THE SISTERS GRIMM by Michael Buckley
Ever since their parents disappeared, Sabrina and Daphne have been shuffled around from foster home to foster home. All of their new homes have been terrible by Sabrina’s standards, and she has grown quite skilled at escaping from them. When an old lady claiming to be their grandmother, “Relda Grimm,” summons the girls to live with her, Sabrina starts planning an escape before they even arrive in Ferryport Landing. Their father always told them their grandmother was dead, so the old lady must be either crazy or evil, and either way, Sabrina and Daphne will need to escape. Once they meet the old lady, however, it becomes clear that “crazy” is the more appropriate adjective. Not only does she believe that she is the girls’ grandmother, she also seems to believe that all of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales are historical fact, and that the fairy tale creatures still live magical lives in Ferryport Landing! Young Daphne seems to believe the old lady’s stories, but Sabrina knows better. Her perspective changes, however, when Granny Relda is abducted by an actual, real, live giant. Unable to ignore the fairy tale reality any longer, Sabrina and Daphne prepare to take up the Grimm legacy as fairy tale detectives. Their first mission: to rescue their grandmother from the clutches of the giant.
The Sisters Grimm is the first book in a series of fairy tale detective stories. The books are very humorous, and the modern imaginings of the fairy tale characters are a lot of fun. The stories are heavier on the fantasy action than the detective work, but there are a fair number of clues to unravel throughout. I recommend The Sisters Grimm to upper-elementary readers who enjoy humorous fantasy stories.
If you liked The Sisters Grimm, you might like Fablehaven by Brandon Mull.