5 Amazing Fairy Tale Retellings

For many of us, the first time we fall in love with a book it is a fairy tale. In fact those cherished stories have been told throughout history, all over the world. For instance, did you know that accounts of Cinderella have been collected in nearly every language? (Stewart, 2014) Also, it is believed that fairy tales have been shared, written and orally, for thousands of years. (Kiddle) While most of us are familiar with Disney’s happier yarns, most fairy tales have much darker origins. Maybe that is why we never quite grow out of these legends, the core stories have room for additional layers. That is certainly true of these fairy tale retellings. Be prepared to fall in love with your favorites all over again, and for some exciting changes.

Raise your hand if you watched this one at least a hundred times.

Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses (2006)
  • House of Salt and Sorrows
  • Author: Eric A. Craig
  • Reading age: 12+
  • Grade level: 7+
  • Lexile: HL700L

Join Annaleigh and her sisters, well the ones that are left, at beautiful and remote Highmoor Manor. Annaleigh once had 11 sisters, but one-by-one fatal accidents take her siblings away. Meanwhile, each night her sisters sneak away to magical balls, dancing all night. Will Annaliegh uncover the secrets that plague her family before death claims another girl? Before death claims her? House of Salt and Sorrows isn’t a “Barbie” story? This book deliciously spine-tingling.

House of Salt and Sorrows is available for check out from FCPL in the Teen Department or from Rossville Library. Curious about the beautiful artwork that inspired this title? Visit the author’s Pinterest page here.

What about this “tale as old as time”?

Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely
  • Author: Brigid Kemmerer
  • Reading age: 13+
  • Grade level: 9+
  • Lexile: HL580L

“Fall in love, break the curse. Break the curse, save the kingdom.”

Brigid Kemmerer

“Absolutely spellbindingexpands on all the beloved themes … to create an intensely original retelling: one full of fierce new characters, wicked magic, and wonderous amounts of heart”

Stephanie Garber

“Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington D.C., she’s pulled into a magical world.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she beings to understand what’s at stake…” -Goodreads.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a really popular book at FCPL. If you want to get your hands on this read be sure to place a hold here right away!

This one is always a twisted tale

Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  • These Vengeful Hearts
  • Author: Katherine Laurin
  • Reading age: 13-17
  • Grade level: 7-9

“Gripping, thrilling, Machiavellian.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Anyone can ask the Red Court for a favor…but every request comes at a cost. And once the deed is done, you’re forever in their dept.”


Alice in Wonderland meets The Godfather in this unique story.

Ember has a plan and she reviews it regularly. It’s simple:

  1. Join the Red Court
  2. Find out the Queen of Hearts’ identity.
  3. Take Down the Queen.
  4. Dismantle the court

The Red Court is legend at Heller High. They make things happen. They grant requests. But once they help you out, they will expect a favor in return. Fail to oblige, and the consequences mean ruin. Ember knows the stories are true, because the Red Court is responsible for paralyzing her sister. Now, she does not plan on letting anything or anyone- not her best friend or a possible love interest, get in the way.

These Vengeful Hearts is on order at FCPL so be sure to add this title to your T.B.R. list.

Do you remember this one?

The Swan Princess (1994)
  • Blanca & Roja
  • Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Reading age: 13+
  • Grade level: 7+
  • Lexile: HL760L

“McLemore’s poignant retelling is a must-read for fans of fantasy and fairy tales”.

Kirkus Review

“There are few authors writing at the level of poetic brilliance and crushing emotional complexity”

Mark Oshiro

Here is a Latinx retelling sets the stories of “Snow-White and Rose-Red” and “The Swan Princess” featuring two intense protagonists. Blanca is obedient and refined. Roja is fiery and unpredictable. Both sisters know that someday one will become a swan and one will remain a girl. Enter two boys. Now fates and spells become intertwined.

Blanca & Roja is available for check out from FCPL in the Teen Department.

Finally, this one is an epic mashup.

  • Lies Like Poison
  • by Chelsea Pitcher
  • Reading age: 14+
  • Grade level: 9+
  • Lexile level: HL720L

“a gorgeously refreshing novel; a new take on the strong trend of retellings that has been populating the field of YA…a pastiche where fantasy and reality collide”

Ankara C.

“I loved that the cast of characters were so diverse. I found the representation in Lies Like Poison to be authentic…An absolutely captivating murder mystery”

Caitlyn (Tea Time Lit)

Okay just imagine a mega fairy tale mash-up. We are talking “Snow White”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Beauty and the Beast”. Name any fairy tale, you are likely to find a reference here. Now, add to that a sprinkle of Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, and Riverdale. Then you will have Lies Like Poison. Meanwhile, all these stories blend together to tell a completely engrossing and relatable tale!

“Poppy, Lily, and Belladonna would do anything to protect their best friend, Raven. So when they discovered he was suffering abuse at the hands of his stepmother, they came up with a lethal plan…Now, everyone has something to lose and something equally dangerous to hide” (Goodreads).

Lies Like Poison is available for check out at FCPL from the Teen Department. Click here to place a hold.


A curse so dark and lonely. Goodreads.

Ankara C. (2020). Review: Lies Like Poison by Chesea Pitcher. The Nerd Daily.

Blanca & Roja. Goodreads.

Caitlyn. (2020). Blog tour & review: Lies Like Poison by Chelsea Pitcher. Tea Time Lit.

Giard, K. (2020). Review: These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin. The Story Sanctuary.

House of salt and sorrows. Goodreads.

Kiddle. (2021). Fairy tale facts for kids.

Kirkus reviews. (2018) Blanca & Roja.

Kirkus reviews. (2020). These vengeful hearts.

Lies Like Poison. Goodreads.

Oshiro, M. (2018). Book review: Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore. Latinxs in Kid Lit.

Steward, L. (2014). 20 fantastic fairy tale facts.

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