Reviews for Grimm Legacy

Booklist Reviews 2010 May #2
Is there a better antidote to a lonely teen existence than a dose of fairy-tale magic? Elizabeth has yet to make friends at her tony Manhattan private school, and she feels equally alone at home with her remote father and taskmaster stepmother. Then Elizabeth's teacher recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, and as Elizabeth befriends the other pages, she begins to learn that fairy tales aren't just fantasy and that many of the special collections' artifacts belong to her favorite childhood stories, including the magic mirror from Snow White. Just as Elizabeth learns about the repository's impossible wonders, some of the most powerful objects, and then some of the pages, disappear, and she finds herself leading the dangerous rescue. Captivating magic fills the pages of this exciting new novel from the author of Enthusiasm (2006). The story occasionally loses momentum, but action fans will find plenty of heart-pounding, fantastical escapades as the novel builds to its satisfying, romantic conclusion. A richly imagined adventure with easy appeal for Harry Potter fans. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2010 July
Charming tale of mystery and magic

Elizabeth Rew has just been offered a dream job. Working as a page in the New-York Circulating Material Repository doesn’t just mean fetching Marie Antoinette’s wigs for various curators; it might also net her some friends, which have been in short supply since she started at her new school. The Repository has collections that inspired the work of H.G. Wells and William Gibson, among others, but its mysterious Grimm Collection has been the victim of theft, and it falls to Elizabeth and her fellow pages to solve the crime. It doesn’t help matters that the items are magic, or that one of her co-workers has been borrowing some of them without permission.

The magic in The Grimm Legacy is sometimes dazzling (flying carpets, a giant bird who might be the thief) and sometimes played for laughs (winged sandals that are harder to drive than a stick-shift, a magic mirror with sarcasm to spare); there’s a funny discussion among the kids about how outmoded some of the items are compared to modern technology. The Repository still uses a system of pneumatic tubes to shuttle messages around, an old-school technology that becomes new again when the tubes are used to transport shrunken people.

Don’t let all the bells and whistles fool you, though. One of the great charms wrapped up in this mystery is the story of burgeoning friendships among a multi-ethnic cast of characters, each of whom has reason to distrust the others. The Grimm Legacy is terrific fun for tweens and teens, and not to be missed.

Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Elizabeth works as a page at the New-York Circulating Material Repository. Housed in the basement is the Grimm Collection, an assortment of fairy-tale items (e.g., seven-league boots, spinning wheels), and someone's been replacing the materials with nonmagical replicas. Shulman combines down-to-earth teens with a wonderfully occult magical world; the repository itself permeates the story with its musty, mysterious presence. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #4
When Elizabeth takes a job as a page at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a lending library for objects instead of books, she's let in on the repository's secret. Housed in the basement is the Grimm Collection, an assortment of items such as seven-league boots and spinning wheels that are normally found in fairy tales-amazingly, the items (and the magic) are real. But someone's been removing the materials and replacing them with nonmagical replicas, and Elizabeth doesn't know which of her fellow pages to trust: Marc, the handsome basketball star who's been taking liberties with his borrowing privileges; Anjali, who has all the male pages at her feet; or sullen Aaron, who resents the others' looks and good fortune. Tracking down the thief will take all four of them on a dangerous quest, where they will need their wits and the objects in the collection to succeed. Shulman combines down-to-earth teens concerned with fitting in with a wonderfully occult magical world-the repository itself, with its stained-glass windows, miles of stacks, and pneumatic tubes for routing call slips, permeates the story with its musty, mysterious presence. The pages must figure out how to work with objects that sometimes function in tricky ways (the magic mirror, for instance, tells the truth but in the most slanted and unflattering manner possible). But just as in a fairy tale, Elizabeth's good choices and kind heart allow the story to spin out to a happy conclusion. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 June #2

