Not One Damsel in Distress: World Folktales for Strong Girls - Jane Yolen

This book is for you because for the longest time I didn't know that girls could be heroes, too.

I read about this book in The Read-Aloud Handbook and made a note to check it out. It's a collection of folktales from around the world (retold by Yolen) which feature strong girl characters instead of the typical damsel-in-distress. Yolen opens the book with a letter to her daughter and granddaughters, explaining why she put this book together: when she was growing up, she didn't have a book like this.

It's an excellent, wide-reaching collection, mostly of stories that I hadn't heard before. There was one story in particular, "Fitcher's Bird," which had a gruesome scene in it (think Grimm's original fairy tales), but for the most part it's appropriate for school-age kids and I wouldn't mind reading them to my own daughters once they're a little older. The writing is okay; Yolen has taken stories that often have several variants and put together her own versions, but I don't find all of her writing particularly compelling. She does explain a little more about each story's origins in the back, and provides a bibliography for those wanting to read more.

Fed to jonathan's brain | June 10, 2007 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Remember Me?