Blurb (from Goodreads):
In downtown Manhattan there's a very special place. It might not look like much from the outside but if you enter and make your way down to the basement, you'll find something so amazing you won't believe your eyes. The Grimm Collection. It's mysterious and powerful, and in the wrong hands could be devastating ...
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
Elizabeth is living a fairy tale; one in which she lives with her (slightly) evil step-mother, has some annoying high-maintenance step-sisters, and her father pays her little attention.
One day her teacher sends her to the New York Circulating Material Repository for an after-school job. Elizabeth thinks that this is just a regular library, instead though, people are able to borrow all kinds of things, from clothes to fondue sets.
Once Elizabeth has worked there a while and is trusted, she is told about the ‘special’ collections held in the basement. These collections are only accessible using special keys, and are far from normal. One of these collections is the ‘Grimm Collection’. An assortment of items collected by the Brothers Grimm which have magical powers, for example – the magic mirror from snow white, an invisibility cloak, and loads of worn out slippers from the story of the 12 dancing princesses.
Elizabeth also finds out that items are going missing from the Grimm Collection though, and she is asked to help assist the librarians in finding out who is stealing the artefacts and why.
This was an interesting story, but I have to say that Elizabeth was unbelievably naïve and trusting. Even when she caught someone with a ‘stolen’ item she believed them when they said they’d only ‘borrowed’ it! Amazingly this didn’t get her into too much bother, but I did continue to be surprised by just how trusting she really was.
There were loads of interesting ideas in this book, and the number of different magical items in the collection was also impressive. I have to say that I personally would not have been volunteering to try out the shrink-ray though! I would also have been a little wary of leaving a ‘deposit’ to borrow an item from the collection, especially when deposits consisted of things such as your ‘sense of humour’, or more worryingly ‘your firstborn’!
I did think that the idea of a large bird attacking people inside a library building was a little far-fetched, but then this was a book about fairy tales so fair enough.
The mystery element of who was doing the stealing was a little convoluted, and then sort of got lost a bit at the end. Although a culprit was found, it was quite complicated as to how it was actually being done, and I had lost interest a bit by the time we got to the end of it all.
Overall; an interesting fairy-tale theme book, probably aimed at younger teens.
6.5 out of 10.