Saucy and Bubba: A Hansel and Gretel Tale

Saucy and Bubba: A Hansel and Gretel Tale

by Darcy Pattison


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, October 25



In this modern-day Hansel and Gretel story, Saucy and Bubba struggle to get along with Krissy, their alcoholic stepmother. One freezing cold night, Krissy locks Saucy out of the house and Saucy must sleep in the barn. In a desperate move, Saucy and Bubba run away to their aunt's house-except Aunt Vivian isn't home. Trying to take care of Bubba for several days forces Saucy to take charge of her own life and accept a terrible sacrifice in order to find safety for herself.

This middle grade novel is a heartbreakingly simple story that weaves through the tangled threads of a family and builds to an ending full of hope. Author Darcy Pattison recently wrote about the need for books about troubled families on the Children's Book Council Diversity blog.

Stories like this one carry a certain darkness, even if the events carry the weight of truth. It's in the tradition of Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt, and The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson. Both of these award-winning books tell of painful truths, but they manage to do so with respect for the child reader. I especially like Paterson's statement that she always ends her stories with a note of hope. Fortunately, Saucy's story also ends with hope that the family will work things out and come back together

Join Saucy and Bubba in their poignant search for family.


I've always been fascinated by the Hansel and Gretel story, and I thought I could add to the conversation about step-families, especially when the step-parent has addiction problems. Children struggle to find their place in a new configuration of family and that can be infinitely complicated by alcohol or drugs.

I also like that it has the fantasy/folk element to the story. Bringing the story into the modern century was fun. Rethinking the responses of today's families ultimately led me to a story of hope.


Like the folk tale, this is a story of a brother and sister who stick together in the midst of family problems. Krissy, the step-mother, bakes gingerbread houses as display pieces for a local bakery. It was fun adding other elements of the story such as a path of white stones that will bring the family back together.

The basic elements of the folk tale are intact, but are embodied in fully-fleshed out characters leaving this as a poignant story that will linger in your heart long after you close the book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629440088
Publisher: Mims House
Publication date: 01/20/2014
Pages: 156
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Published in nine languages, children's book author and writing teacher DARCY PATTISON has been published with Harcourt, Philomel/Penguin, Harpercollins, Arbordale, and Mims House. Her books received recognition for excellence with starred reviews in Kirkus, BCCB and PW. Twice her books have been honored as National Science Teacher's Association Outstanding Science Trade books. The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt) received an Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature Honor Book award, was named a Notable Book in Language Arts, and has been reprinted in a Houghton Mifflin textbook

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Saucy and Bubba: A Hansel and Gretel Tale 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing in this story is a lovely pleasure, and the cover art does a great job of capturing both the whimsy of this fairy tale retelling and the ominous sense of threat that's very real in the book. Saucy and Bubba are very engaging characters, and the world they live in and the adults around them are well-drawn and realistic — and so are that world's harder truths and complicated answers. Not especially subtle, and with a main character who's relatively unsophisticated for her age, this book seems to me particularly appropriate for reluctant or impatient readers, those on the younger side of the middle-grade spectrum, and those with an affinity for the rural, low-tech charm that Pattison evokes so well in the setting. For any reader, however, Saucy's spunk and a plot full of interest and surprises should make this a page-turner.
Sue_P More than 1 year ago
Billed as a modern Hansel and Gretel tale, this new novel explores some of the scarier aspects presented in fairy tales. Saucy’s struggles are a good model for children who need to trust an adult in order to solve a problem, whether it’s abuse or bullying or another issue.
Book-Fairy69 More than 1 year ago
Think of a modern day Fairy Tale and you have Saucy And Bubba by Darcy Pattison. Saucy is the perfect name for the heroine of this story. She is feisty, protective of her little brother Bubba, and knows how to stand up for herself. Pattison inserts little references from the Fairy Tale Hansel and Gretel. Just enough to keep students hooked to the story. I loved the reference to the small white stones that mark the path home. The author's description of the candies used to decorate the gingerbread house left me with  sweet memories of my childhood baking cookies. The end was a surprise but I liked it. If you want a good comparison story for fairy tales, Saucy and Bubba by Darcy Pattison is that book.