Book Review: A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz


A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
A Tale Dark and Grimm #1
: November 11th, 2010
: Middle Grade > Retelling > Fairy Tales
: 2 out of 5
: Bought

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.



A Tale Dark and Grimm is a title I’ve been looking forward to since its release in 2010, but I just never got around to picking it up. I finally gave in and bought it for my Kindle recently (because it was a significantly lower price and well I don’t have much room left for physical books) and I’m a little sad to say…. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

A Tale Dark and Grimm follows Hansel and Gretel through a series of lesser known fairy tales in which they play significant parts in. The story is guided by 3 crows who can tell the future (and started this whole fiasco in the first place) and by the author who inserts himself in various places telling you to beware of the “scary” scene that is about to follow. I know some people really liked this but I for one didn’t. It was alright the first few times but after several stories I didn’t need him to “warn” me about the upcoming “scary” scene.

I will say that this book is a lot darker than I had imagined it would be and I would not recommend it for children even if it is a middle grade book. I have no problem with dark novels or darker fairy tales but I do have a problem with excessive unnecessary violence! In almost every story someone either dies or kills someone. In detail. There was one story where a handsome man throws a young girl on a table, reaches down her throat to pull out a white dove (which is suppose to be her soul), throws the dove into a cage with other doves then chops the girl into pieces and eats her for dinner.

I mean seriously? Was all of that really necessary?!

The only thing I really took away from this book was the exposure to fairy tales I had never heard of before and figuring out who the dragon that was destroying the kingdom was at the end of the book. The next book in the series has to do with Jack and the Beanstalk and I’m really disappointed to say I probably will not be picking that one up.


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