September 11, 2014

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:13 am by suebe2

In a Glass Grimmly
by Adam Gidwitz
Dutton Children’s Books

How do you bring together Jack and Jill, The Princess and the Frog, Jack and the Beanstalk, and much, much more?  You turn author Adam Gidwitz loose in fairy-tale land.

Gidwitz pulls together multiple Jack stories (Jack and Jill, the Beanstalk and the Giant Killer) and gives them a twist.  Jack and Jill are cousins with uniquely aweful lives.  Uniquely aweful in fairy tales.  Their problems are all too common today.  Jack has to deal with a pack of bullies while Jill’s mother is so mirror obsessed that a traveling merchant manages to clothe Jill in glorious silk that only the discerning eye can see.

Yep.

Jill marches out of the castle starkers.

The pair end up adventuring together on a quest for a magic mirror that is worth more than any other treasure in the world.  The price if they don’t find it?  Their lives.

Just to keep things lively, they are accompanied on their adventures by a talking frog.  Yep.  The talking frog.  Or Frog as they call him.  He may not be the bravest amphibian in the world and their adventures would be much less amazing if they listened to his MANY warnings but he definitely adds a worthwhile comic note.

In the end, the glass doesn’t work quite the way everyone expects but Jack and Jill manage to come out of it all with a new understanding of the world and their place in it.  They may not have what they thought they wanted at the beginning, but they have a self-awareness that is what they needed all along.

For those of you who haven’t read A Tale Dark and Grimm, Gidwitz has a barbed humor and writes in a chatty sarcastic style that may remind you of A Tale of Unfortunate Events.  Don’t expect strict adherence to the original tales.  Gidwitz plays free and loose with everything he pulls into this story but does so in a way that weaves it into a funny, slightly disgusting whole.

Although I read this book, I suspect it would make an excellent audio book for a family car trip as long as everyone has a tolerance for off beat often disgusting humor.  Yes, there’s guts and gore and barf . . .but it’s funny.  I promise.

–SueBE

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