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The Grimm Legacy

(The Grimm Legacy #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  15,841 ratings  ·  2,352 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, 336 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,841 ratings  ·  2,352 reviews

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Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth-mg-ya
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
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
I was pretty sure I'd go 4 stars on this one, but finally had to go 3. I mean I know it's a YA book, I know that the protagonists are young but there's something that when it shows up in a read that simply drives me crazy...

Have you ever seen that TV commercial where the voice over says: "When you're in a horror movie you make really bad decisions". The people are arguing about "what to do". Should they "hide in the attic, hide in the cellar??? Then one if them says, "why can't we get in the run
Aug 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Such a cool idea! There's a repository, half-museum, half-library, where you can check out everything from Marie Antoinette's wig to the shoes belonging to the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Special students are referred by their teachers to be pages at the repository, and there the fun begins. Sort of. I had a hard time getting into this book because, even though it was in first person, I didn't really connect with Elizabeth (the main character). We aren't privy to a lot of her thoughts and feeling ...more
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fluff-reading
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
Oct 22, 2016 marked it as never-finished
Up until a minute ago this was marked as Never finished, but I decided to give it another try. Lets see how that goes.

This is going back to Never Finished
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
A Canadian Girl
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, 2010, putnam
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
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
Mar 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: youth
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
This is book #1 of a trilogy. I've been reading tween and young adult a bit more lately because of my 8 yr old son, who has a voracious appetite for reading like I do. I can barely keep up with him. I want to see what the kid world of reading has to offer out there, and I have to say, overall I'm disappointed. Maybe I'm spoiled after reading Harry Potter, but I just don't feel like these authors give the kids enough credit. I'm pretty sure they can handle more depth. That being said, this was a ...more
3.5 stars, maybe?

Maybe I'm a grinch.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“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
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars and a half

Elizabeth’s life isn’t really awesome lately, after her mother passed away, she couldn’t attend the school she wanted or keep her ballet lessons (her step-sisters college fees) and to make things worse, her best friend moved to California.
When she got her after-school job in the New York Circulating Material repository, she was expecting books, but, this was no ordinary library. The place was huge, with its stacks and dungeons, and filled to the rim with magic, especially “The
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting concept, and it's great to read a children's book that isn't completely whitewashed - even if it wasn't done perfectly it's still a step in the right direction. It simply read too much like a set-up for a series, so the abrupt ending and odd structuring made no sense with the realisation that these characters were never going to appear again. ...more
Catherine Hawthorn
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it

Okay, this is going to be an unusual review.

As a public history/material culture nutcase, the idea of a material repository was SO FASCINATING. The idea of being able to rent out stuff from the Grimm fairy tale collection and stuff from history is SO COOL (though I can see some museum curator absolutely cringing over the idea). The characters were absolutely wonderful.

I DNFed this book about 2/3rds of the way through though. For one reason and one reason only: a character's family has at
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
When I saw this book on the shelves of a second hand bookstore, I just had to get it. This year is the year of the fairytales. I'm reading loads of retellings and enjoying it immensely. I'm still not bored and I'm still not done with them. So, a story where a young girl discovers that all the Grimm objects and magic is real? That can't go wrong.

And the premise of the story is really lovely. As a bookworm and a fairytale lover, I really loved the atmosphere of the building, the endless stacks wit
Shannon { Classically Read...}
A reread for me and loved it the second time around just as much as the first time!
Amber Argyle
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet little story about a magical library of magical objects.
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
I loved the premise and liked the heroine, but the plotting didn't really live up to them. It was entertaining, though, and I'll read her next book. ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it

If I could compare this book to a famous person, I would say this book is like Mo Farah. Yes, guys, this dude is definitely a Mo Farah when he was competing in the 10,000m run.

(I am digressing but have u seen how Mo Farah runs? A protip from me, search professor Google and it will have all the answers you need #lols #nothelpful #ikr)

The story started at a turtle's pace but once it hits a certain mark, BAM!!! Boy oh boy, are you in for a wild ride!!

So let me share with
Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads)
I'm tempted to rate this book five stars, but I think it's really just a solid four star book that happened to fit my mood well. This is like a middle grade (technically the younger end of young adult) version of The Library from the the Librarians TV show, and it's a lot of fun. If you like fairy tales and kids books this one is a must read.

As far as content, it does have fairy tale level scary stuff--a dangerous bird creature, bad guys, spells, people going missing and getting (view spoiler)
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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

Other books in the series

The Grimm Legacy (3 books)
  • The Wells Bequest (The Grimm Legacy, #2)
  • The Poe Estate (The Grimm Legacy, #3)

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