Middle Grade Fairytale Retellings

We all love the classic fairytales, but the retellings are even better. They entertain us with all the backstory that the Grimm brothers and H. C. Andersen left out. Check out these retellings and if you love them, try out some of the other fairytales by the same authors.

Rump by Liesl Shurtliff


This is the tale of Rumpelstiltskin’s youth and the backstory of how he ended up spinning straw into gold for the miller’s daughter. He’s not the grumpy old man you think, but rather a small boy who only knows the first part of his name. Known only as Rump, he is bullied relentlessly by the miller’s kids. Now the miller’s daughter must figure out his full name if she is to keep her baby.

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison


This is the adventurous tale of what happened to Rapunzel after she escaped the tower with Jack. Having been sheltered her whole life, she begins her journey knowing very little about how the world works. Most importantly, she learns that the woman who has taken care of her from birth, may not be the kind-heartened woman she thought she was.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix


Ella’s engagement to the prince is not turning out as she had hoped. She isn’t allowed to do anything for herself. She is only meant to be an ornament on the prince’s arm. When the prince sends Ella to the dungeon, she realizes that escape is her only option. She’d rather be poor and free than rich and confined.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine


When Ella was born, a fairy gave her the gift of obedience, not realizing the ramifications. Ella must obey every order, no matter how insignificant. When her father remarries, her stepmother and stepsisters, use the “curse” to thwart Ella’s attempts to see the prince.

The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker


Princess Emeralda has no interest in the egotistical Prince Jorge. When she goes to the swamp to hide from him, she meets a talking frog. He insists that he is a prince and only needs her kiss to break the spell. Emma finally relents, but it goes all wrong. She is turned into a frog as well, and now they must find the witch to fix the spell.

The Wide-Awake Princess by E. D Baker


When Princess Gwen, aka Sleeping Beauty, gets the spinning wheel curse at birth, her parents decide that her younger sister Annie should have a spell to make her immune to all magic. Gwen pricks her finger as expected and the entire castle falls asleep except Annie. It’s up to Annie to find Gwen’s true love to break the spell.

Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin


Something cruel is lurking in the woods where Rose and Snow live. Their father and friend have disappeared. There is a bear who is strangely friendly and then a larger than normal fox appears. There are hunters and bandits, but worst of all is the rude dwarf who ridicules them every time they save him. There is more to this dwarf than meets the eye.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu


This is a retelling of the Snow Queen. Hazel is unpopular at school, but semi-popular Jack has always been a true friend. When he gets a piece of glass in his eye at recess, he begins to act differently toward her. Then he suddenly disappears with a woman dressed in white in a sleigh pulled by wolves. Hazel knows something is wrong and she must rescue him.

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell


Reveka is an herbalist apprentice trying to unlock the mystery of the 12 princesses. Every morning they wake up with bloody feet. Anyone caught trying to spy on the princesses ends up in a deep sleep. The only person who can witness the nightly occurrence is someone invisible, so Reveka works to create an invisibility potion for herself.


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