Elementary school teacher Adam Gidwitz (pictured) incorporated classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales in his debut novel, A Tale Dark & Grimm. We caught up with him to find out how he did it. The following features highlights from our interview.
Q: What inspired you to write your book?
A: I was substituting at the library in my school. I was supposed to be reading a story to second and third graders, but I didn’t know what story to choose. So I picked up my thick, musty old book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales off the shelf and began to thumb through it. I stopped on a story called Faithful Johannes.
Now, I had read this story myself. I knew that it involved multiple close encounters with death, intrigue, betrayal, and a shocking happy ending. I knew that I had always wanted to read it to students. But I also knew that the happy ending involved two sweet, lovely children getting their heads cut off. So I didn’t think I could read it to these library students. And then I thought, what the heck? Let’s see what happens!