The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child by Michael Buckley
Character List: (additional information and new characters from book 1 and book 2)
Black Knight = a double dealer, everafter, killed the Jabberwockies with the Vorpal Blade then cut a hole in the barrier of Ferryport
Queen of Hearts = wanted the Jabberwockies brought over and challenges Prince Charming for Mayor
Little Red Riding Hood = patient at Ferryport Landing Asylum, who Sabrina believes kidnapped her parents
Mr. Rip Van Winkle = taxi driver, everafter
Morgan le Fay = witch, everafter, works for Mayor Charming, fixed the school problem
Boarman & Swineheart = everafters (2 of the 3 Little Pigs) former deputies that started a construction company
Earnest Hamstead = everafter (3rd Little Pig) the pig who built his house out of straw
Miss Muffet & Spider = one of the 3 wealthiest families in town
Beauty & Beast = one of the 3 wealthiest families in town
Frog Prince & Princess = one of the 3 wealthiest families in town
Sheriff Nottingham = Queen of Hearts selected him to be sheriff (if she is elected)
Howard = troll at the school dedication celebration
Jacob Alexander Grimm = sorcerer, Granny’s son, addicted to magic (aka Uncle Jake)
Anderson Triplets = descendants of Hans Christian Andersen, they hunt and collect magical items, Uncle Jake had worked with them
Dorothy Gale = accident prone, now a tornado chaser in Kansas
Scarecrow = runs the town library
Blue Fairy = “nuclear reactor of magic” can grant any wish, uses a spell to keep her identity a secret
Little Mermaid = everafter, seventh daughter of Poseidon, lives in the Hudson River, upset that she did not get her happily ever after
Anthony = talking fish
Baba Yaga = witch, everafter, old woman with long gray hair, pointy nose, pointy teeth, Russian accent, watches Days of Our Lives, eats people, walkway to house is covered in skulls and bones
Bright Sun, Black Midnight, & Red Dawn = animal bodyguards and lookouts for Baba Yaga
Mr. Canis = has been following the girls on their “secret” adventures since they came to town
Blue Farrah = waitress at the Blue Plate Special
Continuing in the theme of the first two books, Sabrina and Daphne are faced with a problem that involves the everafters and finding their kidnapped parents. Along the way to solving the mystery they learn more about themselves, their family, and the people in the town.
Sabrina struggles with her anger at the everafters for kidnapping her parents and putting her in this crazy place. Daphne is fully embracing the new life she now leads. Granny is trying to make things right in the town, with the girls, and her younger son Jake. Jake is struggling with his addiction to magic and the guilt he feels for what he did to the town and his family years ago. Puck is trying to help the family when he gets hurt by the Jabberwocky, and is out of commission for the last part of the book.
Sabrina and Puck are sucked into the room her parents are in and now meet Red Riding Hood and the Jabberwocky. While trying to escape Sabrina gets hurt and Puck takes revenge on her for making him be a hero again. Uncle Jake arrives in town and realizes that the townspeople don’t remember him, despite him remembering all of them and how much trouble he caused all of them when he was younger. Sabrina and Uncle Jake bond over how much they enjoy using magic and buzz it gives them.
The family realizes that to kill the Jabberwocky they must put together the three pieces of the blade and set off on a mission to find the two other pieces. Along the way Uncle Jake, Sabrina, Daphne, and Elvis meet more everafters, Baba Yaga, and the Blue Fairy. In the end Sabrina realizes that magic really cannot solve everything and that magic does come with a price – just like Granny and Daphne have been telling her.
The story has strong female leads and is probably a great series for those too young for Percy Jackson but love the idea of magic being real and here but us not being able to see it (unless you are one of the lucky few). I see why my students enjoy this series so much and love how it incorporates more than just the Disney fairy tales.