Fairy Tales Retold

Fairy tales have been retold through various cultures and mediums for generations. Contemporary retellers of fairy tales mix fantasy and realism, fleshing out characters and exposing new ideas. These tales build on traditional fairy tales to create new works of fantasy. This list is organized by tale, including stories with a variety of fairy tale references.

Retellings of Multiple Fairy Tales

Beck, Ian.
The Secret History of Tom Trueheart. 2007.
When young Tom Trueheart’s seven older brothers all go missing during their adventures in the Land of Stories, he embarks on a perilous mission to save them and to capture the rogue story-writer who wants to do away with the heroes. Their adventures involve Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and more.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B3884s]

Blubaugh, Penny.
Serendipity Market. 2009.
When the world begins to seem unbalanced, Mama Inez calls ten storytellers to the Serendipity Market and, through the power of their magical tales, the balance of the world is corrected once again. The tales include re-tellings of The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and more.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B624s]

Buckley, Michael.
The Fairy-Tale Detectives. 2005.
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead. They solve crimes involving the Everafters, the magical creatures and people of fairy tales and fantasy, who are trapped in their town. The Sisters Grimm appear in many sequels: book two is titled The Unusual Suspects.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B856s]

Durst, Sarah Beth.
Into the Wild. 2007.
Having escaped from the Wild and the preordained fairy tale plots it imposes, Rapunzel, along with her daughter Julie Marchen, tries to live a fairly normal life, but when the Wild breaks free and takes over their town, it is Julie who has to prevent everyone from being trapped in the events of a story. In sequel Out of the Wild, Julie again protects her world from a dark force using her naïve father for evil.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. D939i]

Gruber, Michael.
The Witch’s Boy. 2005.
Lump is a foundling, raised by a witch and her strange friends. But when he is cruelly treated by the people of the outside world, he turns against his mother. Only through tragedy and pain does he come to accept himself and learn his heart’s desire. Elements of fairy tales, including Rumpelstiltskin and Hansel and Gretel are incorporated throughout the story.
[SSHEL S Collection S. G921w]

Maguire, Gregory.
The Dream Stealer. 1983.
This fantasy combines elements from several Russian fairy tales, including the magical Firebird, Baba Yaga the witch, and the beautiful Vasilissa.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M276d]

Beauty and the Beast

Baratz-Logsted, Lauren.
Crazy Beautiful. 2009.
In this contemporary retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” a teenaged boy whose hands were amputated in an explosion and a gorgeous girl whose mother has recently died form an instant connection when they meet on their first day as new students.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B2319c]

Jay, Stacey.
Of Beast and Beauty. 2013.
When nineteen-year-old Gem of the Desert People, called “Monstrous” by the Smooth Skins, becomes the prisoner of the seventeen-year-old Smooth Skin queen, Isra, age-old prejudices begin to fall aside as the two begin to understand each other.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. J333o]

McKinley, Robin.
Rose Daughter. 1997.
McKinley’s second retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a very different ending from the traditional story.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M2152r]

McKinley, Robin.
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast. 1978.
This retelling follows the traditional plot while fleshing out the characters and bringing new life to the fairy tale.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S.M2152B]

Napoli, Donna Jo.
Beast. 2000.
Set in Persia, this is the story of the Beast before Beauty arrives as well as the traditional plot of their tale.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. N162be]


Ensor, Barbara.
Cinderella (as if you didn’t already know the story). 2006.
In this updated version of the Cinderella story, Cinderella writes letters to her dead mother apologizing for not being more assertive, which she remedies soon after marrying the prince. Readers will delight in following Cinderella through all the usual happenings, presented in a most unusual way.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S.398.2 En79c]

Farjeon, Eleanor.
The Glass Slipper. 1956.
This novel length retelling of Cinderella adds new elements while retaining the classic plot of a young girl who dreams of attending a ball.
[SSHEL S Collection S. F228G]

Haddix, Margaret Peterson.
Just Ella. 1999.
Ella has gotten her fairy tale ending and her prince; but is that truly what she wants? A continuation of the story of Cinderella.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H1172j]

Levine, Gail Carson.
Ella Enchanted. 1997.
Why was Cinderella so good and obedient? In Levine’s retelling, Ella is under a curse, forcing her to be obedient to everyone; even her wicked stepmother and her nasty stepsisters. Will the prince rescue her from her miserable family? Or will Ella rescue herself from the curse of obedience?
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. L5788E]

