Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Grimm legacy by Polly Shulman

Published: July 2011 (July 2010)
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 325
Copy: from library
Summary: Goodreads

Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository - a lending library of objects, contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And secret, too - for in the repository's basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages - handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron - are suddenly caught up in an exciting, and dangerous, magical adventure.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman came as a great surprise to me.  I don't recall having seen anything about it at all, although it was originally published in July of last year.  I have also just discovered that it was one of YALSA's Best Fiction for 2011 list.  You'd think I would know that since I work in a library!  Anyway, that said, it was a marvellous read and I loved every minute of it.

Elizabeth - and don't you dare try to shorten her name - is a little lonely and trying hard to fit in to her new school.  When she is recommended for a position as a page at the New York Circulating Materials Depository her life takes an interesting turn for the better and the fun starts.  The other kids at the depository - Marc, Aaron and Anjali - are all very well written and believable. There were constant little details that  would occur that made me suspicious of each one in turn.  The adult characters are all wonderful and varied and I had no trouble picturing any of them in my mind.  Elizabeth is a genuinely caring person and I loved her personality.  She seemed like such a deserving character.

There is a little bit of romance that was just so sweet - Marc or Aaron, I'm not telling.  You'll have to read to find out which is the more successful.  There is a fun mystery that the four kids try to solve by themselves, of course, and they enlist the help of several magical artifacts - Snow White's stepmothers magic mirror is just hilarious - and two younger siblings, Andre and Jaya.  There was lots of fun magical mischief, nasty bad guys, and girls, and even a magic carpet ride.  Lots of fun to be had in this great read that is suitable for younger teens as well.

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