Friday, June 23, 2006
Book Review: The Sisters Grimm
Daphne and Sabrina are orphans, bouncing from one foster home to another. Then they discover that they have a living grandmother that they knew nothing about. Not only that, but they are descended from the famous Brothers Grimm, whose fairy tales were actually books of history! The Grimm family has always kept the peace between the fairy tale characters, who call themselves Everafters, and the humans. Now it's time for Sabrina and Daphne to join the family business as fairy tale detectives.
In book 1, The Fairy-Tale Detectives, Sabrina and Daphne set out to rescue their grandmother when she is kidnapped by a giant. In the second book, The Unusual Suspects, Sabrina and Daphne find out that even fairy tale detectives have to go to school. Things go from bad to worse when Sabrina's teacher is murdered, and the girls begin to suspect that something sinister lurks at Ferryport Landing Elementary. And in the third book, The Problem Child, Sabrina is determined to rescue her parents from a psycopathic Everafter and her monstrous pet. But Sabrina has to learn that magic always comes with a price.
The Sisters Grimm books are a wild and wacky romp through the land of once upon a time. They're a lot of fun to read, and it's really funny to see how the various fairy tale characters fare in the modern world. The series gets better as it goes along. The Problem Child (book 3) was so funny in parts that I kept laughing out loud while reading it during breakfast; my husband started glaring at me over his newspaper, a sure sign that I had exceeded the acceptable limit for loud laughing during breakfast. And the books aren't just funny; there's plenty of excitement, too.
I do agree with Michele at Scholar's Blog about the characters: they're a little flat, and Sabrina's constant anger gets old after a while. (Although, as the parent of an almost-6th-grader, I'm beginning to see that Buckley may have gotten the anger thing right) I did see some signs of growth for Sabrina in the third book, though, so I'm hoping that in book 4 we'll see a different side of her. But all in all, Michael Buckley has created a funny, exciting series that is sure to appeal to middle-schoolers.
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