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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Red by Liesl Shurtliff - Review, Guest Post + CONTEST!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

As I type this post, I feel like a character in my own fairy tale...and not the good kind.  Think Dorothy as she was whisked away to Oz.  Yeah.  Let's just say that we're having a little MORE than bad weather at the moment but rest assured the family and I are finally safe and sound at home.  While I wait out the Tornado Warning, I shall don my red shoes while keeping my pups close at hand (hehe) and spin you a tale of a book that should be a MUST READ on your wish list.  Why the wish list?  Easy!  It's not out yet.  *smirk*  It's scheduled book birthday is April 12, 2016 via Alfred A. Knopf and having just finished reading my ARC, allow me to illuminate just why this is the book for you.  Ladies and gents, Kid Lit fans of all ages, hold on to the fairy tales you've been told because they're about to get shaken, not stirred.  Today's blog tour guest and book of choice is...

The True Story of Red Riding Hood
Liesl Shurtliff
Alfred A. Knopf

About the book...
Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.
But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .


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Say what you will but fairytale redos can be utterly amazing and this one falls right into that category feet first.  

Here we have Little Red Riding Hood staying with her Granny while her parents are away but what's this? Granny's sick!  *gasp* No problem as Granny also happens to be a witch so a bit of her cure-all will save the day...if she had any left or the energy to make more.  Oh.  So THAT'S where the problem comes in.  Red is forced by circumstances to take things into her own hands and despite her hesitation in using her own magic, will have to find the power within herself to accept the things she cannot change, embrace life for all that it's worth, and let go of her fears.  It's a hard task but if anyone is up to the challenge, it's Red.  She's a force to be reckoned with and so are the merry band of friends and foes she makes along the way.  From Borlen the grumpy dwarf (not THE grumpy, but a grumpy fellow for somewhat good reasons) to Goldie the girl who doesn't value the beauty of silence (and yes, she's THAT Goldie with the locks to prove it), Beauty to the Beast, Wolf to the Huntsman, there's a formidable cast and many a tale to weave into the story but it does so so seamlessly that it feels almost like MAGIC.

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I applaud the author for putting pen to paper and owning the challenge of how to put all these characters together in a way that makes sense and doesn't come out like that unfortunate movie, Into the Woods.  *shudders*  Sorry, but that just wasn't a well done concept but this...THIS truly is!  It's not just that she introduces characters from other tales but she has them recognizable beyond their name and in roles that both suit and stretch their limits.  Goldie was much more of a chatterbox than I would have guessed and watching her play out her "too this, too that, just perfect" routine within the dwarf dwelling was a humorous moment.  The Wolf was not what I expected in a GOOD way, though I must admit I was sad at how that connection ended.  It was right, but still sad.  The Huntsman isn't exactly the bumbling old dodger we believe, the Beast is closer to Beauty than you might think, and Granny it's just the Witch of the Woods.  So many secrets to uncover, and STILL an adventure to pursue all its own. 

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Red's path and highly recommend it to Middle Grade readers of all ages.  It's high time we see Red with a little more gumption, a little more power than simply a basket of goodies and kindness to spare.  Now, my fair readers, if you'll join me as we welcome a special GUEST POST penned by the author of this work.  I was tasked with submitting a topic suggestion and I thought, fairy tales....why not!  So here you go!  From me to her to you, the author's TOP 5 FAIRYTALES AND WHY she loves 'em.


