This is the series written by Polly Shulman – I noticed there were two series by this name, but could not tell you who authored the other one. This is a Middle Grade book, very cute, tagline “Borrow the magic…if you dare!” (The tagline is important here!)
Elizabeth life is something out of a fairy tale – the wicked stepmother and stepsister variety. Her mother died when she was young, and her father recently remarried. Since he has to pay for her stepsister’s college tuition, Elizabeth has had to leave her private school, attend a new school, and drop her ballet lessons (which she loved). Her best friend moved to California, so Elizabeth is alone and new in a school that is not warming up to her very quickly. Except for one teacher, who seeing her promise, recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, sort of a library for things other than books. Here, Elizabeth makes some tentative friends; Marc, Anjali, and Aaron.
Once she has been there long enough and passes a test, she is given access to the Grimm Collection, magical items straight out of the pages of fairy tales. Throw in a giant bird trying stalking them, unknown people stealing, and her conflicting feelings towards Marc and Aaron, and Elizabeth is soon in over her head. Can she save her job, the Collection and her new friends?
The book is cute – yes it’s a MG book, but it’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, and I thought “why not.” I love fairy tales (even took a special fairy tale class at university) and try to read things like this to determine if my daughter will like or not. She’s crazy about fairy tales, too. But with that being said, this is about the “objects” in fairy tales, not the actual fairy tales. So, you don’t see Hansel and Gretel, or Snow White, etc.
The reason I pointed out the tagline – I was reading some reviews of this, like I do, before I start a book, and some reviews were irate because they were shocked there was magic in the book. Hello! Grimm? Ring a bell anyone? Fairy Godmothers? Dolls who can talk? Witches who cook children? YES there’s MAGIC! It says so on the cover! And on the back! And in it’s very title! I worry about what our children are learning in schools. Apparently not enough about fairy tales….