I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Random House Children's Books on April 12th 2016
Number of Pages: 288
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Purchase: At Amazon
Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.
But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.
With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .
This was full of interesting twists on fairy tales I read as a child. Like, Red’s granny is actually Rose Red (though her sister is called Snow White instead of Rose White, but she still married a bear…?) You get to meet Beauty and the Beast, Goldilocks, dwarves, gargoyles and various magical forest creatures.
Red’s journey to find a cure for her granny is both funny and at times almost unbelievable. I didn’t like Goldie at all at first. She was pushy and chattered, and messed up a lot of things for Red. But as the story went along, I really started to like her. I liked the way she (sometimes inadvertently!) helped Red grow. I also really liked Red’s granny. Both what we learned about her during Red’s journey, and what we learned through Red’s conversations with her.
The underlying message about death, and how those we love never truly leave us was sweet and almost made me cry at one point. I liked the friendship theme, and learning from your mistakes as well. Believing in yourself, even if you were afraid was another.
I loved Red and Wolf’s interactions. All the trouble Red got into, because she was trying to make, and then find, a cure for her granny. I didn’t expect the twist at the end, at least not at first. And once I did expect it, I still didn’t guess the whole twist.
If you like fairy tale retellings with humor and unique twists, you need to try this book.