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Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor's Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Beastly is now a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy-tale mash-up; Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy-tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra, the witch from Beastly; Towering, a darkly romantic take on Rapunzel; and Mirrored, a fresh spin on Snow White. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family. Visit her online at www.alexflinn.com.
Gr 6-9-Alex Finn's creative fantasy (HarperTeen, 2011) involving a play on many different fairy tales (think The Elves and the Shoemaker meets The Frog Prince, among others) gets a lively narration from Alexander Cendese who perfectly interprets the aspirations and thoughts of Johnny, a hard-working, impoverished high school student striving to keep the family shoe repair shop in a South Beach hotel afloat while also harboring dreams of becoming a shoe designer. Johnny meets a princess at the hotel who asks him to help find her brother, a prince who was turned into a toad. The boy's efforts to rescue the prince turn into a series of quests, many of them at the request of various animals who were once human, such as Cornelius the rat, a former Senator who sounds like a thug from Brooklyn. Cendese perfectly voices the assorted magical creatures. The story includes lots of quotes about shoes by famous and infamous figures, including John Locke. Careful listeners will enjoy the foreshadowing and hints throughout the tale. Comedy outweighs drama here, although there are a few dangerous encounters. An imaginative, enchanting story.-Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.