Here are the 17 best fairy tales books of 2020 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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Elana K. Arnold, author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it. You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked. And the wolf is angry. Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past, and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
“It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiâãen, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?”–
“Wholly original and captivating.” – Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times bestselling author of A Curse So Dark and Lonely Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . . This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns with a dark, lush fairy tale-inspired fantasy for fans of Sara Raasch and Susan Dennard. Cerys is safe in the Kingdom of Aloriya. Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: When she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse–the magic–in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions a small and irritating fox from the royal garden and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.
A princess fleeing an arranged marriage teams up with a snarky commoner to foil a rebel plot in B. R. Myers’ Rogue Princess, a gender-swapped sci-fi YA retelling of Cinderella. Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway. All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess! Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.
“Ideal for fans of Jennifer Donnelly’s Stepsister.” —Booklist Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it. The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired. Cursed. Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box. But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family. Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
A tale as old as time is made new in Ashley Poston’s fresh, geeky retelling of Beauty and the Beast—now with a bonus Starfield story! In this third book of the Once Upon a Con series, Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills. On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read. When Vance’s and Rosie’s paths collide, sparks do not fly. But as they begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.
Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. “Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle.” —Sara Shreve, Library Journal
“Fans of Menon’s frothy, contemporary rom-coms will be excited for this venture into new territory.” —Booklist “[A] dreamy, sassy confection of a romance…Funny, extravagant, and satisfying.” —Shelf Awareness From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast. Will the princess save the beast? For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right? His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck… As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
Clever Federico outsmarts el lobo in this fresh and funny Mexican-American take on Little Red Riding Hood.
From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”
The classic tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff gets a cheeky twist in this picture book retelling. Trip trap, trip trap. “ACH! Who is that tap-tap-tapping on my bridge?” The story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and the way they outwitted a hungry bridge troll is one of our most well-known fairy tales…but how exactly did it become so? It turns out, the cleverness of the Brothers Gruff isn’t limited to tricking trolls—they are also genius self-promoters! (Keep those goats away from Instagram!) Find out the rest of the story in this wily retelling.
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale. Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist. Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins. The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse… There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story. As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
DON’T MESS WITH THE CROWN… When her father dies, Princess Amarande is given an ultimatum: marry the leader of a neighboring kingdom, or lose her crown—and possibly her life. To force her hand, her beloved, the stableboy Luca, is kidnapped. But Amarande was raised to be a warrior, not a sacrifice. And nothing will stop her from saving her true love. The Kingdoms of Sand & Sky Trilogy Book 1: The Princess Will Save You Book 2: The Queen Will Betray You Book 3: The King Will Kill You (forthcoming) Praise for The Princess Will Save You “Everything we love about YA fantasy, complete with first love, sweeping adventure, and a fierce heroine who holds her own. There’s something for everyone in this book.”—Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Sky in the Deep “An action-packed adventure with a fierce heroine that is sure to enthrall! Sarah Henning has created a fantasy narrative that weaves together love and betrayal, pirates and swordplay. Sure to please anyone who grew up loving tales of princesses.”—Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of The Bone Houses “Full of inconceivable wit, daring adventure, and cunning political machinations…It’s as if Sarah Henning looked into my soul that yearned for a book like The Princess Bride and said—as you wish. And yes, this is a kissing book.”—Ashley Poston, author of Heart of Iron “A breakneck fantasy adventure…. Swoony romance, sword fights, a great cast of characters and some clever parallels to a story about another princess who won’t be made a bride makes The Princess Will Save You a strong contender for my favorite novel of the year.”—Emily Hall Schroen, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Missouri At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
With Anna-Marie McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal. Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves. Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.
In this queer retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” twins battle religious extremists to save their loves and circus family.
Last updated on October 17, 2021