Lo, Malinda.
Ash. 2009.
In this variation on the Cinderella story, Ash grows up believing in the fairy realm that the king and his philosophers have sought to suppress, until one day she must choose between a handsome fairy cursed to love her and the King’s Huntress whom she loves.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. L7804a]

Marriott, Zoe.
Shadows on the Moon. 2012.
Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume, who is able to re-create herself in any form, is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M349sm]

Meyer, Marissa.
Cinder. 2012.
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story. The Lunar Chronicles also include Scarlet, Cress, and Winter.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M57572c]

Napoli, Donna Jo.
Bound. 2004.
This retelling is based on Chinese Cinderella stories. When Xing Xing’s stepmother binds only her own daughter’s feet, she cuts Xing Xing off from a suitable marriage. Bound to a life of servitude, Xing Xing must eventually break free of her stepmother’s power and make a new life for herself.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. N162b]

Pullman, Philip.
I Was a Rat! 2000.
When Cinderella flees from the castle, she leaves one of her transformed page boys behind. He and the princess must both adjust to their new worlds.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. N162b 2000]

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

Durst, Sarah Beth.
Ice. 2009.
A modern-day retelling of “East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon” in which eighteen-year-old Cassie learns that her grandmother’s fairy tale is true when a Polar Bear King comes to claim her for his bride and she must decide whether to go with him and save her long-lost mother, or continue helping her father with his research.
[SSHEL S Collection S. D939ic]

George, Jessica Day.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. 2008.
A girl travels east of the sun and west of the moon to free her beloved prince from a magic spell.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. G2935s]

Pattou, Edith.
East. 2003.
This retelling is based on the Norse tale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon but also includes elements of the better-known Beauty and the Beast. Set in the Arctic lands, this is a fantastical epic with strong characters.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P2784e]

Little Red Riding Hood

Vande Velde, Vivian.
Cloaked in Red. 2010.
Presents eight twists on the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood, exploring such issues as why most characters seem dim-witted and what, exactly, is the theme.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. V28cl]

Weston, Robert Paul.
Dust City. 2010.
Henry Whelp, son of the Big Bad Wolf, investigates what happened to the fairies that used to protect humans and animalia, and what role the corporation that manufactures synthetic fairy dust played in his father’s crime.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W5283d]

Sleeping Beauty

Baker, E.D.
The Wide-Awake Princess. 2010.
Annie, younger sister of the princess who would be known as Sleeping Beauty, is immune to magic and stays awake when the rest of the castle falls into an enchanted sleep, then sets out to find a way to break the spell.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B1712w]

Hale, Bruce.
Snoring Beauty. 2008.
An adaptation of the traditional tale, featuring a sleeping, snoring princess who is rescued by a prince after being cursed by a bad fairy.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S. 398.2H13s]

Lowe, Helen.
Thornspell. 2008.
In this elaboration of “Sleeping Beauty,” Prince Sigismund, having grown up in a remote castle dreaming of going on knightly quests, has had only a passing interest in the forbidden wood lying beyond the castle gates until a brief encounter with a beautiful and mysterious lady changes his life forever.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L95142t]

McKinley, Robin.
Spindle’s End. 2000.
When Briar Rose is cursed by the evil Pernicia, a young fairy takes her away to be raised safely in the country. When she learns of her true heritage, she must not only defeat the evil fairy, but choose how she will live; as a princess or as simple Rosie.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. M2152sp]

Yolen, Jane.
Briar Rose. 2002.
Becca has always loved her grandmother, Gemma, and treasures her telling of Sleeping Beauty. When Becca begins to trace her grandmother’s history, Gemma’s constant retelling of Sleeping Beauty takes on a new, tragic significance.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Y78br2002]

Yolen, Jane.
Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty. 2012.
Accident-prone, thirteen-year-old Gorse, the youngest fairy in her family, falls into a trap while on her way to the palace to bless the newborn princess, Talia, but arrives in time to give a gift which, although seemingly horrific, may prove to be a real blessing in this take-off on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. Y78cu]

