Life isn’t Always a Fairy Tale: Nursery Crimes, The Sorcerer’s Appendix, The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, and Grimm

2 May

Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales are often thought of as being just for kids, but they are packed with crimes like theft (Beauty and the Beast), breaking and entering (Goldilocks), and attempted murder (Hansel and Gretel), that have inspired authors to create adult mystery series based on the classics that we all know. Here are 3 book series and a TV series you will want to check-out if you enjoy your fairy tales or nursery rhymes with a dash of investigation and a sprinkle of humor.

The Fourth Bear and The Big Over Easy
by Jasper Fforde
fourth_bear
You may remember that I mentioned Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series in my lists of favorites.  In the same alternate book universe where book characters are real, Jasper Fforde has written two books in his Nursery Crime Series.  In The Big Over Easy, detective Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary look into the death of a certain Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III.  In the second novel in the mystery series, The Fourth Bear, Spratt and Mary must stop one tough cookie aka the Gingerbread Man from a murderous spree and find the missing Goldilocks.

The Sorcerer’s Appendix
by P.J. Brackston
sorcerers_appendix
If you ever wondered what happened to Gretel after she escaped the witch and her Gingerbread house in the woods; Brackston’s answer is that she is now all grown up and working as a private investigator in a whimsical fantasy version of 18th Century Bavaria inhabited both by historic characters like Mozart and fairy tale ones like big bad wolves. The Sorcerer’s Appendix is the latest in Brackston’s humorous Brothers Grimm Mystery Series.  In this outing story, Gretel must make her way back into the woods and discover whether a sorcerer who disappeared leaving behind only his appendix is really deceased or still alive.  Gretel is a prickly heroine who makes you route for her despite her less than perfect princess demeanor.

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
by Robert Rankin
chocolate_bunnies_apocalypse
In The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse, Robert Rankin imagines a Toy City where the classic nursery rhyme characters are the rich and famous elite, who are a target of a serial killer.  The only ones that can stop the murdering psychopath are the city’s sole detective Eddie Bear and his BFF Jack.  You can also check out the sequel The Toyminator, if you want to read more about Eddie and Jack’s humorous adventures.

Grimm
Grimm
Last year the long running TV series, Grimm, ended its 6 year run. Grimm was based on the idea that the creatures or “wesen” from the Brother’s Grimm stories were real and hiding among us only able to be viewed by “Grimms” like Nick, the detective main character of the show.  My favorite characters in the show were two of the “wesen”, Rosalie and Monroe, who helped Nick on his adventures.  I’ll miss the series, but luckily all six seasons are available on DVD to rewatch again and again.

Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Don’t Like Poetry?: Our Recommendations for Novels in Verse Could Change Your Mind

25 Apr

April is National Poetry Month. If you’re like me and have never really connected with poetry, try reading one of these novels in verse instead of a traditional book of poems.

Crossover
by Kwame Alexander
Crossover

It’s a fairly common story: two brothers, a basketball team and high school drama. However, what makes Crossover stand out is the way the words move on the page to connect the reader to the emotions being described. If soccer is your sport, try Booked, also by Kwame Alexander.

Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
brown girl dreaming
Brown Girl Dreaming, an autobiography in verse, won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

How I Discovered Poetry
by Marilyn Nelson
discoveredpoetry

Another autobiography in verse is How I Discovered Poetry. In this one Nelson recounts her childhood growing up during the 1950s.

Want More Recommendations?  Elbie Love, HPL’s YA Library Assistant also shared some of her suggestions with me.

The Poet X: A Novel
by Elizabeth Acevedo

PoetX
In The Poet X, Harlem sophomore Xiomara Batista is told to be quiet and do as she is told. As her body grows into a women too early, she learns that staying silent can do more harm than good when boys and men give her unwanted advice and the jealously of the girls around her turn into fist fights in the school yard. She learns to find her voice and build her belief system, despite it not being welcomed in the eyes of her strict religious mother. For Grades 7 and up.

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist
by Margarita Engle

Join Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, known as Tula in The Lightning Dreamer on a journey of rebellion against her family’s arranged marriage to becoming Cuba’s most renowned nineteenth-century abolitionist poet. She fights for woman’s rights and against slavery with her gift of poetry. Recommended for Grades 6 and up.

A Time to Dance
by Padma Venkatraman

Veda is a talented Bharatanatyam dancer, a classical form of Indian dance, in Padma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance. She feels that she can express her true self through dance. But, when she becomes a victim in an automobile accident it seems to cripples her dream of becoming a professional dancer. How will she overcome this adversity? Recommended for Grades 12 and up.

Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian

Want to Share Your Writing?
Join the Hoboken Public Library Adults Writer’s Workshop on Monday, May 14th at 6:30 PM, to discuss your writing in a friendly and constructive atmosphere with fellow writers.  Saturday, May 19 at 2 PM, HPL’s Park Bench Open-Mic provides a platform where local poets, comedians, musicians and artists can perform outdoors in the Church Square Park Gazebo.

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