The following is a booktalk I did for my YA genre class, the first booktalk I have done, ever. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, though I confess I was super-nervous at the time.
Librarians, school folks and bookish folks: you’re welcome to use this booktalk in whole or in part. I would be honored. Please do give me credit if you use it. Also, please leave a comment here… because it would delight me to know a little about the library or school you hail from.
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Do you like fairy tales? What’s your favorite? Are you watching Once Upon a Time, or Grimm on TV?
Can you imagine a library full of objects from fairy tales? The twelve sisters’ dancing slippers, a magic mirror, seven league boots?
Maybe we should begin Elizabeth’s story… Once upon a time…
When Elizabeth starts her after school job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, she thinks it’s just a chance to make a little extra money, and get away from her annoying stepmother. She discovers it’s no ordinary library, but a collection of historical relics like costumes, tea sets, buttons and Marie Antoinette’s wig. She makes friends with her fellow pages, cheerful Anjali, handsome basketball star Marc, even sarcastic Aaron.
When Elizabeth learns about the Grimm Collection, she thinks it’s a dream come true: the powerful magic objects from her favorite fairy tales are all real! And the repository has them! They’re carefully guarded behind a magical door that only opens with a special key and a song sung in rhyme.
But there’s something sinister going on. Someone is stealing precious objects from the Grimm Collection, getting past the magical safeguards.
And nobody knows exactly what happened to a page who worked at the repository before Elizabeth started, and left without saying goodbye.
Tensions and suspicions are running high at the repository.
Could one of Elizabeth’s new friends be the thief? Can Elizabeth and her new friends catch the thief before he strikes again or before one of them is framed for the crime? And what could happen, when a powerful magical item gets into the wrong hands?
Because, as we know from fairy tales, there are rules for using magical objects, and anyone who breaks the rules pays a price.