Fairy tales are so universal and so plentiful that they are ripe for parody (the Shrek movie series certainly springs right to mind) or adaptation in dozens of ways, dramatic or comedic. (Think A Curse Dark as Gold or any of the books by Gail Carson Levine.) The Sisters Grimm is another book (series) based on fairy tales — not just one but a whole bunch.
Two sisters, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, come from a line of Grimms whose job is to document and protect (in a fashion) the Everafters, the beings better known to the rest of us humans as fairy tale characters. The girls have been in a real pickle for a while now, as they star in their seventh book, since their parents have been in an enchanted sleep and they have been tossed around orphanages and foster homes (apparently a bit in the vein of the Lemony Snicket books) and fought a slew of dangerous mythological creatures. Now their parents are being awakened, but their family is facing a war started by the Master, the evil head of the Scarlet Hand. The Master and his followers want to break out of the land of Ferryport and live in the real world.
Not having read the whole series, I found it fairly easy to keep up with this book, although now I might want to go back and read the earlier books. Michael Buckley’s book for middle readers is clever and cute (Goldilocks, now a grown woman, visits the Grimm household with the three bears and goes about rearranging everything until it’s “just right”) but also engaging with a good dose of dangers (dragons, hobgoblins and the Sheriff of Nottingham, for example) and mystery (just who IS this Master — and why is he trying to take over?). It’s good entertainment for young readers, although they may very well not catch a good bit of the humor (Goldi likes to employ feng shui) or know who some of the characters are (how many will have read/seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream and know who Puck is?). Either way, it’s fun reading.
Rated: Mild for some scatological references. Puck is the main offender.