Reviews for Storybook of Legends
Booklist Reviews 2013 December #2
Skeptics of books tied to toy lines will have to rethink their doubts when they read Hale's series of Ever After High books, linked to a line of dolls by Mattel. Rollicking and filled with puns--one character refers to her bad schedule as a "major fairy-fail"--and incorporating an imaginative plot that assumes readers are fluent in folklore, this first in a new spin-off series, The Storybook of Legends, is a fun read. Milton Grimm, headmaster, expects students to sign an oath that they will agree to stick to their assigned plotlines. Raven Queen, however, is having doubts. She doesn't want to follow in her evil mother's footsteps and become the nemesis of her generation's Snow White--she deplores being typecast. But if she defies tradition, will her story simply disappear along with herself and her story mates? Unexpected plot twists lead to an ending that, unlike a traditional "happy ever after," promises continued intrigue in new outings. This is a good bet for those who can't get enough of fractured and retold tales. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The toys are popular; thus, the books should follow suit. Cross promotions with Mattel should keep this in front of all the right eyeballs. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 November #1
What's a girl to do when her mother is the fairy-tale world's worst evil queen? Follow in her footsteps? Never! At the beginning of this series opener, it's the first day of school at Ever After High, where the offspring of famous fairy-tale characters begin their second year. For these students, Legacy Day beckons, at which time each will sign the Storybook of Legends and take the pledge to replay their parents' roles. Once they ink their names, the stories they spring from will be safely preserved, but if one does not, rumors have it that the tale—as well as the student—will vanish in a posthaste "poof." Most are all aflutter to fulfill their requisite destinies, but Raven Queen, the daughter of the exquisitely wicked Evil Queen, doesn't have an evil bone in her body. If she signs, she is duty-bound to poison Apple White (Snow's daughter), but she wants to create her own future. When Raven discovers that two fairy-tale sisters long ago broke their pledges, she enlists the sleuthing skills of her wacky roommate, Madeline (as in Hatter), and Apple herself to unravel the sisters' ultimate fates. Hale has created a delightfully revamped, newly fashioned cast of fairy-tale characters (and in hipper clothes no less—unsurprising, as the book introduces a new line of Mattel dolls) and gives readers a terrific protagonist to root for. Magic and humor abound, and fairy-tale wordplay flies. Royal good fun. (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 August #3
Following the publisher's previous partnership with Mattel for the Monster High series, Newbery Honor author Hale (Princess Academy) helps kick off the Ever After High series, set at a boarding school for the children of classic fairy-tale heroes and villains; dolls based on the characters and other licensed products will be available. As the book opens, the second-year attendees of Ever After High are preparing for Legacy Day, when they will officially bind themselves to their parents' stories. Thus, the stage is set for a showdown between choice and destiny. Bubbly Apple White is thrilled to assume the mantle of Snow White, but her roommate, Raven Queen, is apprehensive about the villainous future that awaits her. Fairy-tale puns run rampant (favorite musicians include N-Chant and Lil Swain), and in the story's best running gag, Raven's oddball best friend Maddie Hatter has hilarious metafictional exchanges with the narrator ("I'm really enjoying all your clever observations and helpful information"). Perhaps understandably for a doll-based franchise, outfits and accessories get frequent mentions, but Hale's spot-on sense of humor keeps the story from feeling overly promotional. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 December
Gr 5-8--Ever After High is where the offspring of fairy-tale characters go to train to be the next generation of Cinderellas, Prince Charmings, and Red Riding Hoods. Second-year students are expected to sign the Storybook of Legends on Legacy Day, cementing their destiny in the fairy-tale world. Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen in "Snow White," has no desire to emulate her mother, who isn't just evil, but super-evil. She'd much rather sing in a band, hang out with her friends, and, most of all, have a future that she has some control over. Apple White, on the other hand, can't wait to start working toward her Happily Ever After. Despite their differences, Raven and Apple become roommates and even friends, but if Raven refuses to sign the Storybook, it might mean the end of not only their story, but also of the fairy tale world… or would it? This mash-up of Grimm and high school angst is fun and frothy, filled with silly, clever riffs on pop culture (which will make the story dated in a few years). Still, Raven is a strong, proactive girl who fights not only for herself, but also for all the denizens of Ever After High who don't have fairy-tale endings to look forward to.--Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.