Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Falling for Fairy Tales

I'm still on a fairy tale kick. This week the fairy tale is a modern twist on an old theme. It uses a literary technique with which readers will be very familiar. Enjoy.

“Falling In”

By Frances O’Roark Dowell
For ages 9 – 12
Its not unusual for modern authors to find inspiration in childrens' classics, such as "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz." This tale follows Isabelle, a young girl, as she falls into another world, explores the themes of family, friendship, strength and finding one's self. Rated 3.75 (fantasy, implied peril,

Obviously inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz,” this tale follows sixth-grader Isabelle Bean, who feels out of place in this world. She believes she belongs somewhere else, so when she falls into another world she believes she has finally found her real home.

Isabelle discovers that the children in this mysterious world spend much of there time hiding in the woods from an evil witch. Unafraid, and a little intrigued, Isabelle sets off to find the witch. Along the way she makes friends with an peculiar girl and finds a healer that happens to be her grandmother. She discovers it is her grandmother that everyone believes is a witch. Since Isabelle knows there is not actually a witch she sets out to inform everyone, but things do not go as easily as she hoped.

This interesting narrative will appeal to non-fantasy readers and has a satisfying conclusion. The tale is wrapped in twists, turns and deeper plot points that explore family, inner strength and happiness. The only drawback is in the pacing, which finds the occasional chapter plodding along at a tiresome pace.