed by their parents, are actually the same two children. They're Hansel and Gretel. And each story, generally culled from the Grimms' work, takes them on a journey of self-discovery and independ ...more
3.7 Stars

I don't know about you, but Hansel and Gretel was always one of my least favorite fairy tales. They were always so naive, and it felt like they made it out the other side based on chance, and not any particular skill or growth they'd experienced. Here, not so. Here, Adam Gidwitz has imagined a tale that's much longer than the one we know, much more involved, and is actually several shorter tales woven together to tell the whole tale - dark and grimm.

You see, Hansel and Gretel don't jus
Jan 24, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
I've always liked an analogy for reading I once heard from an English teacher: sometimes your relationship with a book can be just like relationships with people. There are people you'll be instantly drawn to because they have a particular charisma or chemistry for you, yet with time you might realize they lack the depth and quality to be a good relationship. And there are people who don't immediately impress you or draw you in, but the more time you spend getting to know them the more they grow ...more
Mar 03, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
It took us a long time to read this book. Since we hadn't finished by the time it was due back at the library, we had to return it before we finished as there were holds on it. So we put it on hold again ourselves and promised to finish it as soon as we could.

It was a great book, filled with fantastic and action-filled stories that were gruesome, but exciting. I have read some about children's ability to detach the written story from reality and be relatively unaffected by gore (more so than wi
Sep 30, 2015 Mason rated it really liked it
I've actually had the pleasure of seeing Adam perform, I guess that's the word you'd use. He was one of the hosts during the YallFest 2014 closing ceremony, and while I hadn't read any of his books at that time, I walked out of that theater knowing that I'd have to read them at some point.

Well, it turns out Adam is going to be at YallFest 2015, so I definitely knew I needed to get these books read before then, and I'm really glad I did!

Dark, funny, gruesome, I went in expecting a loose retelli
Mike (the Paladin)
May 26, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is an odd book...short with a "young" cover painting the book is played for somewhat adult humor played against the back drop of the "original" morality tales (bloody morality tales) told in the Grim Grimm's Fairy Tales. You know the ones where the step sisters try cutting off their toes and then their heels to make them fit in the glass slipper?

Here we're told a story of Hansel and Gretel...but not the one you're familiar with. No with repeated warnings to be sure there are no children in
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 09, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is an odd book...short with a "young" cover painting the book is played for somewhat adult humor played against the back drop of the "original" morality tales (bloody morality tales) told in the Grim Grimm's Fairy Tales. You know the ones where the step sisters try cutting off their toes and then their heels to make them fit in the glass slipper?

Here we're told a story of Hansel and Gretel...but not the one you're familiar with. No with repeated warnings to be sure there are no children in
Mar 31, 2013 Kendra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book – honestly, I did! The premise is intriguing, and I love fairy tales. Plus it garnered so many glowing reviews that I kept cutting it a bit more slack than I otherwise would have done.

But I found the book to be both dull and irritating. What truly turned me off to this book was the thinness of the plot and the intrusiveness of the narrator. As others have noted, Lemony Snicket this is not -- not even Book 13 Lemony Snicket!

I loved the original tales, so the violence wa
Jan 24, 2015 Kaitlin rated it did not like it
Not the worst thing I've ever read, but it was pretty close. I was able to slog my way to the end though.
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile

Kind of a charming story, though suitably dark and grim to match the title. Might be a bit gruesome in parts for younger young'uns - but no worries, as the author gives you ample and repeated warning when anything dark and/or grimm is about to happen.

Which was sort of my biggest issue with the story. There are a lot of times when the author interrupts - either to give said warning, or to spell out the moral lesson, or just to make a snarky comment. On one hand, these were sometimes poignant o
Apr 03, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it
I really disliked this book! It's a weaving together of a number of the darker and more obscure Grimm tales using Hansel and Gretel as characters throughout--stringing them together as a single episodic narrative. There are plenty of gruesome touches, bizzare adventures, and magical elements but the ending is unsatisfying and, unlike the Grimm stories, there's no lesson or caution to the stories; the central theme in fact is that grown-ups can't be trusted. There are lots of attempts at humor as ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Jul 15, 2010 Roxanne Hsu Feldman rated it it was amazing
I really really enjoyed the journey into and out of the dark dark woods that is this book by a new comer of the Children's books scene. To be honest, because I love and respect traditional fairy tales (mostly Grimms, Jacobs, with some Norse, Arabian Nights, and Russian tales thrown in) to such a degree, I get very suspicious and highly critical when it comes to authors playing with and retelling these tales.

I especially resent the ones that make light of these grim and dark and powerful tales an
Liesl Shurtliff
This is a very fractured and expanded version of Hansel and Gretel. I've read a lot of middle-grade, and sometimes while I personally enjoy it, I often find it difficult to believe that it will hold the attention of the intended audience. But A TALE DARK AND GRIMM not only delighted me, after I finished I instantly thought "I have to read this to the kids!" It really makes a fun read-aloud.

