The Grimm Legacy, Polly Shulman– Revisited

Quick, quick summary: Elizabeth begins working at the New-York Repository (a library for stuff), and there’s been some thievery in the magical section (The Grimm Collection, where there’s actual stuff from the actual fairy tales).  Elizabeth, Anjali, Marc, and Aaron discover that the magic has been stolen from some objects. They uncover clues and go on a magic-filled adventure to find the thief. When Anjali and Marc get into trouble due to their heritage, it’s up to Elizabeth and Aaron to find the golden key to save the magic (and their tails).

Bookworm’s Comparison: So, during my awesome children’s lit class, our professor gave us galleys (almost-published books) to review. I got a hold of The Grimm Legacy, and gave it a positive review. I saw it at the library in published-form, and thought I’d just be re-reading the same book.

What a difference an editing job makes.  We know this from our English papers; let’s face it, someone else can more easily see the run-ons, overuse of certain words, and incomplete thoughts. Can you imagine having hundreds of peer-editors?  I didn’t have my galley in front of me to compare, but these are some things I thought while re-reading it.

  • My pet peeve (NewYork Repository) is still written that way, but I’ll be honest, I only noticed the “library” named once.
  • One change that was kind of funny was that she added a sister (I think— I didn’t remember two stepsisters from before, but obviously adds a more “Cinderella” vibe to it.  However, I’m pretty sure a sister was added, because she is mentioned three times at most like she was thrown in. Oh, it’s Veronica’s sweater? She’s conveniently tucked away in a private college?)
  • While reading it in the galley, she would make comments to things that I didn’t remember happening. For example, shrunken Elizabeth and Marc  almost get eaten by a rat.  When she mentioned the rat later, I was like, “um, when did that happen?”  In the “real book,” I couldn’t have missed it since the scene lasted at least a page.
  • Some more good changes  include more details about how the library system works, more foreshadowing on the “these kids are in love”  story and “this guy may be a prince” C-plot.

Cool magical things:

  • Snow White’s stepmother’s mirror reflects the truth, however cruelly, even when the people are completely unaware of the truth.  Elizabeth & Aaron like each other, but fight all the time. Aaron borrows the mirror to help with the search for the thief, and their reflections show them making out. At this point they’re mostly in denial about their attraction. It’s pretty funny.
  • Anjali’s sister Jaya can make a mean magical knot that saves them multiple times.  Mostly, from not turning into figurines.
  • Seven-league boots, which help you go seven leagues in a single bound! K, not quite sure about that, but still, you get places really fast.

Grades: Still gets an A, still for middle schoolers.

Pondering…. I may actually keep my galley copy in my classroom and pick out a before/after passage. I’m imagining a lesson on editing, and reminding students EVERYONE has to do edit.



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3 responses to “The Grimm Legacy, Polly Shulman– Revisited

  1. breanna

    LOVVVVED!!! the book my favs were Elizabeth and Aaron I really like her because her name is my middle name.When I started reading it I’m like cool my middle name is in a book:))))))))))))))))))wish there was another book 2 keep the magic flowing.:))

    • breanna

      oh and srry 4got 1 more thing Aaron is soo funny when he’s not being all freaked about the items in there.But i do under stand tht thing items r special but he as 2 calm down and know the items r in good hands.I also think it was a great idea 4 them 2 be together since they balance each other out.

      • Thanks Breanna! I definitely agree with you on Aaron. I get why he’s paranoid but take a chill pill! 🙂
        You never know, the book is only about a year old, maybe we will get a sequel some time!

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