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Fairytale Retellings

Last Updated: April 29, 2023

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

When Ella was born, she was cursed by a well-meaning fairy to always be obedient. With both of her parents gone, Ella must hide her curse or else fall prey to the terrible whims of her stepfamily and any others who would abuse her inability to resist direct commands. Her journey to track down the fairy who cursed her takes her all across the land, fighting back against ogres and meeting princes. But getting too close to Ella can be a danger for others, too. And as Ella and the prince grow closer, she begins to fear how their relationship could be used against him by anyone who finds out the truth.

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life has not been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother–a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives.

Flunked by Jen Calonita

by Jen Calonita

When petty thief Gilly, who lives with five younger brothers and sisters in a run-down boot, gets caught stealing, she is sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School, where all of the teachers are former villains, including the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother.

Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde

by Vivian Vande Velde

Princess Imogene isn’t feeling like a particularly good princess of late. And being turned into a frog by a bit of princely trickery certainly hasn’t helped. If a princess is supposed to be good and beautiful — as the book she was supposed to be reading before said frog turned her into an amphibian, too — Imogene is in real trouble here. Will she be stuck as a frog princess forever? Or will she find someway to get back to the castle that doesn’t involve casting her curse onto someone else?

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The House with Chicken Legs
by Sophie Anderson

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties — and no playmates that stick around for more than a day. So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her — even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

The Princess Curse
by Merrie Haskell

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who cures the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries disappears or falls into an enchanted sleep. Thirteen-year-old Reveka, a smart, courageous herbalist’s apprentice, decides to attempt to break the curse despite the danger. Unravelling the mystery behind the curse leads Reveka to the Underworld, and to save the princesses, Reveka will have to risk her soul.

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale

Rapunzel’s Revenge
by Shannon Hale

Rapunzel is raised in a grand villa surrounded by towering walls. Rapunzel dreams of a different mother than Gothel, the woman she calls Mother. She climbs over the wall and finds out the truth. Her real mother, Kate, is a slave in Gothel’s gold mine. In this Old West retelling, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws–including Gothel.

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

Red isn’t afraid of any wolf, but she is afraid of magic. When her grandmother falls ill, she sets out on a quest to find a cure…even if it involves magic. With the help of a porridge eating blonde named Goldie, she journeys through dwarves’ caverns and a castle owned by a beast. Along the way a feuding wolf and huntsman keep trying to enlist their help to defeat the other. And one of them might just have the answer for how to cure her.

Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow and Rose
by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do…. Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants. Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon. But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow. This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark and Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

The Wide-Awake Princess
by E.D. Baker

Annie, younger sister of the princess who would be known as Sleeping Beauty, is immune to magic and stays awake when the rest of the castle falls into an enchanted sleep, then sets out to find a way to break the spell.

A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton

A Wolf for a Spell
by Karah Sutton

Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body! Meanwhile, a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking the witch’s help, and when she meets Zima (in Baba Yaga’s form), they discover that they face a common enemy. With danger closing in, Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that threatens them all.