Want to join in with your book club in this year’s summer reading theme? Novels based on fairy-tales make for some great discussions! The following books from our book group collection are based in tales from around the world and will bring a touch of magic to your next book club meeting.
By Shannon Hale
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale is a young-adult retelling of a German fairy tale. After her mother dies, princess Anidori is betrothed to a prince in a neighboring country, but she is deceived by her lady-in-waiting while traveling to the nation of Bayern. Instead of marrying the crown prince, Ani disguises herself as the goose girl named Isi as she heals, makes new friendships, befriends a royal guard, and discovers her own magic.
By Melissa Albert
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert plays with fairy-tale conventions in the contemporary world, with elements of “The Juniper Tree,” “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” and “The Little Mermaid.” When Alice—perpetually unlucky and always on the move with her mother—receives word that her grandmother Althea has died, she thinks her luck has changed. Althea was the author of a collection of fairy tales, Tales from the Hinterland, with a cult following, and lived in a sprawling estate called Hazel Wood. But when her mother is kidnapped by denizens of the Hinterland, Alice must figure out her family’s mysteries and traumas.
By Robin McKinley
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley retells the French fairy tale of “Beauty and the Beast,” with Beauty as a character who loves roses and, when at the enchanted castle of the Beast, regrows the desolate garden.
By Eowyn Ivey
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey sets the Russian fairy tale “The Snow Maiden” in early 20th-century Alaska. Homesteaders Mabel and Jack are childless, but one snowy afternoon the couple builds a snow child…only to discover, a few days later, a feral girl living in the woods. This debut novel, nominated for a Pulitzer, is both heartbreaking and hopeful as it explores loss and grief in a setting that is a mix of realistic and fantastical.
By Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik began as a short story in The Starlit Wood anthology, but grew into a novel that examines how debt and gratitude shape relationships. Told through the perspective of three women, Miryem, Wanda, and Irina, the story is based both on Russian myths and on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, and it includes a demon made of flame who drinks human souls, a fae king, and a world tumbling into eternal winter.
Our book group sets include 12 copies of the book and a discussion guide. They check out for six weeks. You can reserve a set by filling out the form found here.
Written by Staff Amy, Assistant Librarian