Friday, June 10, 2011

Teens' Top Ten: Sisters Red

One of the books suggested to teens for consideration as a "Teens' Top Ten" selection this year is Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce. It's one book following a trend in young adult novels to retell fairy tales, others of that nature being Beastly by Alex Flinn, Zel, by Donna Jo Napoli, Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen, and (one of my favorites) Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I particularly enjoyed Pearce's entry, however; this is Little Red Riding Hood turned on its head.

When she was a child, Scarlett March lost her grandmother and one eye to a Fenris (werewolf) while defending her sister, Rosie, from death. Now, as teens, Scarlett and Rosie hunt the Fenris together, dawdling in dangerous parts of town, reeking of scented soap and gazing flirtatiously at the shapeshifters in human form from the folds of their red cloaks, which conceal Scarlett's scars and also the hatchets and knives of their hunters' trade. Scarlett lives for the hunt, but Rosie is a softer sort, who hunts because she feels she owes it to Scarlett but secretly dreams of another life. And lately her dreams have included Silas, a young woodsman who hunts with Scarlett. Rosie worries, though, that dividing her focus, and especially cherishing feelings for Silas, will be considered by her sister as a betrayal. The three leave their small town to hunt Fenris in the big city, and (as you would expect) things get intense. A really enjoyable read that held my attention throughout.

Pearce is writing a companion novel--Sweetly--that comes out in August. I look forward to it! You can find out more about Jackson at her website:

For more teen books based on fairy tales, pick up our annotated book list, Fairy Tales Retold, at any library branch, or go to our catalog, click on "Have You Read?" (upper right corner), then "Teen Booklists" (far right), and "Fairy Tales Retold" to get the list directly from the catalog.

You can also pick up a ballot of the 25 books being considered for the Teens' Top Ten at any branch; and don't forget to put any books you read into your reading log and enter our weekly drawings for great prizes!

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