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  • Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer
Hale, Shannon. Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends. Little, 2013. [304p] ISBN 978-0-316-40122-7 $17.00 R Gr. 4-6

The fates of friends Raven Queen and Apple White have already been written in the Storybook of Legends, so after two years of prepping for their fairy tale roles, it’s only a matter of formally promising on Legacy Day to fulfill their duties as the Evil Queen and Snow White before the two girls can live out their story. As Legacy Day approaches, however, Raven grows increasingly uncertain about becoming the “Greatest Evil There Ever Was,” and she’s shocked to discover that some characters have rebelled against their stories in the past. Meanwhile, Apple finds herself torn between helping her friend figure out a way to change her destiny and ensuring her own happily ever after. Neither as dark nor complex as Chainani’s similarly premised The School of Good and Evil (BCCB 6/13), this middle-grade fantasy is a good deal more compact and has occasional bits of lighthearted humor that gear it toward younger readers not quite ready for School’s 400+ pages. The action is fairly mild, but both Raven and Apple are likable heroines; with her zingy wit and self-deprecating humor, Raven is credibly vulnerable as a girl trying to figure out exactly who she is if she’s not the person others believe her to be, while Apple’s genuinely kind heart lends her perfectionist persona a bit of warmth and accessibility. Fairy-tale fans will delight in trying to puzzle out which classmates are the offspring of various fairy-tale characters, while the pop culture references revised in Ever After terms (Taylor Swift is Tailor Quick here, while One Reflection’s big hit is “You Don’t Know You’re Charming”) give the book a clever timeliness. [End Page 215]



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