Sunday, November 20, 2011

Karina's New Favorite Series: The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley; illustrations by Peter Ferguson

Our library has a section devoted to Middle Reader book series, and one day about a month ago, Karina spied The Sisters Grimm series on the shelf and brought one (it was Book 4) to show me. She was so excited. "Don't you think this has a spooky cover, Mom? It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. Is this one I can read?"
I was a little nervous, because I didn't know what these books contained. And with her still being so young, (she turns seven in December) I don't want her reading things she isn't ready to handle. I also know Karina. She has, up until now, been largely a book snacker (meaning she rarely reads a whole chapter book straight through.) And although lately I have noticed her getting more into reading whole books, I doubted that she'd stick with this book.

On the other hand, they sounded right up her alley. (Combining fairy tales with sleuthing? Genius!) So I gave the go-ahead. She started with Book 4, Once Upon a Crime, because she liked the deliciously spooky cover.

She started reading it on the way home. After about 20 minutes of silence, she said, "Mom, I'm not sure I got the right one."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, I think I've started in the middle of the story. Things are happening and I don't know why. I don't think these books are separate like Nancy Drew, I think the story continues in each book. I think I need to start with Book 1." So we went back to get Book 1, The Fairy-Tale Detectives. And last week we got Book 2.  And yes, indeed she reads them avidly. And comes to share funny bits and scary bits, and I have only the vaguest notion what they're about.

She got Olivia hooked on them too.

The library only has Books 1-7. The other night I was looking at Hastings (a book store in our area that also sells used copies, which is now going out of business) and found Book 8. There was much jumping up and down and squeals when I came home with the loot. I was the hero of the hour.

And then they discovered the audio books at the library. More jumping up and down and giddiness. And I hear them upstairs, blasting (okay, I'm getting old) the audio books and chortling at the antics of the characters, and squealing when something bad starts happening. And again with the pausing and running down, both of them laughing and trying to outdo each other in relating the current happenings. And still I have no idea what's going on. (The audios are very ably narrated L.J. Ganser.)

Here's the little I know about the books:
  • Read them in order!
  • The main characters appear to be sisters Sabrina and Daphne, and their mischievous friend Puck, who comes to live with them, and both helps them and makes their lives fun and miserable, as only brothers can.
  • Something has happened to their parents and they live with their granny, whom they only just met.
  • There are loads of fairy-tale characters.
  • They have awesome covers and internal illustrations.
  • I'm going to have to read them myself.

The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Book 1)
The Unusual Suspects (Book 2)
The Problem Child (Book 3)
Once Upon A Crime (Book 4)
Magic and Other Misdemeanors (Book 5)
Tales From the Hood (Book 6)
The Everafter War (Book 7)
The Inside Story (Book 8)

There may be more coming??? Not sure.

Author Michael Buckley's website
Illustrator Peter Ferguson's website


  1. Oh, fun! I love when a series gets kids to read with that much enthusiasm. They sound harmless to me but I'm not a mother so I'm not overly protective.

  2. I have heard many good things about this series. We have the first book on one of our shelves. I keep telling my girls about it, but they haven't bitten yet. I told them again tonight after I read your post ...I think they might pick up the first book soon :)

  3. I quite like these books, myself. But my son doesn't like anything remotely scary so he doesn't read them.

  4. Jenny, I don't think it's a matter of being overly protective (says the Mama Bear), it's a matter of age-appropriateness. Which I'm still not sure about, given the bits I've heard on the CDs.

    Susan, you'll have to let me know their reaction once they do.

    E., I don't think I couldn't have handled the scary myself at that age.