Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Not Your Usual Fairy Tale

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
published November 2010 from Razorbill (Penguin)

By now you may have learned that I enjoy retold fairy tales. So when I saw that Dust City was narrated by the Big Bad Wolf's son, I had to pick it up. Think the Outsiders with a Fables twist.

With his dad in prison for the Little Red Riding Hood murder, Henry Whelp knew he was going to end up in trouble some time. But juvie isn't so bad until his shrink is murdered and he finds a file containing letters from his father. It turns out the "dust" (as in fairy) that everyone takes, from over-the-counter for headaches to the serious stuff dealt in back alleys, isn't what it seems. With the assistance of a klepto named Jack (and his magic beans) and the brave wolf Fiona, Henry escapes his prison, setting out to figure out where fairy godmothers have gone, as well as their so-called happily-ever-afters.

Weston's book is dark, gritty, and violent, but stands out from many on the YA shelf with it's fairy-tale inspired twist. Fairy tales were always scary, but Weston updates the issues and ideas, creating a gritty novel that will resonate with today's teens.

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