Once upon a time fairy tales were only read to children, but once upon an even older time fairy tales were meant for adults just as much as kids. These days there are versions of various fairy tales for all ages, including plenty of options for teens. There are the creative re-imaginings that combine several stories like Sarah Beth Durst’s Into the Wild, this week’s Book of the Week. And there are others that bring one story alive like the classic Beauty by Robin McKinley.
Whatever the story’s origin, fairy tales often involve some kind of magic and a transformation. A peasant girl becomes a beautiful princess. A simpleton becomes a hero. And so on. All of these stories reflect the culture from which they came. As do modern fairy tales like Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. This post-modern fairy tale may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly captures the magical world of Los Angeles in which Weetzie lives, and the genie from the lamp transforms her life as he grants her wishes.
Writers are getting inventive when it comes to the genre of fairy tales. For example, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card takes Sleeping Beauty’s story and gives it a time travel twist. Or perhaps you like more realistic stories? Try Letters From Rapunzel by Sara Lewis Holmes. Candace Brogan is a modern day girl looking at life through the stories her father used to tell her. She takes on the name Rapunzel and writes from what feels like an isolated tower in this endearing middle school novel.
There’s something for everyone in this list of fairy tale retellings, spoofs, and adaptations for middle and high school collections.