When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime--or captured by the thief.
Polly Shulman has created a contemporary fantasy with a fascinating setting and premise, starring an ordinary girl whose after-school job is far from ordinary--and leads to a world of excitement, romance and magical intrigue.Watch a Video
- ISBN-13: 9780399250965
- ISBN-10: 0399250964
- Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
- Publish Date: July 2010
- Page Count: 325
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 8.68 x 6.58 x 1.15 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-06-28
- Reviewer: Staff
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)
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.