Red Riding Hood Gets Lost by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Red Riding Hood Gets LostInformation

Goodreads: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost
Series: Grimmtastic Girls #2
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Published: March 25, 2014

Official Summary

Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!


Slight spoilers for Cinderella Stays Late.

Red Riding Hood Gets Lost is a grimmtastic follow-up to Cinderella Stays Late.  Holub and Williams shift their focus to Red Riding Hood, a spunky and confident protagonist—even though she has a bit of stage fright.  Readers will enjoy getting to know her better, while still getting glimpses of her fairy tale cohort (Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel) throughout the book.

The authors also further develop ideas and plot points introduced in the first Grimmtastic Girls book.  The main storyline—the girls’ attempts to thwart a clandestine E.V.I.L. Society—continues with lots of action and intrigue.  The mystery deepens with the introduction of a new character, Wolfgang, who seems to know about the Society, as well.  But is he working for or against it?  And is he crushing on Red or just trying to learn her secrets?  The answers unfold in a clever twist on Red’s classic tale, as she and her friends head into Neverwood forest on the edge of Grimm Academy.

More minor points are embellished, as well.  Readers learn more about charms, magical items that attach themselves to a specific person, and it looks as if each book will introduce a new charm to the titular protagonist.  There is also a little more background on Grimm Academy and Grimmlandia, and on what it means to be fairy tale character with a pre-defined role.  Concepts are kept relatively simple to be appropriate for the target audience, but there is enough detail and nuance to keep older readers hooked, as well.

The authors also continue their theme of personal growth.  In Cinderella Stays Late, Cinda learns to navigate a new school.  In Red Riding Hood Gets Lost, Red discovers that it is best to face one’s fears, instead of allowing oneself to be conquered by them—then puts her newfound courage to the test in a play audition.  The Grimmtastic Girls series has great messages for young readers, which are the perfect complement to the action-packed plots.

Holub and Suzanne put great modern twists on classic fairy tales and populate them with fun, realistic characters.  I will continue to follow this series with pleasure.

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