Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Book Jacket

The Sisters Grimm, Daphne and Sabrina, have been in foster homes ever since their parents' mysterious disappearance.  Now, they're living in Ferryport Landing with Granny Relda Grimm, who they thought died long ago! 

Strange things are happening at Granny's house, and some of the town's residents seem oddly familiar.  Then Granny tells the sisters they are ancestors of the famous Brothers Grimm and they must now take on the family's responsibility--they are the new fairy-tale detectives!  Their first case:  a giant is destroying the town and it might just have something to do with a boy named Jack and a certain famous beanstalk.


Full disclosure:  I tried to read this book over a year ago, but never finished it because it didn't grip my attention.  Then it was nominated for the Bluestem award, and I felt obligated to give it another chance.

I didn't dislike it as much as I first thought, but...I still wasn't won over.  Normally I am a huge fan of fairy tales, but this rendition fell flat.  I like my fairy tales full of whimsy and other-worldly charm.  The Fairy-Tale Detectives felt too immersed in real life without much of the whimsy I adore. (The movie Enchanted is my go-to example of how to do this right.)

Also, what exactly is Buckley's definition of a fairy tale?  Giants, Prince Charming, and the Three Little Pigs all fit my definition, but Ichabod Crane and Arthur?  I was confused when I saw them appear on page...aren't they more fictional characters (or fictional accounts of possible real people) rather than fairy tales?

I didn't think much of the book.  Puck was about the only redeeming character, and once again, what?  Fairy tale??  At least he was funny.

Two out of five jail breaks.

Release Date: August 2005
Reading Level: Grade 4+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: BLUESTEM


  1. 100%, totally agree. This series was highly recommended to me by a co-teacher's daughter so I read the first two, but couldn't get into them at all. Just... blah.

  2. Hey! I just noticed that you follow Donald Miller! I love him. Every summer at camp I read my kids the chapter on living like the hippies from Blue Like Jazz. Still really want to read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years!