Is there a better antidote to a lonely teen existence than a dose of fairy-tale magic? Elizabeth has yet to make friends at her tony Manhattan private school, and she feels equally alone at home with her remote father and taskmaster stepmother. Then Elizabeth's teacher recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, and as Elizabeth befriends the other pages, she begins to learn that fairy tales aren't just fantasy and that many of the special collections' artifacts belong to her favorite childhood stories, including the magic mirror from Snow White. Just as Elizabeth learns about the repository's impossible wonders, some of the most powerful objects, and then some of the pages, disappear, and she finds herself leading the dangerous rescue. Captivating magic fills the pages of this exciting new novel from the author of Enthusiasm (2006). The story occasionally loses momentum, but action fans will find plenty of heart-pounding, fantastical escapades as the novel builds to its satisfying, romantic conclusion. A richly imagined adventure with easy appeal for Harry Potter fans.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2010 Booklist
Gr 6-9-Feeling left out from her stepfamily at home and from her classmates at her new school, Elizabeth is delighted when she gets a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a library that loans objects of historical value. She's particularly intrigued when she's given access to the Grimm Collection, a secret room that holds magical objects from the Brothers' tales, e.g., seven-league boots, a mermaid's comb, and the sinister mirror from "Snow White." However, when the items start to disappear, she and her fellow pages embark on a dangerous quest to catch the thief, only to find themselves among the suspects. This modern fantasy has intrigue, adventure, and romance, and the magical aspects of the tale are both clever and intricately woven, from rhyming charms to flying-carpet rides. The author brings the seemingly disparate elements together in the end, while still making certain that her protagonist's problems are not completely solved by the world of magic. Shulman's prose is fast paced, filled with humor, and peopled with characters who are either true to life or delightfully bizarre. Fans of fairy tales in general and Grimm stories in particular will delight in the author's frequent literary references, and fantasy lovers will feel very much at home in this tale that pulls out all the stops.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Shulman (Enthusiasm) intermingles classic fairy tale elements and modern-day conflicts in this clever novel set in New York City. The story begins when teenager Elizabeth Rew lands a plum part-time job, working as a page in the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," an institution housing rare objects to be lent to an exclusive circle of patrons. The most secret and by far most interesting section of the building is the basement, where magic objects mentioned in the Grimm Brothers' tales are stored. Much to the librarians' dismay, however, some of these valuable items go missing. With the help of her fellow pages, Elizabeth gets to the bottom of the mystery, but catching the thief poses enormous danger and necessitates the aid of some powerful equipment, including Snow White's mirror, a pair of winged sandals, and a magical golden key. Mixing tongue-in-cheek humor (like the magic mirror's blunt appraisal of Elizabeth's beauty: "Bitsy Rew is brave and true./ A pity she's not pretty too") with suspense, Shulman conjures an enticing slice of magic realism that fairy tale buffs should relish. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved