Golden Retold-ens: 18 Best Books Based on Fairy Tales

The new trailer for the live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” has us hearkening back to the animated classic and our first introduction to our beloved, book-ensconced Belle.

So while we wait for a deeper glimpse into the fantastic library scenery of this new adaptation, we can also look to our own shelves for fairy-tale retellings that resonate with the thrill of timeless stories.

Read on for our picks of novels new and old inspired by classic folk and fairy tales.

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Spotlight on… New Paperbacks for the Classroom

Whether you’re searching for new books to integrate into your curriculum or just looking to keep your finger on the pulse of publishing, we’ve compiled and curated a list of books, which are well regarded and newly available in paperback. Maybe you’ll see something you’d like to bring into your classroom or maybe you’ll discover your next read. Whatever you decide, just remember: read early, read often.

SAVE 35% off the cover price on paperbacks when purchasing 10 or more copies.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Grades 10 and Up
$12.75 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9781594485152

When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

 

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Grades 10 and Up
$10.40 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780143120537

Foer’s unlikely journey from chronically forgetful science journalist to U.S. Memory Champion frames a revelatory exploration of the vast, hidden impact of memory on every aspect of our lives.

 
 

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Grades 10 and Up
$9.75 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780143121114

Tomboy Alice Bliss life is changed when her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving story about those who are left at home during wartime and a small-town teenage girl bravely facing the future. View the Discussion Guide.

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
Grades 10 and Up
$9.75 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780385343848

The Tiger’s Wife follows Natalia, a young doctor in a Balkan country that’s recovering from years of war, as she explores her grandfather’s death in a remote village and unravels the mysterious details of her grandfather’s past. View the Discussion Guide.

 

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Grades 5-8
$5.19 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780375858291
2011 Newbery Winner

After a life riding the rails, 12-year-old Abilene is sent to live in her father’s hometown where she comes to discover details about his childhood in Kansas during World War I, including prohibition, poor race-relations, immigration, and labor issues.

“Vanderpool illustrates the importance of stories as a way for children to understand the past, inform the present and provide hope for the future,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Cynthia K. Richey.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Grades 11 and Up
$5.84 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN  9780142420591

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. View the Discussion Guide.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Grades 5-8
$5.17 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9781419702006
2011 Newbery Honor

Shipwrecks, whaling, a search for home and a delightful exploration of cultures create a swashbuckling adventure. This historical novel is based on the true story of Manjiro (later John Mung), the young fisherman believed to be the first Japanese person to visit America, who against all odds, becomes a samurai.

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
Grades 7 and Up
$9.75 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN  9780385528207

Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation. View the Discussion Guide.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Grades 5 and Up
$4.54 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780142419670

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. The siblings learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Building on the current popularity of fairy tales in movies and TV, students will enjoy these twists on classics.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced
by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui
Grades 8 and Up
$7.80 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780307589675

Nujood tells her full story of her forced marriage to a man three times her age, mistreatment, and divorce. Fighting the system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age, Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. View the Discussion Guide.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Grades 4-7
$4.54 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9780060760908
2011 Newbery Honor, National Book Award Finalist

Sisters Delphine, Vonetta and Fern find adventure when they are sent to meet their estranged poet-mother Cecile, who prints flyers for the Black Panthers in 1968 Oakland, California.

 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Grades 8 and Up
$7.14 for 10+ copies   |   ISBN 9781595141880

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers. View the Discussion Guide.

The above is just a small sampling of the new paperback titles that we’ve curated on our dedicated New Paperbacks for the Classroom Pinterest board. Check it out for more ideas for new titles to integrate into your curriculum. Looking more towards the beginning of the year? We also have a board dedicated to back-to-school ideas.

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Celebrate National Women’s History Month in Your Classroom

March is… National Women’s History Month! Celebrate fabulous females in your classroom with our staff’s recommendations of books—new and old—that feature female protagonists, explore women’s issues, or document the women’s rights movement. Then further below view our list of free online resources including lesson plans, photo and bio sources, and printable activities. Image

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The Vintage Book of American Women WritersElaine Showalter

This anthology of 350 years of poetry and fiction features the work of writers ranging from Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet to contemporary stars like Annie Proulx and Jhumpa Lahiri. Sure to fuel classroom discussion, the volume offers an epic overview in one entertaining and provocative volume. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9781400034451

List price: $18.95    |    Adam’s Price: $12.32 for 10+ copies

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We Are The Stories We Tell: The Best Short Stories by North American Women Since 1945Wendy Martin

A collection of 26 contemporary stories by the finest women writers to come out of the U.S. and Canada, including Ann Tyler, Tama Janowitz and Alice Walker. Grades 8 and up. ISBN 9780679728818

List price: $16.00   |    Adam’s Price: $10.40 for 10+ copies

ImageThe Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round ThingsCarolyn Mackler

With irreverent humor and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves the value of being true to oneself. With a teaching guide. Grades 7-10. ISBN 9780140291834

List price: $8.99   |    Adam’s Price: $5.84 for 10+ copies

The Plain JanesCecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

This graphic novel provides a thoughtful look at the pressures to conform and the importance of self-expression. When Jane’s family flees the city after a terrorist act, she sparks a youth movement in her new community. Grades 7-10. ISBN 9781401211158

List price: $10.00   |    Adam’s Price: $6.50 for 10+ copies

A Border PassageLeila Ahmed

In her memoir, the author tells a moving tale of her Egyptian childhood growing up part of a rich tradition of Islamic women and describes how she eventually came to terms with her identity as a feminist living in America. With a reading guide. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780140291834

List price: $15.00   |    Adam’s Price: $8.75 for 10+ copies

SpeakLaurie Halse Anderson

This highly acclaimed novel is about a teen who chooses not to speak rather than to give voice to what happened to her. Bonus material in this edition includes a new introduction, resources, and discussion guide. With a teaching guide. Grades 7 and up. ISBN 9780142407325

List price: $10.00   |    Adam’s Price: $6.50 for 10+ copies

The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies? Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. With a reading guide. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780385490818

List price: $16.00   |    Adam’s Price: $10.40 for 10+ copies

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among GhostsMaxine Hong Kingston

A beautifully written memoir about growing up confronted with negotiating two sets of rigid, but very different rules: one set those of her “solid America,” and the other set of rules those of her Chinese heritage. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780679721888

List price: $14.99   |    Adam’s Price: $9.74 for 10+ copies

Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston

Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear, or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of fiercely independent Janie Crawford, and her evolving selfhood. With a reading guide. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780060838676

List price: $14.99   |    Adam’s Price: $9.74 for 10+ copies

A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

In this classic essay, Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give voice to those who are without. Her message is a simple one: women must have a fixed income and a room of their own in order to have the freedom to create. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780156787338

List price: $14.99   |    Adam’s Price: $9.74 for 10+ copies

The Awakening, with a selection of short stories (Bantam Classics), Kate Chopin

First published in 1899, this novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely admired, The Awakening has been hailed as an early vision of woman’s emancipation. Grades 10 and up. ISBN 9780553213300

List price: $16.00   |    Adam’s Price: $10.40 for 10+ copies

Jane Eyre (Bantam Classics), Charlotte Brontë

Published in 1847, the book heralded a new kind of heroine—one whose virtuous integrity, keen intellect, and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved. Grades 9 and up. ISBN 9780553211405

List price: $4.95  |    Adam’s Price: $3.22 for 10+ copies

For more recommendations, check out our Women’s History Month Pinterest board.