Snow White

Harrison, Mette Ivie.
Mira, Mirror. 2004.
This is the story of the magic mirror used by Snow White’s stepmother. Trapped in the mirror by the woman she had thought her sister, Mira’s quest for freedom eventually leads her to true freedom and understanding of her sister.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H247m]

Levine, Gail Carson.
Fairest. 2006.
Aza has hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, and skin as white as snow; and everyone thinks she’s ugly. In a land where conventional beauty and singing are highly valued, her looks make her an outcast until she learns to control and accept her magical voice and her unique appearance.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. L5788fa]

Yolen, Jane.
Snow in Summer. 2011.
Recasts the tale of Snow White, setting it in West Virginia in the 1940s with a stepmother who is a snake-handler.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. Y78sn]

Anthropomorphic Animal Fantasy

These are stories of quests, battles, cultures, and journeys with animals as their protagonists. The animals have anthropomorphic (human-type) characteristics, relationships, dilemmas, and thoughts. Very few of these stories involve humans and in those that do, the animals remain the central characters.

Adams, Richard.
Watership Down. 1972.
A group of rabbits embark on a tumultuous journey to find a new warren where they can live in peace.
[SSHEL S Collection S. AD191w1974]

Poppy. 1995.
Poppy and her boyfriend Ragweed are mice of Dimwood Forest, bullied and controlled by the cruel owl Mr. Ocax. After Ragweed’s tragic death, Poppy begins to fight back against the owl’s control and discovers new hope for her family and herself. Poppy’s saga continues in the series Tales of Dimwood Forest.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. AV51PO]

Baldry, Cherith.
The Silver Horn. 2002.
Vair, a young pine marten, is excited to be attending his first challenge at the fair. But when his father is killed and he is taken captive by thieves, Vair must fight to regain his freedom and save Watersmeet. The Silver Horn begins the Eaglesmount Trilogy.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B1932s]

Bell, Clare.
Ratha’s Creature. 1983.
The Named, forerunners of the sabertooth, have an extensive culture and society. However, their primitive foes, the Un-Named, are slowly destroying them. When Ratha discovers the power of fire, both tragedy and a new hope result. The next book in The Named series is Clan Ground.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. B4135R]

Clement-Davies, David.
Fire Bringer. 2000.
A tyrannical lord of the herd has risen and has legions of bucks sharpening their antlers to take over the animal world. But there is a prophecy that a deer with the mark of the oak leaf will be born who will have a bond with all creatures and will free the herd of its tyrannical leader. Into this world the young buck Rannoch is born and sets out on an extraordinary journey.
[SSHEL S Collection S. C5915f]

Clement-Davies, David.
The Sight. 2002.
In Transylvania during the Middle Ages, a pack of wolves sets out on a perilous journey to prevent their enemy from calling upon a legendary evil — one that will give her the power to control all animals. The Sight is continued by Fell.
[SSHEL S Collection S. C591si]

DiCamillo, Kate.
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread. 2003.
The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess whom he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCB S. D547t]

Epstein, Adam Jay.
The Familiars. 2010.
When a scrappy alley cat named Aldwyn passes himself off as a magical animal companion to Jack, a young wizard in training, Aldwyn and his fellow “familiars,” a know-it-all blue jay and bumbling tree frog, must save the kingdom after the evil queen of Vastia kidnaps Jack and two other wizards. Aldwyn and the familiars return in Secrets of the Crown.
[CCB S. Ep851f]

Fan, Nancy Yi.
Swordbird. 2007.
Warring factions of blue jays and cardinals call on Swordbird, the heroic bird of peace, to rescue them from the evil machinations of Turnatt, the tyrant hawk lord who plans to enslave them. Continue the adventures in Sword Quest.
[CCB S. F212s]

Hoeye, Michael.
Time Stops for No Mouse. 2002.
Hermux Tantamoq is a watchmaker; a quiet mouse who appreciates the simple things of life. But when he meets Ms. Linka Perflinger, adventuress and aviatrix, he is suddenly caught up in dangerous adventures. The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures continue in the next installment, Sands of Time.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H672t]

Hunter, Erin.
Into the Wild. 2003.
Four clans of wild cats have lived in the forest for generations. But now a mysterious danger is destroying ThunderClan. Rusty, an ordinary house cat, saves the clan and becomes Fireheart.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. H9169w]
Note: Erin Hunter is a pseudonym used by multiple authors. There are over 10 other Warriors series, such as Warriors: The New Prophecy. For a listing of series and the order of series books please see the website Fantastic Fiction.

