Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Review: The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley was a charming middle grade novel about two young sisters. After they mysterious disappearance of their parents, Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their grandmother, a woman their parents had told them died long ago. Sabrina, the older sister, remains skeptical of the older woman for a long time, refusing to believe that she might be her father's mother. Sabrina feels further justified in her wariness of the old woman when she begins telling the girls of their 'heritage'.

Apparently, fairy tales are real. And her ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, were actually the first fairy tale detectives. What we view as a collection of tales is actually their case files, stories and notes written down so that the Brothers could figure out the fairy tale whodunit. I won't spoil the story of how or why their services were needed, because it was a lot of fun learning that for yourself while reading. Sabrina refuses to listen to this faux grandmother until the truth is so clear, she cannot possibly avoid it.

This is a book that I would have completely devoured as a kid. It is full of action, fairy tale characters, suspense, misdirection, and magic. It has a lot of the typical — orphans (who might not be orphans), who end up being something far greater than they had dreamed, who go from no knowledge of who they really are to saving the day — elements, but it works perfectly on a level for middle grade readers.

There weren't a whole lot of real surprises while reading this book, but that has more to do with my age and reading experience than any flaw within the writing. Young children will be delightfully shocked and appalled at the twists and turns the story takes and will eagerly look for the sequels. I personally would have loved to have seen more interaction with more of the fairy tale characters. There is so much potential with character interaction and development here!

I look forward to reading the follow up books as well. I'd love to see how Sabrina and Daphne go about trying to rescue their parents and learn to live with the 'Everafters'. I will probably end up purchasing this series soon, if not for myself than for my younger brothers. This would be a great way to introduce a young reader to fairy tales or to delight a young reader who has already discovered their magic.