The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
I loved Cinderella is Dead! I love that Kalynn took a fairy tale we all know and turned it on its head, for the better. The whole time I am reading it I’m thinking this is a feminist fairy tale. I’m thinking this is the LGBTQ fairy tale I wish I could have read when growing up and I am so happy young people today will be able to read this story. We need more stories like this.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, (List Price: 10.99, Bloomsbury YA, 9781547606641, June 2021)
Reviewed by Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana
Damsel messed me up beyond all belief, so when I heard about Red Hood, I knew I needed it in my hands immediately. It did not disappoint one bit, and I can’t quite find the words to explain just how it made me feel. It made me cringe, it made me angry, and above all it had me on the tips of my toes the entire time. Arnold has this innate talent to take fairy tales and rip them apart to tell you a new one that you didn’t know you needed, one that actually puts women in a position of power. Men think we want to be queens and princesses when really we just want to be able to protect ourselves and the women that can’t protect themselves. She just gets it.
Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold, (List Price: 10.99, Balzer+Bray, 9780062742360, February 2020)
Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Everything is better with dogs, and the tale of Cinderella is no exception. Not only does Cinderella get a fairy dogmother instead of a fairy godmother, but she also gets some nice updates to her story, including a chance to suggest she gets to know the prince first instead of marrying him right away. I loved all the dogs in this book, but there are plenty of cute cats to see on each page, too!
Cinderella–with Dogs! by Linda Bailey, (List Price: $18.99, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9781984813824, February 2023)
Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
A modern-day retelling of one of my favorite books as a kid. They don’t change the story, which I liked, they just add some modern takes. So much fun and beautiful. You will want this in your collection!
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett (List Price: $18.99, Orchard Books, 9781338673845, November 2022)
Reviewed by Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina
Burton’s feminist retelling of Medusa is filled with wonderful illustrations, and a story with which we’re all somewhat familiar. Medusa has been exiled to a remote island with her two sisters. But they are immortal and have wings, so Medusa’s existence is fairly lonely. But one day, a beautiful boy named Perseus arrives by boat and he and Medusa strike up a friendship, talking while each is on the other side of a giant rock. They each find themselves heartbroken, telling the other their story.
Medusa by Jessie Burton, (List Price: $19.99, Bloomsbury YA, 9781547607594, January 2022)
Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia
This book felt like a fever dream in all the wildest ways. From comedic to angering, this book covered an abundance of feelings and topics that made it whole. A fun and much needed adaptation to a classic fairytale. Will stay with you a long time after reading.
Hansel and Greta by Jeanette Winterson, (List Price: $17.95, Haymarket Books, 9781642595765, January 2022)
Reviewed by Stephanie Carrion, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida