The Grimm Legacy

Common Sense Media says

Girl tangles with magical objects in suspenseful fantasy.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers will learn about many of the characters in Grimm's fairy tales.

Positive messages

Friends, even when at risk, must help one another. Thievery's not be tolerated. Valor and courage are mighty weapons. Every action (or non-action) has a consequence, not necessarily the expected one. Readers will also see the folly of accepting food or gifts from suspicious strangers.

Positive role models

Elizabeth's conscientious, reliable, resourceful, and perseveres in her pursuit of a thief in her midst. She's loyal to her friends, even when it puts her in grave danger.


Some of the magical objects have destructive impulses. But the worst violence comes from Mr. Stone, who visits the library regularly with unsuspected evil intentions. He tries to do away with anyone who thwarts his goal and in any magical way that he can.



Ther are some romantic kisses.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Grimm Legacy focuses on magic, both good and bad, as schoolgirl Elizabeth and her fellow young pages at the Circulating Material Repository -- an unusual lending library of objects -- must restore lost items and rescue nearly lost lives. Dangerous enchantments and astonishing events take place against the backdrop of contemporary New York City. There's a villain whose greed knows no restraint, whose evil puts several characters in dire peril, and who will use his magic to try to do away with anyone who opposes him.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Elizabeth gets an afterschool job as a page at an object-lending library called the New York Circulating Material Repository, which houses unusual collections, among them one of magical objects. She's allowed to go in the secret, locked Grimm Collection and finds it has precious items from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including seven-league boots, a magical comb, a table that instantly provides feasts, as well as the infamous mirror used by Snow White's stepmother. Some of these objects seem to have minds of their own, and some are downright malevolent. Someone's stealing these magical objects and replacing them with look-alikes. But who has access to them? To solve the mystery, Elizabeth's drawn into a frightening chase and adventures with her fellow pages.

Is it any good?


THE GRIMM LEGACY is a splendid fantasy, full of suspense, adventure, a good-vs.-evil plot, and a hint of true love. A giant of a fairy tale!

Readers will be happy to know there's an exciting companion novel, The Wells Bequest, in which the New York Circulating Material Repository also figures.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why magic's such a popular component in kids' books. What other books featuring magic have you read?

  • How does the media represent magic? As superstition? Strictly for kids? A form of entertainment with tricks and illusion? A force in the universe?

  • If you could choose any magical object from a fairy tale, which one would you pick and how would you use it?

Book details

Author:Polly Shulman
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Fairy tales, Friendship, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:July 8, 2010
Number of pages:325
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 17
Available on:Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Paperback

This review of The Grimm Legacy was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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