Iserles, Inbali.
The Tygrine Cat. 2008.
Lost and alone, Mati seeks acceptance from a pack of feral cats at Cressida Lock, but in order to defeat the assassin on his trail, Mati must unlock the secret of his true identity and learn to harness an ancient and deadly feline power.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Is2t]

Jacques, Brian.
Redwall. 1986.
Matthias the mouse is the least of the novices at the great Redwall Abbey. But when the evil rat Cluny and his horde attack, Matthias’ dreams of becoming a warrior become a reality. Each of the stories in this series tells of the history of a place or event; Salamandastron, home of the badger lords and the fighting hares of the Long Patrol, the building of Redwall Abbey after the evil wildcats of Mossflower are destroyed, or the history of Redwall’s patron, Martin the Warrior.
[CCB S. J164R]

Jarvis, Robin.
Dark Portal. 2000.
The Deptford mice lead a quiet and peaceful life, except for the dark shadow of the Grill, the only thing separating them from the horrible sewer rats. Only with the help of the mystical bats will the mice be able to survive the evil of the rats and the secret horror of their god, Jupiter. The next book in the Deptford Histories is The Alchemist’s Cat.
[SSHEL S Collection S. J298d]

Jones, Allan.
Trundle’s Quest. 2011.
Trundle Boldoak’s simple life as the town lamplighter is turned upside-down the night he meets Esmeralda, a Roamany hedgehog, who whisks him away on a quest to find six fabled crowns and fulfill his role in an ancient prophecy. The quest continues in Fair Wind to Widdershins.
[CCB S. J7113tr]

Lasky, Kathryn.
Lone Wolf. 2010.
Abandoned by his pack, a baby wolf with a mysterious mark on his deformed paw survives and embarks on a journey that will change the world of the Wolves of the Beyond. Follow the characters in the sequel, Shadow Wolf.
[CCB S. L335l]

McAllister, M. I.
Urchin of the Riding Stars. 2005.
Urchin, an orphan squirrel, is raised by a kindly squirrel on the island of Mistmantle. Just when he thinks he will be spending the rest of his life unloading ships as one of the king’s work parties, he is given a wonderful opportunity. But on the first day of his new life, a terrible thing happens and Urchin finds himself the center of a dangerous plot. The Mistmantle Chronicles continues with Urchin and the Heartstone.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M117u]

Oppel, Kenneth.
Silverwing. 1997.
Shade is the runt of his Silverwing bat colony but he is determined to prove himself on the journey to Hibernaculum. When he is separated from the other bats, he must complete the long and dangerous journey alone. Two sequels, Sunwing and Firewing, as well as a prequel, Darkwing, follow the first installment.
[SSHEL S Collection and CCBH S. Op5s]

Sharp, Margery.
The Rescuers. 1959.
The Prisoners’ Aid Society has received news of a Norwegian poet, languishing in the fearsome Black Castle. Their only way to reach him is through Miss Bianca, pet of the diplomat’s son. Practical Bernard makes the journey and persuades Miss Bianca to help them. Against her will, the delicate lady mouse soon becomes entangled in a world of intrigue and danger — danger that continues in many sequels!
[SSHEL Oak Street and CCB S. SH228R]

Steig, William.
Abel’s Island. 1985.
Abel the mouse is torn from his comfortable life and stranded on an island by a storm. As he learns to survive in the wilderness, he discovers skills he never thought he had and finally gains the courage to find his way home.
[SSHEL S Collection S. St33A1985]

Stewart, Sharon.
Raven Quest. 2005.
Tok, the most nimble-winged of the young ravens, is banished for a crime he did not commit, and the only way he can restore his honor and his father’s name is to perform a brave and daring deed to benefit all ravenkind.
[SSHEL S Collection S. St498r]

Wagner, Hilary.
Nightshade City. 2010.
Eleven years after the cruel Killdeer took over the Catacombs far beneath the human’s Trillium City, Juniper Belancourt, assisted by Vincent and Victor Nightshade, leads a maverick band of rats to escape and establish their own city. The White Assassin is the next installment in the Nightshade Chronicles.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W1254n]