Heather's Reviews > A Tale Dark & Grimm

A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
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's review
Jul 17, 2010

it was amazing
Recommended to Heather by: my boss and her nine-year-old daughter
Recommended for: reluctant young readers, or anyone looking for a good fun read.

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 already told you. I don't know. Though it may have something to do with sacrifice" (61, ARC). I love that the author is acknowledging that there IS complexity to the fairy tales we have so simplified over the years. I also love that he leaves the reader to figure out the importance of the stories, that he uses big words, and that he has high expectations for his readers. GOOD classroom book (depending on age level), and EXCELLENT book for independent but picky readers!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Wendy I love reading and encourage my kids to read a lot but to say you recommend this for kids??? I had to look up your age. Come back and read your review when you have pre teens. This should have been given a YA rating. I just let my 6th grader read it because it was in the child section at the library. Now I feel betrayed. I know it seems exciting but only because they know it's a little tabu. We just don't need to feed our little ones such violence. I think as an adult it is clever but as a mom....i just can't. If your a teacher you should really think of the parents before suggesting this as reading material. Ahhh sorry I sound so middle aged but I am just so tired of the dark stream of books being sold to the youth. Let's lighten it up already.

Heather Well, Wendy--I don't see what my age has to do with it, but I was certainly thinking about this in context of recommending it to students on an individual level. I work as a children's librarian, and am constantly searching for new and exciting material to recommend to bored or reluctant readers, particularly pre-teen boys, and particularly over the summer. THIS is what got me so enthusiastic in my review. And in my line of work I would not simply be shoving such a book on unsuspecting readers like your child; ours and the ALA policy is that it is the duty of the parents to decide what is suitable for their child to check out of the library, and we always recommend that if a parent is unsure he or she should read the book before giving it to their child. I agree this would be a difficult book to teach in the classroom given its gore, particularly to younger audiences (I work in a teaching setting with struggling 8th grade readers, does that qualification comfort you more?). However, I have seen "little ones" as young as eight gobble up these stories, particularly when given the proper context that fairy tales were not always the Disney fluff they know them to be today. If you are so concerned, I would caution you against checking out any old tomes of fairy tales either.

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