Elizabeth's new job at the New York Circulating Material Repository isn't quite what she expected. Within days of starting, she discovers that fairy tales and magic are real. The Repository boasts an unusual collection--items from the Grimm Brothers' stories. That's right. The slippers that were danced to pieces. The spinning wheel that sent the beauty to sleep for one hundred years. The queen's mirror. Someone is stealing items from the Grimm Collection. With the help of her fellow pages, Aaron, Anjali, and Marc, Elizabeth sets out to to solve the mystery of the missing items so they can be restored.
What I thought: As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted to read it. Fairy tales are one of my favorite things. I love reading both the originals and retellings. Elizabeth's adventures at the Repository remind me a little of the movie The 10th Kingdom. To suddenly find out that fairy tales are real--how fun! I liked that the book wasn't only about Elizabeth. Her friends/co-workers are just as important. You always need sidekicks on a quest. I thought Jaya's character was particularly well done. She's the epitome of an annoying little sister without being stereotypical. I loved that Shulman chose to feature lesser known fairy tale items (Table Be Set, Seven League Boots, Golden Key). Her story makes me want to make good on my resolution to read all of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Maybe I'll find a story within a story like Polly Shulman did. Elizabeth seems to be living her own Cinderella story. Wicked stepmother--check. Housework--check. Unappreciated and unloved--check. A father who can't be bothered to notice a problem--check. I hope the pages' adventures at the Repository won't end here. I'm hopefully hoping for a sequel. Elizabeth's relationship with Aaron is interesting. She knows he likes Anjali. He thinks she likes Marc. In actuality, they like each other. Their friendship is uneasy. The start of dating is even more so. But what fun I had reading about it.
I highly recommend this book to fairy tale fans. If you like the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, you'll like this book.
(New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, July 2010. ARC provider by publisher.)