GUEST POST:  Author Liesl Shurtliff

  1. Rumpelstiltksin, Grimms. Of course, the story that started it all for me! When I was young I had a Fischer Price record player and one of the records was an audio version of Rumpelstitksin. I listened to it often and thought it was so creepy! Who was this little man who spun straw into gold and bargained for babies? I think the mysteries of this story were what appealed to me, as well as the bizarreness of Rumpelstiltskin’s name and ultimate demise.
  2. Image result for the little mermaid hans christian andersenThe Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. The author credit is actually very important here, because he actually did write the original story, unlike most popular fairtyales, which were merely collected and recorded after many generations of oral tradition. The original Little Mermaid is quite different from the Disney version, at least the second half. I love the ethereal beauty of the undersea world, the haunting culture of the mermaids, and the desperation of the little mermaid that seemingly brings her to a tragic end, but also opens up a gate to a beautiful eternal destiny. Though I understand Disney’s motives for changing the ending, I think Hans Christian Anderson had a far more truthful and lasting message in his tale and I think he would turn over in his grave to see it so altered for commercial appeal.
  3. Jack and the Beanstalk, Joseph Jacobs/Andrew Lang. Magic Beans! Giants! A hen that lays golden eggs! What’s not to like? The sheer adventure in this story is enough to draw anyone in. Most people are familiar with versions based on Joseph Jacobs’ recordings, but I actually prefer the version by Andrew Lang where we come to find that the giant actually gained his castle and riches by stealing from Jack’s noble father, then killing him, while Jack’s mother fled with her baby in arms and from then on lived as a peasant. This history gives Jack ample justification to take back from the giant that which is rightfully his, thereby satisfying any moral issues we might have concerning Jack’s behavior.
  4. Image result for little red riding hood capeHansel and Gretel, Grimms. In a sea of tales where girls are asleep or stuck in a tower awaiting rescue from a knight or prince, Hansel and Gretel is one where a female saves the day, and not with brawn but her brains! Gretel’s clever bravery sends a much-needed message that girls can and must be active in solving their own problems as well as helping others. 
  5. Little Red Riding Hood, Grimms. I think what I like most about this story is the powerful symbolism. The red cape, the wolf, the path…all of it works together so well, and we’ve used this story time and time again to frame our thoughts on so many things, from female sexuality to predatory tactics, and moral lessons like not talking to strangers or straying from the path. You can look at this story from so many different angles and interpret in in so many ways. It was one of the more challenging tales for me to work with, mostly because the possibilities were endless.

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About the author...

Liesl grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has spent many magical days and nights in the woods. For better or worse, she has never come in contact with a wolf. Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. Her first book, Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, was named to nine state award lists and won an IRA Children’s Book Award, as well as earning a starred review from Kirkus, proclaiming it “as good as gold.” Her second book, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, was also a hit with both critics and kids. She lives in Chicago with her family, where she continues to spin fairy tales.


Special thanks to Cassie at Random House Children's Books for the ARC and chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to hit bookstore shelves APRIL 12, 2016, so mark your calendar or pre-order it for your convenience.  In the mean time, be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for some fairy tale fun!


Monday, February, 1: Bookiemoji, Author Guest Post
Tuesday, February, 2: Seeing Double In Neverland, Review
Wednesday, February, 3: MundieMoms/Kids, Review
Thursday, February, 4: BookHounds, Author Interview
Friday, February, 5: The Lovely Books, Review
Saturday, February, 6: I'm Shelf-ish, Guest Post
Sunday, February, 7:  Kid Lit Frenzy, Review
Monday, February, 8: Mel's Shelves, Review
Tuesday, February, 9: Once Upon A Twilight, Author Random Facts
Wednesday, February, 10:, Review
Thursday, February, 11: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, February, 12: Bittersweet Enchantment, Review
Saturday, February, 13: WinterHaven Books, Review except 18
Image result for red rose vine borderSunday, February, 14: The Cover Contessa, Review
Monday, February, 15: Pandora's Books, Review
Tuesday, February, 16: On Starships and Dragonwings, Review
Wednesday, February, 17: As They Grow Up, Review
Thursday, February, 18: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Friday, February, 19: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist and Review
Saturday, February, 20: The Children's Book Review, A Selfie and a Shelfie
Sunday, February, 21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Author Movie Cast
Monday, February, 22: Katie's Clean Book Collection, Review
Tuesday, February, 23: Words We Heart, Review
Wednesday, February, 24: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Author Guest Post
Thursday, February, 25: Confessions of a Readaholic, Review
Friday, February, 26: Bookish Antics, Review
Saturday, February, 27: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Sunday, February, 28: Valerie's Reviews, Review
Monday, February, 29: Lili's Reflections, Review
Tuesday, March, 1: To Read, or Not To Read, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, March 3: Cafinated Reads, Review
Friday, March 4: The Book Monsters, Review
Saturday, March 5: Twinning for Books, Review
Sunday, March 6: Curling Up With A Good Book, Review
Monday, March 7: The Compulsive Reader, Review
Tuesday, March 8: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Wednesday, March 9: Resch Reads and Reviews, Review
Thursday, March 10: Beauty and the Bookshelf, Review
Friday, March 11: Xpresso Reads, Review
Saturday, March 12: Diamond’s Reads, Review
Sunday, March 13: Blissful Book Reviews, Review
Monday, March 14: Vi3tbabe, Review
Tuesday, March 15: The Book Cellar, Review


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....would you like a chance to WIN A FINISHED COPY OF THIS BOOK?  I thought so.  Just CLICK HERE to enter the tour wide contest for your chance to win.

Until next time...happy reading!


Crystal Collier said...

Ooh! I love fairy tale retellings. They're so much fun! (And the kids love them too.)

Barbara S said...

Once again hoping to win this icey book its not the usual hohum

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