Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Spelled by Betsy Schow - OPTIONAL

Schow, Betsy Spelled, 352 pages.  SourcebooksFire, 2015.  Content: G. 

Princess Dorothea Gayle Emerald is sick and tired of being cooped up inside the palace just because of a curse some old witch put on her family line ages and ages ago.  Have never really listened to her princess lessons, having never really believed in the curse, Dorothea makes a ill-worded, ill-fated wish that breaks all of the rules of fairy tales and destroys most of the magic and lets in a long-thwarted evil.  She expects her fairy godmother to swoop in and make everything better.  Instead, she finds herself on a journey with Rexi, briefly a frog but always a thief, and Kato, a chimera, who is also her betrothed (surprise!).  All she can really remember is that her fairy godmother told her to always keep ahold of her shoes, so come what may, her fabulous heels will always be with her.

Yes, this is a riff on the Wizard of Oz, and sometimes the action is brilliantly-crafted.  Other times, however, it feels like the author is trying to throw as many hipster references to other fairy tales as she can.  While the fabulous heels on the cover makes this look like a book for high schoolers, it really reads more as a middle school or upper elementary read.  It isn’t bad, but it is also not brilliant.  If you want to read a series that skillfully incorporates multitudes of fairy tales, try Alethea Kontis’s Woodcutter series instead.

EL, MS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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