After finishing The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley, I can definitely say I prefer Al Roker's Book Club to Oprah's. Roker's latest choice for his Today Show book club aimed at fourth, fifth, and sixth graders has suspense, exciting characters, and two likable kids as the heroes. And, I didn't find this book depressing, as so many of Oprah's selections are.
Sabrina and Daphne Grimm have been in and out of an orphanage and foster homes since their parents mysteriously disappeared a year and a half earlier. At eleven, Sabrina feels it's her duty to protect her seven year old sister. Time after time, she led their escape from abusive foster parents. Finally, they're sent to live with Relda Grimm, a grandmother they didn't know existed because their father told them she was dead. Sabrina is suspicious of this weird woman who lives outside of Ferrypoint Landing, New York, insisting she and Daphne must plan their escape.
It's only when they try to escape the house and are chased in the woods that their Grandmother reveals the family secret. As descendents of Wilhelm Grimm, the co-author of Grimms' Fairy Tales, they must now play their role in the community. For Ferrypoint Landing is the home of Everafters, the people from fairy tales who were persecuted in Europe and escaped to America to live in secret in this town. And the town actually has a spell over it so that the Everafters cannot leave as long as a Grimm is in town to keep the spell intact. To do that, the Grimm family members must serve as fairy-tale detectives, tracking down evildoers.
Sabrina reacts angrily in disbelief, while Daphne falls wholeheartedly under her Grandmother's spell. However, when their Grandmother and her mysterious friend are captured by a giant, even Sabrina must admit the stories are true. Now, it's up to the Sisters Grimm and a new friend to rescue the family they just discovered.
Buckley has brought to life the characters readers will remember from Grimms' Fairy Tales and other stories. He successfully uses the popular motif of children on their own, forced to take heroic action against villians. Readers will recognize it from the Harry Potter stories, and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives is another promising start to a series. Congratulations to Al Roker for bringing this series to the attention of readers.
Michael Buckley's website is www.sistersgrimm.com
The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley. Amulet Books, ©2005, ISBN 0-8109-5925-9 (hardcover), 284p.