I have always loved fairy tales, though I have often wondered how it was that all the “big bads” got away with so much. Why was it that no one ever stepped up and did anything about the people who abused their power? Sure, Cinderella got away from her terrible stepmother — but why wasn’t her stepmother held accountable for the things she had done? This story goes outside the box and brings a little bit of justice into the mix with the Fairy Tale Reform School. The teachers at FTRS — such as Cinderella’s stepmother, the sea witch from the Little Mermaid, and the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood — are actually working to atone for their bad deeds. Such a clever premise!
Readers are introduced to the intricacies of the FTRS via Gilly, a petty thief who has been sentenced to three months at FTRS. As the child of a poor cobbler whose business has hit a rough patch, thanks to fairy godmothers producing glass slippers for the royal princesses, Gilly tries to justify her theftsas necessary for the survival of her hungry siblings. As soon as she gets to FTRS, she tries to think of a plan to run away so that she can get back to taking care of her siblings, but her plan is thwarted. Luckily, her attempted escape helps her to befriend another student, Jax, who is also friends with her roommate, Kayla. The three students soon discover that the “formerly” villainous teachers might not be as reformed as everyone else believes and set out to discover what they’re up to before it’s too late. I recommend this story to fans of Adam Gidwitz’ Grimm series.