Fractured fairy tales are those stories that take traditional fairy tale plots and put a twist on the story everyone knows. This genre of book is pretty hot right now in children’s literature. A new book that I just finished reading in this book category is The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper by Annabelle Fisher. This book caught my attention because it was a mash-up Mother Goose nursery rhymes rather than traditional fairy tales (and I liked the pet goose side story). I am definitely going to recommend it to my fourth graders when we go back to school next month. My daughter, Miss Priss, highly recommends Rump, Red, and other companion books by Liesl Shurtliff; they were her favorite books this summer.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (Enchanted series)
The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley (The Sisters Grimm series)
Happily Ever After by Anna Quindlen
If the Shoe Fits by Jane B. Mason (Princess School series)
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell series by Chris Colfer
Rapunzel, The One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass (Twice Upon a Time series)
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff (and others by this author)
The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani (5th grade+)
A Tale Dark and Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz
The Wide Awake Princess series by E.D. Baker (and others by this author)
Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey (and others by this author)
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (Woodcutter series, mixed reviews)
Entwined by Heather Dixon
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
And lots of picture books…
Honestly, Red Riding Hood was Rotten by Trisha Speed Shaskan (and others in this series)
Jack and the Baked Beanstalk by Colin Stimpson
The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin (and other Cinderella re-tellings like Cinder-Elly by Frances Minters)
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Summer is here and that means I can catch up with my kid lit book pile. To start this summer, I picked up a few books that were rereads for me. Rereading is a great activity for readers because it builds fluency and gives the reader a chance to glean more (and different ideas) from a story, and it builds stronger connections. It also has the benefit of helping you get through any book mourning you may experience when you don’t want a special book to end.
Two books that started my summer reading binge are books that have Native American settings, The Birchbark House and Morning Girl. I had not read either book in several years, but one of the reasons I wanted to reread them is because they have characters who make everything they need to live from scratch. I love the scenes in the story where the author describes the procedures for building a house or hunting for food or making clothing. If you like Little House on the Prairie because of the parts where Laura and her family build a cabin or gather maple syrup, you will enjoy these stories too. I should probably focus more on the results of white settlers claiming American Indian land and the destructive impact it had on these groups. The books include recognition of that topic too. I happen to like the parts that show self-reliance the best since the other parts are so sad.
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
Guests by Michael Dorris
The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Talking Earth by Jean Craighead George
Far North by Will Hobbs
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen
When the Legend Dies by Hal Borland (7th grade+)
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen (7th grade+)
A Man Called Horse by Dorothy M. Johnson (7th grade+)
The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
Buffalo Woman by Paul Goble
The Desert is Theirs by Byrd Baylor
There were many more recommendations on THIS AICL WEBSITE dedicated to American Indians in children’s literature.
For more summer reading ideas, my teacher blogger friend, Amy, has posted a new Hidden Gem book that you might not find on your own. CLICK HERE to read her latest recommendation.
I have been reading at a pretty good clip since school ended. I just finished a book called Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. At first, I thought it was going to be another book with Quirky Sidekicks that seems to be the current trend in juvenile literature. While there are definitely oddball characters, the book is more of an art mystery. It is a combination of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The DaVinci Code. Some of the solutions in the story are a little too convenient, but overall, I loved the information about the Renaissance painter, Raphael, World War II, and the Monuments Men. There are a handful of other books that center around family heirloom secrets in order to reach the resolution. I love the scavenger hunt aspect to these books and recommend them for students because they require a ton of critical reading skills to follow the plot.
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan ( and The 39 Clues series)
Conspiracy 365 series by Gabrielle Lord
Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
The Shadows by Jacqueline West (The Books of Elsewhere series)
We the Children by Andrew Clements (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series)
The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil (The Red Blazer Girls series)
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Second Mrs. Giacondo by E.L. Konigsburg
Leonardo’s Shadow by Christopher Grey
The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
Cecily’s Portrait by Adele Geras (Historical House series)
Magical candy is kind of a draw in children’s literature. Mr. Star Wars recently read The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop and let me borrow it when he finished. In the book, a family inherits a closed down chocolate shop with lots of magical secrets. It is my newest Charlie and the Chocolate Factory “read alike” book. Books that use food (particularly chocolate) as a central plot detail are a big hit with kids.
Mr. Star Wars and I tried to name all of the books we know that use food in some way. We came up with chapter books with candy, chapter books with non-traditional foods– like worms (!), picture books, an even some books that one food item steals a scene. I cut us off after we started on the picture book titles because there are just so many books we could list. What is your favorite book that will make your mouth water?