The style is a bit similar to Lemony Snicket's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENT in which the narrator interru
Aug 01, 2015 Esha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Had this gem in my school library.
Amazing. It made me laugh.
It brought out the child in me.
It made me feel like the hero in my own story again.
Thank you Book.
Nov 05, 2015 Taylor rated it really liked it
This book was okay. It was really gruesome at some parts. Other parts were mysterious and exciting. I reccommened this book to anyone who likes scary stories but also some gross parts.
❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄
Three words: I LOVED IT.

Will write a review later today...XD
A MEOWZER review :D

Never liked the original Grimms' tales, but this one was a blast! XD


Now, my bro shall rub a fact in my face: I LOVE tales that have royal kids, Narnia and THIS is proof :P All hail The Pevensies and Whatever-Hansel-and-gretel's names are XD
Feb 02, 2015 Anika rated it it was ok
Okay so I will do to all of you what the author did to the readers COUNTLESS times:

The End.

Yeah, I found that pretty annoying. That and how unrealistic it was. I still got to the end though.
Plenty of gore and suspense-filled moments to capture the most reluctant of young readers and keep him or her riveted. Be careful though, as the snarky narrator will remind you throughout, these “grim” tales are not for the faint of heart or more sensitive children, so approach with caution when recommending this one to those under 10. Unfortunately, I did find that the interlocking stories began to lose their edge and momentum towards the middle and again towards the end.

I am always on the loo
Sometimes you come across a book that makes you smack your forehead and go "Why didn't I think of this idea?!". Suffice it to say, for me, this is one such book. Now, everybody here has read the Grimm Fairy Tales, yes? Snow-white, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, etc? Ring any bells? While we read the watered-down, sugar-coated versions back in the days, the original Grimm tales were violent, bloody and down-right inappropriate for little kids.

Adam Gidwitz had the brilliant idea to spin a dark tal
Jul 17, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: reluctant young readers, or anyone looking for a good fun read.
Recommended to Heather by: my boss and her nine-year-old daughter
I read the advance reading copy of this book, and absolutely LOVED IT! I want to recommend it to anyone that works with young students, particularly those that are reluctant readers. I agree with my boss, who when she handed it to me, said "Can't you just see all the fifth grade boys drooling over this book?" It is wonderfully bloody and fun--but there is also a level of complexity that the author loves to point out in his to-the-side narration, but never explicitly state, such as: "Why? I've al ...more
Melissa Storm
Sep 24, 2014 Melissa Storm rated it it was ok
That 2-star rating means finished with great difficulty, and that is exactly what I did.

The author basically took a bunch of Grimm's fairy tales and slapped them together in what was supposed to be a continuous, flowing narrative--but it wasn't. The use of Hansel and Gretel for every single story was definitely forced and lost its charm early on.

My biggest problem? The constant cool-guy look-at-me antics of the narrator. We never really learn who he is or why he's telling us this story, but we
Nov 15, 2010 katsok rated it it was amazing
I read the first chapter of this book aloud to my 5th grade enrichment class today. I hit the part of Hansel and Gretel getting their heads chopped off and there were open mouths of shock and then cheers. Then I informed them that this was a book talk and it wasn't available for check out until: one, I finish reading it. And two, I read it aloud to my own homeroom. Boos, all around. A line of children asking to be the first to get it when available. A clamoring for any books with "the real Grimm ...more
Nieves Villalón
Nov 05, 2015 Nieves Villalón rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
me encantan los libros truculentos
Oct 20, 2011 Dominic rated it really liked it
I gave this book four stars because it was cool it was the most bloody grusome horrid horrific scary disgusting fairytale that I have read in my entire life. also it was interesting how two children could go through so much in their life. I felt bad for hansel and gretel because all of those periliss journeys made them realize they had every single little thing they could ever want right were the started is the best place. I think you wold like this book if you like fairytale, mystery, or horror ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Ray-ray rated it it was amazing
A Tale Dark and Grimm is an outstanding book about a girl named Gretel and a boy named Hansel. The story starts out with the tale of their parents and makes it's way to the children. Quickly, the children discover how horrifying adults really are. And they just keep getting worse. Hansel and Gretel hurriedly hatch a plan. The plan takes a horrible turn and things don't exactly go so well. Soon, they find themselves in grave danger that may end up with a ending dark and grim.

I found this book to
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Conflict internal & external 1 2 Dec 09, 2015 10:32AM  
Dialogue 12 7 Dec 04, 2015 11:13AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz-Starting August 24th 2015 3 6 Jul 10, 2015 12:34PM  
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Other Books in the Series

A Tale Dark & Grimm (3 books)
  • In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #2)
  • The Grimm Conclusion (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #3)

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“You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide.
No guide, that is, but courage”
“Once upon a time, fairy tales were AWESOME!” 65 likes
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