At Midnight

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At Midnight
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 22, 2022
ISBN
978-1250806024
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A dazzling collection of original and retold fairy tales from fifteen acclaimed and bestselling YA writers

Fairy tales have been spun for thousands of years and remain among our most treasured stories. Weaving fresh tales with unexpected reimaginings, At Midnight brings together a diverse group of celebrated YA writers to breathe new life into a storied tradition. You’ll discover . . .

Dahlia Adler reimagining "Rumpelstiltskin,"
Tracy Deonn, “The Nightingale,”
H. E. Edgmon, “Snow White,”
Hafsah Faizal, “Little Red Riding Hood,”
Stacey Lee, “The Little Matchstick Girl,”
Roselle Lim, "Hansel and Gretel,"
Darcie Little Badger, "Puss in Boots,"
Malinda Lo, “Frau Trude,”
Alex London, "Cinderella."
Anna-Marie McLemore, “The Nutcracker,"
Rebecca Podos, “The Robber Bridegroom,”
Rory Power, “Sleeping Beauty,”
Meredith Russo, “The Little Mermaid,”
Gita Trelease, “Fitcher’s Bird,”
and an all-new fairy tale by Melissa Albert.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
enchanting collection of reimagined fairytales
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5.0
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5.0
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AT MIDNIGHT is a clever collection of reimagined fairytales. Each short story tells the reader which fairytale inspired it before producing fresh and imaginative new plots. The book contains 15 short stories, of which 14 are related to various fairytales and one is brand new. The end of the book contains the original fairytales on which they were based for readers to see what inspired them and how they evolved into the incredible new fiction.

What I loved: There is a little something for everyone with many different types of stories and emotions in each. Some were dark and some were light and some were closer to their originals while some were much farther away than their inspirations. They really all took a life of their own, and many contained thought-provoking themes. For instance, "Sugarplum," the story inspired by "The Nutcracker" deals with prejudice and microaggressions based on race and the performances that are (in this case, literally) forced to occur. Others include equally as thought-provoking and powerful of themes, making a complete story within their brief text.

Although tough to choose, my particular favorite was probably "Fire and Rhinestone," which was inspired by "The Little Matchstick Girl." The original short story had left a huge impact on me from when I read it as a child, so it is perhaps not surprising that this story inspired by it also felt very impactful. The story had themes of revenge, power wielded unfairly, and family. Another story that I particularly enjoyed the twist from the original was "Mother's Mirror," based on "Little Snow-White," which used the premise to discuss prejudice against trans teens and the impacts family can have on their mental health and the ways that they view themselves in the world. The parallels between the characters were striking, and I loved the way that these themes were presented through the lens of the original personalities.

Final verdict: A clever and thought-provoking collection of reimagined fairytales, AT MIDNIGHT is a beautifully curated book of short stories with a little something for every YA fantasy reader.
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A fantastic and diverse reimagining of classic fairy tales
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As a lifelong lover of fairy tales, I can’t resist the idea of modern updates by some of the best known writers in the fantasy field. I enjoyed reading the original story and then the new version, to see how the author took on a widely known story and changed things around to make it very much their own. The writing is relatable, and while the stories are short, they allow readers to feel as though they get to know the characters, along with the factors that motivate them throughout the tale.

Obviously not every reader is going to love every single story, but my biggest issue with these is that I wished they were longer. I got invested in the stories, short as they were, and found myself wanting some of these to be full books! It’s listed as suitable for age 12-18, but at least one of the stories is a bit gruesome and could easily be a little scary for a young reader.

Each of the writers takes on one fairy tale, maintaining the original bones of the story while weaving in diverse characters and modern settings, making it more relatable to today’s readers. There’s great representation, with Latine, Anglo-Indian, Chinese, Indigenous, Black, Muslim, LGBTQ, and drag queen characters appearing in stories. Prejudice and discrimination are addressed, and characters come from all along the socioeconomic spectrum, and these fairy tales are much more representative of today’s society than those of the brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson, or even Disney, despite their recent efforts towards diversification. These could easily become a modern-day classic.
Good Points
-Great diversity
-Creative twists on classic stories
-Intriguing characters
-Timely and relevant commentary on modern-day society
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