Dark Fairytales Get a New Life From Visiting Author Adam Gidwitz

“Cover your ears if the story gets scary,” demonstrates Adam Gidwitz as he shows a group of Riverdale middle school students how to cover their ears when the fairy tales get dark. He goes on to explain that modern retellings of the stories often leave out the spookier details.

A best-selling author who specializes in the retelling of fairy tales has published several works on the topic: A Tale Dark and Grimm, In a Glass Grimmly, and The Grimm Conclusion. Based out of Brooklyn, NY, the engaging author stopped by Riverdale Elementary to perform, sign books, eat lunch with top readers, and conduct a writing workshop with 5th-8th graders.

“I was completely mesmerized,” says Amy Balducci, the Media Specialist at Riverdale Elementary School about her first encounter with Adam Gidwitz, children’s book author and professional storyteller. Balducci knew of his literary work as she says it flys off the library shelf, but saw him speaking at a librarian’s conference over the summer. “I knew we had to get him, but getting him to Riverdale was a task,” laughs Balducci, who spent the summer arranging other schools in the area for him to visit—ensuring a Germantown, TN stop on his current book tour. Riverdale’s PTSA partnered with St. George’s, MUS, and Appling Middle School to fund the author’s travel and honorariums. It was clear to see why.

Gidwitz is getting to release a retelling of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He writes this on his blog:

Well, that’s what I was trying to do with Grimm’s fairy tales. To make the old stories new. To help younger people see the brilliance, the terror, the hilarity, and the beauty of those old tales. George Lucas also said that he was “telling an old myth in a new way,” that he was “localizing it for the end of the millennium.” And now, I have the extreme privilege of taking what I wholeheartedly believe is the greatest modern fairy tale and retelling it in book form—and in so doing, localizing it for the young people of our new millennium.

During his writing workshop, he gives the future generation some great advice, "If you want to have strong muscles, you do more push-ups. If you want be come a writer, you have to imagine. Imagine while playing with toys or shooting hoops. Write it down now or write it down later.  Just spend your time imagining.”

Visit his website to learn more.

Print This Article
View text-based website