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The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy

4.6 174
by Polly Shulman

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Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library—a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother


Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library—a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Marjorie Ingall
The story buzzes along at a delightful clip…[The Grimm Legacy's] a fun ride.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
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)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Rew is the new kid in town, feeling isolated and ignored at her private Manhattan school. Her home life is no better, stuck in a tiny apartment with a stepmother who saves all the chores for her, two stepsisters still sending orders from college, and a formerly loving father who suddenly ignores her very existence. No wonder she feels like Cinderella and chooses to write her big social studies paper on the Brothers Grimm—the catalyst for a new life. Suddenly Elizabeth has a part-time job at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, which happens to house relics from Grimm fairytales. Just as suddenly she collects brand new friends from among her fellow workers: Marc, her school's African American basketball star; Anjoli, the knock out gorgeous Indian girl; Aaron, the darkly mysterious protector of all things Grimm. When Seven League Boots, bottomless boxes, magical cudgels and a mermaid comb get loose—not to mention a griffin and a roc from Hell—Elizabeth is propelled through a carnival of fear, excitement, and, possibly, love. She is no longer lonely, isolated, or bored. It looks like Schulman, bestselling author of Enthusiasm, has another winner. Her gothic-tinged mystery/romance is well written, funny, teen-savvy, and virtually unputdownable. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
VOYA - Hilary Crew
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? Reviewer: Hilary Crew
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
School Library Journal
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

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
HL600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Polly Shulman has written about edible jellyfish, Egyptian tombs, infinity, blind dates, books, brains, centenarians, circuses, and cinematic versions of Jane Austen novels, for The New York Times, Discover, Newsday, Salon, Slate, Scientific American, Archaeology, and The Village Voice, among others. She edits news stories about fossils, meteors, the ocean, the weather, and the planets for Science magazine. She collects Victorian jewelry made of human hair, puts cayenne pepper in her chocolate cookies, and reads forgotten books with frontispieces.

She is an alumna of Hunter College High School, Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics, and Yale University, where she majored in math. She has never dared to crash a dance, but in tenth grade she did write a proof for math class in the form of a sonnet. She grew up in New York City, where she lives with her husband, Andrew Nahem, and their parakeet, Olive.

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The Grimm Legacy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 174 reviews.
Lilytish More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. It was well written and had characters that i could relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so exciting,magical, and interesting. I reccomend this book to people who like to read about fantasy. When I started reading this book I literally could NOT stop. I would read past my curfew until my parents had to tell me to quit reading! No wonder I finished this book in a couple of days. Anyway, you should read this book. The book just blew me away. (: Read the book ,you won't regret it! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are many versions of the Grimm fairy tales, but this is the first book I've read that deals with the magical things in the Grimm stories plus more. I liked reading this book because it brought those origonal Grimm tales that I have read over ond over together in a way. This book is full of twists and turns that you don't see coming. I'm glad to see that the Grimm fairy tales are once more becoming popular and not being altered as much, and I think this book is a definate must read if you are into the Grimm fairy tales. Let Elizabeth take you on an amzing adventure with her friends and some very powerful Grimm fairy tale items. You won't be sorry. I wasn't disapointed at all when I read this wonderful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really would read this book if i were you! When i read it i couldnt put it down, and i kept jumping in my seat with all of the adventure. This book is about a girl who find out how dangerous tye magic grimm items can be. I would tell anyone looking for a good book this title. I told my friend (she's didnt like to read) about this now shes loves to read any book that is like this one. So all i have to say is keep them coming Shulman!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is awesome the best book in this nook u will ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was definately an interesting story. I do indeed enjoy fantasy and I liked te was Polly Shulman put it. I like her twist. Certainley great story. I think now I want to watch Once Apon A Time on ABC!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Loved This Book It Was A Mystery and Fantasy Together and I Loved It!!! :b
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to rate this as a 5 star book. I love this and felt like crying when it was over! THIS BOOK NEEDS A SERIES THAT NEVER ENDS!!!! When I grow up, I will make a movie of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! If u have any doubts about the book, shoo them away! This book is totally worth the money! I wish there was a sequal! It's got romance, action, weirdness, and more! Alot of the charaters are some to relate to in one or another way. Sometimes i felt as if i were actually in the book! OMG! Totally rated my favorite book of the year! BUY THE BOOK! Moms, my mother actually let me do this for a book report! BUY THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book
mockingjaygirl More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing i fell in love with character and the story that is so different. If you Love Grimm fairytales this is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They had a video at my school about our Book Fair and this book was in it. It is for fourth to sixth grade and that is a good thing because I am a fourth grader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth is a new girl at her school and has no friends. Her social studies teacher recommends her for a job at a library. When she goes in for the job interview she is surprised that she had to sort buttons and then she passes the interview. She is even more surprised that the library has almost no books; it's a library of things. She is put as a page and has to deliver the objects for them to be loaned out, but before her 2 pages had disappeared and many items were stolen. She is later given permission to work in stack 1, that's been all the Grimm objects are. The magical ones. As she works one of the pages Marc is switching shoes. He explains that they are to get his baby brother home and to go to the basketball games faster. Even though Elizabeth and her friend Anjali trust Marc the other page Aaron is still suspicious. Later Anjali disappears too and is turned into a puppet. So its up to Aaron, Marc and Elizabeth to save Anjali and to protect the rest of the Grimm objects. Maria Carrillo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book over and over, i just couldnt get it out of my head. Im still in love with this book. I think everyone should read it.
WishStealer More than 1 year ago
It was just exceptional. The book was perfect, sweet, and suspenseful. It has a little bit of mystery, romance, fantasy, and much more all combined into one. I say read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has everything from fantasy to fantasy facts, humor to romance, and silliness to dramatic moments! I stayed up all night and finished this book until I dropped from exhaustion!! So what are doing still reading this? Pick up this book NOW!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's amazing. I am a fifth grade student and during class reading this book is the only thing I want to read. I say it should a number one book for all grimm and fantasy lovers. Not only does it have fantasy in it but also mystery and aventure. Every chapter has something new. This book is very well writen with all it's twists and turns. So don't read any more reveiws. Take my word for it and read the grimm legacy.
-Arcade_Fire- More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK. IT IS NOW ONE OF MY FAVORITES OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At first i didnt know why i bought it but once i started reading i couldnt stop. i finished it in one night and i loved it so much. it made the shelf of all my favorite books in my room. (big deal) i will say that this book is worth every penny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book at my school library. I thought it looked preety god and i haven't eben read the summarybyet. Do u guys think i should read it ? If u r replying to my question the use the headline "THE GRIMM LEGACY REVIEW"Thanks a lot. Please try to reply before the end of the week. Sunday. I am only asking u guys to help me cause i cant read nooks that are not intresting cause then i would have to stop reading it in the middle which btw totally aggrivates me. Thanks again. Alot. Bye. Dont forget the headline should be "THE GRIMM LEGACY REVIEW"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome and creative i love the grimm legacy this should won a medal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is off the chain i can not stop reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book but I thought holes was better.I could not rember anyof the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best book ever. I couldnt put it down. I loved all the different elements put into play during the story. It was so good even my 80 year old gran read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book its a must read for you fantasy lovers out there at first i thought it would stink but when i started reading it i couldnt put it down. Also i know this is off topic but read the hunger games its my all time favorite
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard of this book at my schools book fair video and then just got it a few days ago i began reading it today and im only on chapter two elizabeth is a little TOO nice though (kind if like logan in THE CANDYMAKERS.if you did not read that you must) but it is still good WAIT did i just say GOOD?!? It was SUPER SUPER SUPER AMAZING! PS im only on chapter two