Who's the fairest of them all?

Gail Carson Levine
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Dec 9, 2011

What is it about the tale of Snow White that keeps coming back? The story is hundreds of years old, but 2012 will bring two new (and drastically different) movie adaptations of the tale. In preparation, you might want to check out these novel adaptations of the story.

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

In a land where beauty and singing are valued above all else, Aza eventually comes to reconcile her unconventional appearance and her magical voice, and learns to accept herself for who she truly is.

Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen

Snow in Summer is a girl growing up in West Virginia in the 1940s. Summer's beloved Papa, bereft over the death of his wife and son, is seduced by a beautiful but wicked witch, who marries him and takes over the household, using her wiles to render Papa and the rest of the town helpless while she abuses her stepdaughter. Only widowed Cousin Nancy resists the witch and offers aid to Summer via some down-home magic.

Snow by Tracy Lynn

When Jessica is about to enter adolescence, her father marries a vain, brilliant woman who longs to be taken seriously as a scientist. Her "experiments" combine medieval superstitions and modern scientific equipment to help her bear a male heir for the duke and are juxtaposed with sessions before a mirror held up for her by a literally spellbound servant/musician. When her stepdaughter's emerging beauty drives the duchess to murderous plans, the musician warns Jessica to escape, but only after her jealous stepmother has kept her a virtual prisoner for several years, rendering her complexion pale enough to earn her new name, Snow. The naive girl flees to London, where she immediately loses her purse in the confusion of Paddington Station and, wandering the streets, stumbles into the den of an unlikely band called "the lonely ones."

Reviewed by Kate M.
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