Books for the Journey: Once Upon a Time

I asked my sister, Amanda, if she would share a list of her favorite books with us in honor of her birthday. She said yes! She reads as much or more than I do, except she leans towards fiction and I definitely have a propensity for non-fiction.

I have read most of these books as well and now need to read them again! It’s lovely to be reminded of books that don’t live on my bookshelf anymore. :)

So without further ado:

Between Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After – My Favorite Versions of Fairy Tales

By Amanda

I love the idea of fairy tales. I love dire straits turning to breathless escapes turning to true love and happily ever after. I’ve been gathering my favorite book versions for probably 12 years now and pulling them all off the shelf tonight just gave me a happy. I’ve read them all at least twice, but a couple of them more like 6-8 times. It’s been a while since I’ve read some of them, so they might be just fluff, but hey, it’s fairy tales, right? They’re all off of the teen/young adult shelves, so probably friendly for your discerning teenagers.

Common Stories – Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White

Rose Daughter and Spindle’s End are both by Robin McKinley – The author’s love of gardening and animals is very apparent in both of these books. Rose Daughter is placed in a world that feels like it could be ours, perhaps in the 1800s, where magic just peeps in at the edges. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite of fairy tales, and this version doesn’t fail. Spindle’s End is placed in a very Disney feeling traditional fairy tale world, where fairies and magic are commonly accepted parts of life.
Snow by Tracy Lynn – This is definitely in the fluff category. Snow never turns into a really rounded character, but her companions are so unusual I had to read it several times. And, thinking about it now, I realize that it had touches of steampunk before steampunk was even a big thing! I’m adding a small ew, gross warning for some very strange stuff.

Less Common Stories – The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Goose Girl, East of the Sun and West of the Moon

Entwined by Heather Dixon – This story has twelve sisters alphabetically named after flowers, who love to dance and wear out all their slippers, what’s not to love? This is a fun book, but I’m giving it a brief warning label as it’s creepy and intense at times. It’s definitely in keeping with the darkness of very traditional fairy tales, but it might be worth reading before handing over to younger readers.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – This is one of the ones that merits several rereads and is the first of a set of loosely connected books.
East by Edith Pattou – This is an enchanting take on a story that I never knew very well. I know that within traditional story telling it is a completely different story, but at it’s heart it is a version of Beauty and the Beast, which is perhaps part of why I like it so much.

Looking at this list makes me realize that I don’t have a good version of Cinderella or The Little Mermaid! Can anybody else recommend one? Or any other favorite versions of fairy tales?



Visit Amanda at her blog, On Being a Homegirl, or like her facebook page to follow along with her story! :)

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7 thoughts on “Books for the Journey: Once Upon a Time

  1. I’ve never really liked The Little Mermaid, but there are several good Cinderella retellings that I enjoy. Jessica Day George’s Princess of Glass is an interesting take, and I recently read a very steampunky version called Cinder by Melissa Meyer. Julliet Marillier also has a fun combo retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Princess and the Frog in Wildwood Dancing. :)


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