Elizabeth Rew is a lonely teen feeling left out by her father who seems bent on ignoring her, her stepmother who just wants her to do chores and her classmates who don’t seem to know she exists. What she needs is a dose of fairy tale magic. When her social studies teacher recommends her for a job at the New York Circulating Material Library Elizabeth gladly accepts. There she makes friends with the other pages, beautiful Anjali, basketball star Marc and grumpy Aaron. It’s not long before she realizes this is no ordinary library. Not only does the collection include things other than books, but also there are some very special collections, such as The Grimm Collection. At first Elizabeth just thinks these are items that inspired the fairy tales. It’s not until valuable items start disappearing and she ends up trapped in the Grimm collection that she learns that fairy tales are real and many of the items actually came from some of her favorite child hood stories. She also learns that not all magic is good. Some of it can be dark and evil or at least snarky, like the famed “Mirror on the Wall” from Snow White. Just as she’s getting used to the idea of working with magical items, Elizabeth gets caught up in a mystery surrounding the disappearance of many of the items. Then Anjali disappears and Elizabeth, Marc and Aaron must rescue her before it’s too late.
The story follows a somewhat slower pace, but it feels right for this story. Not only does Elizabeth learn about the wonders in the collection, but she learns about herself as well as she begins to make friends with her co-workers. Of course there is a touch of romance that will not appeal to the younger reader, but the romance is overshadowed by the intrigue and magic. Readers who enjoy magical stories such as Harry Potter and The Sisters Grimm series will enjoy this book. This is a good addition to any fairy tale genre collection. I do not know if this a series, but I’d be willing to read more about Elizabeth and the Grimm Collection.
Recommended for Grades 3 and up