cover image Fairest of All

Fairest of All

Sarah Mlynowski. Scholastic Press, $14.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-545-40330-6

This delightful kickoff to the Whatever After series demonstrates Mlynowski’s (the Magic in Manhattan series) prowess at writing for middle-graders. In the cleverly tangled and quite funny story, 10-year-old Abby and her younger brother, Jonah, are sucked into the mirror in their basement. Landing in a forest, they follow an old woman to a cottage and end up preventing Snow White from eating the apple the woman offers her. Since she didn’t eat the poisoned fruit and a prince won’t revive her with a kiss, Abby laments that they’ve “ruined her life” and vows to “fix” Snow White’s story. Mlynowski’s story is studded with comical pratfalls, witty quips, and one-liners (“I’ll take it! I’ll take the yummy, juicy apple,” a famished Jonah tells the disguised queen). The testy but devoted relationship between Abby and Jonah will resonate with readers, Mlynowski’s twists on the original story entertain, and Abby’s exclamatory narration grabs attention from the start. The ending hints at another trip through the basement mirror—a promising prospect. Ages 8–12. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (May)