This collection of myth and magic had me hooked from page one. Which makes sense, as it begins with “Shimmer,” the tale of a girl who can change into a mermaid – and whose family works a fishing boat. Though Coral is misunderstood and hides her changeable nature from everyone, including Draven Manning – a boy her age who rescues her from drowning one night – it’s clear that she’s got a lot more weighing on her mind than the typical adolescent fears and anxieties about school and her relationships. Author Brinda Berry weaves a dark but delightful take on the classic Little Mermaid story that’s much different than Disney’s version, and much more enjoyable. I only wish we could’ve seen more of Coral’s underwater world.
The next story, “Between,” offers a peek behind the Royal curtains to see just what’s at stake for the rich, powerful and popular – in high school. Though Lucy craves affection from her mother, she knows the only way to achieve it is to become slim and join her school’s ruling elite, despite the fact that they’re terrible people who prey on their fellow students with cruel pranks and cutting insults. When she’s finally crowned Queen, she’s got to choose between her summer camp love affair with Natasha – a girl who accepted her just as she was – or the Royals crowd, where popularity is everything. Lucy’s bad decisions have terrifying consequences, but a genie appears to help. Karen Y. Bynum‘s story borrows elements from many different stories, creating something new for readers to enjoy.
Things get even darker in “Sunset Moon,” a story by Laura Diamond that incorporates traditional Blackfoot Nation myths into a modern story of teenage rebellion and rehabilitation.
As you can probably guess from the teenage heroines described thus far, this book is a YA collection starring troubled teens from all walks of life. While the classic fairy tales usually set readers up for Happily Ever Afters with princesses marrying their Prince Charmings, Lore gives us average girls looking to escape their everyday lives and problems at home. But that’s not to say that these girls are ordinary, or that their stories are a dime a dozen. Instead each of the authors in the collection have managed to spin fantastic tales around these girls, showing us just how extraordinary their lives can be.
The question then is whether the magic that helps them succeed in their journeys comes from within or from some outside source – and why?
I enjoyed the fact that these stories were darker than Disney’s versions, especially since the orginal folk and fairy tales were much more frightening than the cartoons suggest. By avoiding the princess cliché, each writer recaptures some of that original menace and fear, spinning a new story from Grimm threads. Additionally, though folk tales often contain a rather preachy lesson to be learned, these stories contain similar morals or guidance for a younger reader, but without the sanctimonious attitude. Told from the point of view of teenage main characters, it’s easy to see how these stories will connect with kids from the same age bracket who are fighting similar battles in their own lives.
Combining stories from a fairly diverse offering (Mayan culture, Native American folklore, Jewish golems, Irish Fae, and more), Lore offers plenty of twists and turns that will surprise and delight readers looking for an escape from the ordinary....more
Having recently found a stack of children's books in my laundry room, I decided to give these a whirl. Oddly enough, Nancy Drew solves a mystery in MoHaving recently found a stack of children's books in my laundry room, I decided to give these a whirl. Oddly enough, Nancy Drew solves a mystery in Montreal, my old stomping grounds! Naturally, I had to see what she thought of the "Paris of North America." Apparently she has some big obsession with the Big O's track - or at least her friend does.
This mystery was much easier to solve than I remember Nancy's mysteries being, at least back when I was a kid. But then again, maybe they were always that easy to see through, and I was just not as advanced a reader?
Anyway, 3 stars for trying to capture a bit of Montreal's je ne sais quoi, but if you're looking for a crazy caper and you're just a tad older than 13, you may want to check into an adult cozy mystery instead. Good for nostalgia's sake, though not for the hard-nosed armchair detective....more