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Whatever After: Fairest of All by S. Mlynowski

Mlynowski, Sarah. Whatever After: Fairest of All. New York: Scholastic Press, 2012. Print

Ten-year-old Abby has just moved to Smithville with her parents and younger brother Jonah, and life just isn’t the same. One night, the two siblings knock on the creepy mirror in the basement and are instantly sucked into a fairytale land. They need to get home, but don’t know how to get there. They find themselves at the cottage where Snow White is living with the Seven Dwarfs, just as the evil stepmother in disguise is offering up a red apple to eat. They intervene and save Snow White from being poisoned! Initially they are pleased about this, but soon realize that they have interfered with Snow’s future and she won’t meet her Prince Charming. They decide to stay with Snow until they can set things right and ensure she lives happily ever after, enjoying many adventures along the way.

This is the first story in a new series of modern fairy tale retellings (the second book will recount what happens to Cinderella when Abby shows up!). It’s an amusing and easy read with lots of action. Abby and Jonah have a pretty typical relationship, with a bossy older sister ordering around her rambunctious younger brother, and so they behave as you would expect. Abby is practical, but funny, and will always accomplish what she sets out to do. She therefore presents a strong female character with whom young girls can connect. The tale ends in such a way that the reader can be sure of more humorous exploits to come.

Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Trish Chatterley

Trish is a Public Services Librarian for the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library at the University of Alberta. In her free time she enjoys dancing, gardening, and reading books of all types.