Everybody loves a fairy tale, but sometimes we want a fairy tale filtered through a new lens: an adaptation. New settings, deeper characterizations, and fascinating new ways of looking at old stories abound in these ten fairy tale retellings.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card: In a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale, American graduate student Ivan stumbles upon a mysterious sleeping maiden in the Carpathian forest whom he awakens with a kiss, setting in motion a series of events encompassing the modern world and a world that vanished a thousand years ago.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer: As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.
The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood: Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride is inspired by a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony, Charis, and Roz.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George:A girl travels east of the sun and west of the moon t
o free her beloved prince from a magic spell.
Beauty by Robin McKinley: Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.
Deerskin by Robin McKinley: When her growing beauty begins to resemble her mother’s too closely, Princess Lissar must flee her father’s wrath, accompanied by her loyal dog Ash, and, in doing so, she unlocks a door into a world of magic.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: On her way to marry a prince she’s never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard. Gaiman’s take on The Jungle Book is a classic in itself.