Fairy-tale and romance devotees, museum aficionados and budding librarians will pine for Elizabeth's afterschool job. Lonely in New York City, her family straight out of Grimm (dead mom, inattentive dad, cold stepfamily), Elizabeth agrees to work at the New-York Circulating Material Repository. She passes the button-sorting interview and begins work in the stacks, where call slips arrive via pneumatic tubes. The Repository houses historical articles (textiles, wigs, tea sets), including the Grimm Collection, all circulating. Shulman's prose sparkles describing the Grimm objects' magic powers (recognizable from tales) and the profound deposits required to borrow them (a "long, translucent, sweater-shaped thing" is "somebody's sense of privacy"; a future firstborn looks "infinitely vulnerable and undefined, like a thought before you put it into words"). The pages are a multiracial group, but the white librarians unfortunately romanticize the Akan peoples, constantly spouting proverbs from those "great men and women. Chiefs in Africa." Some structural implausibility pales before vivid sensory descriptions (hexed gingerbread tastes "[s]weet and dark, like roast duck or cedar pencils") and delightful magical happenings both thrilling and nefarious. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal BookSmack
Miserable at school and at home, Elizabeth seeks employment at the New York Circulating Material Depository, a private library where objects, not books, are housed and lent to an unusual clientele. There her fellow pages inform her of the library's creepy recent history: employees have gone missing, a giant bird has been seen through the building's skylights, and valuable items have been stolen from the collection, only to turn up at auction. Many of these stolen objects were from a very special collection on the first floor, the Grimm Collection. Seems that Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm did not limit their interest to collecting stories; they sought the magical objects behind them. In the collection Elizabeth finds 12 pairs of worn dancing shoes, seven-league boots, and a trash-talking mirror that once belonged to Snow White's stepmother. Shulman's first novel, Enthusiasm (2006), is a charming retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set at a boy's boarding school. Her new story is tailor-made for librarians (and former library pages) who recall that first magical feeling of working in the stacks. Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13", Booksmack!, 12/2/10 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Media Connection Reviews 2010 October
The author has created a new, contemporary twist revolving around tales from the Brothers Grimm. Elizabeth, the story?s Cinderella-like protagonist, has to adjust to a new school, two self-centered stepsisters, and a stepmom. When she gets a job as a student page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, Elizabeth thinks she?ll be able to escape her plight. The new job, however, has more to offer than just a simple escape. The repository lends out objects from a variety of collections instead of books. One of the most interesting collections is stored behind a magically locked door. Known as the Grimm Collection, it contains magical objects from the Grimm stories, such as Puss?s boots. Repository employees have turned up missing and the magical objects are either disappearing or losing their magic. Elizabeth and the other student pages embark on a dangerous quest to catch the thief. Besides the obvious curriculum connections that encourage an investigation of the origins behind the Grimm stories, this book also lends to discussions on several issues including blended families, self-esteem, and homelessness. Recommended. Sabrina Carnesi, School Librarian, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, Virginia ¬ 2010 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 June #4

Shulman (Enthusiasm) intermingles classic fairy tale elements and modern-day conflicts in this clever novel set in New York City. The story begins when teenager Elizabeth Rew lands a plum part-time job, working as a page in the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," an institution housing rare objects to be lent to an exclusive circle of patrons. The most secret and by far most interesting section of the building is the basement, where magic objects mentioned in the Grimm Brothers' tales are stored. Much to the librarians' dismay, however, some of these valuable items go missing. With the help of her fellow pages, Elizabeth gets to the bottom of the mystery, but catching the thief poses enormous danger and necessitates the aid of some powerful equipment, including Snow White's mirror, a pair of winged sandals, and a magical golden key. Mixing tongue-in-cheek humor (like the magic mirror's blunt appraisal of Elizabeth's beauty: "Bitsy Rew is brave and true./ A pity she's not pretty too") with suspense, Shulman conjures an enticing slice of magic realism that fairy tale buffs should relish. Ages 10-up. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

Gr 6-9--Feeling left out from her stepfamily at home and from her classmates at her new school, Elizabeth is delighted when she gets a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a library that loans objects of historical value. She's particularly intrigued when she's given access to the Grimm Collection, a secret room that holds magical objects from the Brothers' tales, e.g., seven-league boots, a mermaid's comb, and the sinister mirror from "Snow White." However, when the items start to disappear, she and her fellow pages embark on a dangerous quest to catch the thief, only to find themselves among the suspects. This modern fantasy has intrigue, adventure, and romance, and the magical aspects of the tale are both clever and intricately woven, from rhyming charms to flying-carpet rides. The author brings the seemingly disparate elements together in the end, while still making certain that her protagonist's problems are not completely solved by the world of magic. Shulman's prose is fast paced, filled with humor, and peopled with characters who are either true to life or delightfully bizarre. Fans of fairy tales in general and Grimm stories in particular will delight in the author's frequent literary references, and fantasy lovers will feel very much at home in this tale that pulls out all the stops.--Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

[Page 120]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2010 June
Imagine a circulating library from which you can borrow magical objects that appear in the Grimm fairy tales, such as the magical mirror in "Snow White." When Elizabeth's social studies teacher at her new school asks her if she would like an after-school job, she passes the test to be a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository. After proving that she can be trusted with valuable objects, she is allowed into the Grimm Collection. But Elizabeth and the other teenage pages--Anjali, her boyfriend, Marc (a basketball star at Elizabeth's school), and Aaron--become entangled in a web of suspicion and danger when it is discovered that someone is stealing objects from the collection and removing their magical properties before returning them. When Anjali is kidnapped and transformed into a puppet, the friends work together to rescue her from unscrupulous art dealers.A fast-moving plot relies heavily on magical devices, but there are some lovely inventive episodes. For example, Elizabeth and Marc, shrunk by a shrinking machine to the size of soda cans, pack themselves into pneumatic canisters (the repository's communication system) to gain access to a now off-limits Grimm Collection. The mood is light rather than sinister, even when they face arch villains and a menacing bird. There are some loosely integrated story elements, such as the homeless woman who helps Elizabeth. Teens might be drawn into this appealing mix of fairy tale and romance--who can resist a trip on a flying carpet?--Hilary Crew 3Q 4P J Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.