More Fairy Tales…this time, with male main characters! Featuring boys and young men of rare braveness and daring, with skills in beanstalk-climbing and trickery. Princesses? Maybe as supporting characters! Try one of these tales from the other side of the story!
Books with a J at the end are in the Juvenile collection, books with a YA are in the teen collection. Ask a librarian if you’d like to find more titles!
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Fairy Tale Retellings — For Boys!
Featuring Princes, Brave Jacks, Outlaws and Rats…
Catanese, P. W. The Brave Apprentice
Meet Patch Ridlin. He’s a tailor’s simple apprentice in a remote village. When he rescues his friend Osbert from an aging and decrepit troll, Patch finds himself something of a town hero. Word of his bravery quickly spreads throughout the countryside, and Patch is summoned to the king’s castle. Soon Patch finds himself engaged in an all-out battle against the trolls. With only the help of a fool named Simon and a maddening riddle, can Patch figure out the troll’s fatal flaw? Or is the kingdom destined to perish? J
Catanese, P.W. The Thief and the Beanstalk
Orphaned and desperate, Nick joins a rugged band of thieves in hopes of a warm meal and a little protection. In exchange Nick must help them break into the lavish castle full of riches, rumored to belong to an old man named Jack. When Nick discovers Jack is Jack of the magical beanstalk, he sees a chance to climb the famed beanstalk himself. But what Nick doesn’t know is that there are new foes at the top now. Foes with cruel weapons and foul plans that could destroy the world as Nick knows it. Will Nick come down the beanstalk a hero? Will he come down at all? Try the other books in the Further Tales Adventure series: The Eye of the Warlock, The Mirror’s Tale, and The Riddle of the Gnome, each based on a different tale. J
Gruber, Mchael. The Witch’s Boy
They call him Lump. Ugly, misshapen, abandoned as an infant and taken in by a witch, he is nursed by a bear, tutored by a djinn; his only playmates are the creatures of the forest, whose language he learns to speak. But when Lump inevitably stumbles into the human world, his innocence is no match for the depths of people’s cruelty, which turns his heart to stone, and fuels a vengeance that places him and his witch mother in deadly peril.. Readers will recognize well-known tales woven into the story, giving readers a differen, and sometimes frightening take on childhood staples. J
Hale, Shannon. Calamity Jack
Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler…maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk. With help from Rapunzel, a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people. J COMICS
Lowe, Helen. Thornspell
Prince Sigismund has grown up hearing fantastical stories about enchantments and spells, knights and heroic quests. He’d love for them to be true but they are just stories. Or are they? From the day that a mysterious lady in a carriage speaks to him through the castle gates, his world starts to shift. He begins to dream of a girl wrapped, trapped, in thorns. He dreams of a palace, utterly still, waiting. He dreams of a man in red armor, riding a red horse. When that man arrives at the castle! Sigismund is about to learn that sometimes dreams are true, that the world is both more magical and more dangerous than he imagined, and that the heroic quest he imagined for himself begins now! J
Martin, Rafe. Birdwing
Once upon a time, a girl rescued her seven brothers from a spell that had turned them into swans. But one boy, Ardwin, was left with the scar of the spell’s last gasp: one arm remained a wing. And while Ardwin yearned to find a place in his father’s kingdom, the wing whispered to him of open sky and rushing wind. Marked by difference, Ardwin sets out to discover who he is: bird or boy, crippled or sound, cursed or blessed. But followed by the cold eye of a sorceress and with war rumbling at his kingdom’s borders, Ardwin’s path may lead him not to enlightenment, but into unimaginable danger. YA
McKinley, Robin. The Outlaws of Sherwood
In the days of King Richard the Lionheart, a young forester named Robin set out one morning for the Nottingham Fair. But he never arrived. By the end of the day a man lay dead in the King’s Forest, and Robin was an outlaw with a price on his head. There have been many tales and ballards about the man we know as Robin Hood, and the lady Marian, Little John, Will Scarlet and the rest. A unique retelling of the adventures of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws… J & YA
Napoli, Donna Jo. Crazy Jack
Once there was a boy named Jack who traded away a cow for a handful of beans. But Jack was no fool, he was haunted since the day his father climbed up into the clouds and vanished. When the beans provide a way for Jack to pursue his father, he enters the Giant’s world, where he discovers the terrifying ends of greed and desire. YA
Napoli, Donna Jo. The Prince of the Pond: Otherwise Knows as De Fawg Pin
Having been turned into a frog by a hag, a frog-prince makes the best of his new life as he mates, raises a family, and instills a new kind of thinking into his frog family. A hilarious tale of a prince who’s been turned into a frog, as he tries to communicate…without rolling his tongue. Also try the sequel: Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace. J
Pullman, Philip. I Was a Rat!
“I Was a Rat!” insists a scruffy boy named Roger. Maybe it’s true. But what is he now? A terrifying monster running wild in the sewers? A victim of “Rodent Delusion”? A lucrative fairground freak? A champion wriggler and a budding thief? Or maybe just an ordinary small boy, a little ratty in his habits? Only three people believe this version of the story. And it may take a royal intervention—and a bit of magic—to convince the rest of the world. Set against the backdrop of a Royal Wedding—and a playful parody of the press, this is a magical weaving of humor, fairy tale, and adventure. J
Riley, James. Half Upon a Time
Jack lives in a fantasy world. Really. He’s the son of the infamous Jack who stole the magic beans from the giant, and he’s working hard to restore his family’s reputation. He finds the perfect opportunity when a “princess” lands in front of him, apparently from the land of Punk, as her Punk Princess t-shirt implies. May is from our world, and she’s utterly confused to find herself in the midst of the fairy tale characters she has read about. But Jack and May have more in common than they realize–and together, they embark on a hilarious and wild adventure! Look for Twice Upon a Time in late spring 2012. J
Schmidt, Gary. Straw Into Gold
What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, secretly plotting against the king. Another pursuer reveals a strange story of a little man who once spun straw into gold for the queen, but then disappeared with her firstborn son. Tousle realizes that the man he calls Da is the strange little man. Does that mean he may be the lost prince?. Or could it be Innes who can hear the music of the dawn? J
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There aren’t quite as many fairy tales from the boy’s point of view, even though you would think that all those adventures would be perfect as the basis for a great book. (Potential writers…maybe that’s a niche you can fill?)
Anyway, grab one of these books and start reading. Then let us know what you think of fairy tales from the male perspective.