Fairytale Retellings for Middle Grade Readers

Fairytale Retellings for Middle Grade Readers

In the world of juvenile and young adult literature there has been an upsurge in the popularity of classic fairy tales revised into novel form. These revised works can include fuller plots, changed settings and characters, and even combinations of multiple tales. Modern retellings of fairy tales can be found across genres, with some remaining very similar to traditional tales while others are completely transformed. We hope you enjoy some of our favorites! For more fairytales, check out our purple section in the juvenile novel area.  

The Flight of SwansMcGuire, Sarah 
Elaborates on the tale of young princess Ryn, who must be silent for six years to save her brothers after they are turned into swans by their evil stepmother. 

Based on the Brothers Grimm's fairy tale Six Swans, The Flight of Swans follows Ryn's journey to save her family and their kingdom. Princess Andaryn's six older brothers have always been her protectors--until her father takes a new Queen, a frightening, mysterious woman who enchants the men in the royal family. When Ryn's attempt to break the enchantment fails, she makes a bargain: the Queen will spare her brothers' lives if Ryn remains silent for six years. Ryn thinks she freed her brothers, but she never thought the Queen would turn her brothers into swans. And she never thought she'd have to undo the Queen's spell alone, without speaking. 

Snow and RoseMartin, Emily Winfield 
Snow and Rose search the forest for their missing father and discover there is a sinister magic at work in the woods. A reimagining of the classic but little-known fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red. 

The Fairy Tale DetectivesBuckley, Michael 
“Orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their newly discovered grandmother, Relda Grimm, in the strange town of Ferryport Landing. The girls soon learn a family secret: that they are descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm, whose book of fairy tales is actually a history book. When a terrorizing giant goes on a rampage through the town, it's up to the Sisters Grimm to stop him and to solve the mystery of who set the giant loose in the first place.” 

RumpShurtliff, Liesl 
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she's right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end. 

Straw into Gold: Fairytales RespunMcKay, Hilary 
A collection of ten classic fairy tales, reimagined with fresh perspectives and unexpected twists, giving glimpses into happily, and not as happily, ever afters. 

Tuesdays at the CastleGeorge, Jessica Day 
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. 

Goldilocks Go Home: Martha Freeman 
"So I ate some porridge and broke a chair--get over it!" Goldilocks snipes at Bobby Bear, as Baby Bear is now calling himself. Tensions are high at the Three Bears cottage where Goldilocks--an overdramatic tween who has deluded herself into believing she's a princess--is stranded until the Big Bad Wolf vacates the area. A hungry troll, a wily but fairly spineless coyote, Anansi the trickster spider, three pigs with a home improvement show, and of course the Big Bad Wolf all figure into the story in this hilarious mash-up of folk and fairy tales from around the world. In chapters full of quirky and clever drawings, Bobby and Goldilocks alternate narrating the story of their hair-raising adventures. "Furless" and Bobby are constantly at one another's throats and can't stop interrupting each other. But despite their mutual animosity, a kind of affection develops between Bobby and Goldilocks, and they become something like friends. As Bobby explains, "I mean, annoying as she was, I didn't want her to end up wolf kibble." 

Twinchantment Elise Allen 
“Princesses Flissa and Sara are even closer than most twins. In fact, most of the kingdom thinks they're the same person. When magic was outlawed in Kaloon generations ago, twins, black cats, and other potentially-magical beings were outlawed, too. Since they were born, Flissa and Sara have pretended to be one princess, Flissara, trading off royal duties like attending glamorous balls, participating in fencing exhibitions, and making friends with other young nobles, all while hiding in plain sight. But when the first magical attack in years puts their mother's life in danger, the girls must break the rules that have protected them to save her. Enlisting a brave servant boy and his plucky black kitten as their guides, they set off on an epic quest to the Twists--a forbidden place full of dark magic--to find the evil mage who cursed the queen. With a case of mistaken identity, a wickedly powerful exile out for vengeance, and time running out for their mother, the twins might just need to make their own magic to save the day.” 

Mighty Jack: Ben Hatke 
“Jack dreads summer because his single mother has to work and leaves him at home with his boring little sister who is autistic. She doesn't talk at all. Ever. But one day while they are at a flea market, she does talk. She tells Jack to trade their mother's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made!” 

Ella Enchanted: Gail Carson Levine 
“Ella is a girl with a most unusual gift, and her story has charmed readers and critics alike. Now Miramax Films brings this wholly original Cinderella story to the silver screen, complete with princes, ogres, wicked stepsisters, and a fairy-tale ending fit for a princess.” 

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Karen Foxlee 
“This is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty, the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help. 
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.” 

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom: Christopher Healy 
“Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. 

Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.”

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