About the Books: The Grimmtastic Girls
Book #1Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales! Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia... A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda's totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome's ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them--before the last stroke of midnight!
Book #2Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Summary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help! Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia... Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she's great at it--too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what's going on!
- Not super meaty. While I think these books are perfect for the intended audience, if you really like some meat and real suspense in your MG books, these aren't for you. They're more in the fun and cute vein. They're slightly fluffy, but that's what they're intended to be.
What I LOVED:
- Fun twist on the fairy tales. I loved that these books had LOTS of elements from the original fairy tales, but definitely put a twist on each of the stories. The girls all go to a school made especially for fairy tale characters. And lots of stories (including nursery rhymes, etc) are referenced throughout the books in fun and unique ways. I really enjoyed seeing how each fairy tale would play out.
- Age appropriate. Like I mentioned before, these books seem to really be tailored to the middle grade audience. I liked that there were references to fairy tale fashion and school and family issues, but it was all very lighthearted and fun and not too serious. I also appreciated that, while there were mutual crushes going on in these books (so young girls get a bit of romance), they never got to the dating or kissing stage - again, this seemed like a perfect fit for the younger middle grade reader (like my daughter) who isn't really interested in full-blown romance in her stories yet. In both books, the main character is slightly interested in a boy (and they in her), but it's nothing serious and not really the main focus of the book. I thought that this was great for this age group.
- The magical items. My daughter absolutely loved the magical library, which can be any size or shape and has anything you could ever need (not just books - for instance, Friends are filed under F). Plus, there are lots of magical items, including special magical charms that each girl discovers that belong solely to them. It was a fun touch!
- The mystery. The series has a central mystery that seems like it will be running through all of the books. The E.V.I.L. Society is re-forming and the girls are trying to figure out how to stop them from taking over. In the first book, they find a magic map that is helping them to discover the mysteries of Grimmlandia and will hopefully help them foil the E.V.I.L. Society's plans!
So The Grimmtastic Girls books are a great read - perfect for middle grade girls! My 9-year-old daughter gives them 4.75 Stars (she wanted her rating to be more than 4.5 and not quite 5) and I give them 4/5 Stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***
About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne WilliamsJoan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children's books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at www.joanholub.com
Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at www.suzanne-williams.com
Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.
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