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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

Book Review: RED by Liesl Shurtliff

Here it is! My review of book #3 from Liesl Shurtliff‘s series of children’s novels based on fairytales. I’ve mentioned Shurtliff’s other two novels–RUMP and JACK–multiple times in past blog posts regarding middle-grade books I would recommend. (You can find those reviews here and here.) So it’s no surprise that RED, The True Story of Red Riding Hood is no exception! Read on to learn about this delightful tale!



Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic. But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Review: 5 Stars out of 5! 

Once again Liesl Shurtliff takes us on an unexpected fairytale adventure filled with twists and turns and lots of magic! Shurtliff is a master at taking the traditional story and changing it into a completely different tale with valuable morals perfect for any middle grade reader. (Or adult who loves middle grade, in this case!) Her writing style is engaging and eloquent, and her storytelling leads the reader to a fantasy-world they will never forget. 

This story centers around Red Riding Hood and her pal, Goldie. (You guessed it! That would be Goldilocks!) But you won’t find any evil wolf’s in this story! In fact, Red’s true friend who helps in her time of need, happens to be the Wolf of The Woods. Red’s Granny is ailing and fragile and all Red wants is to keep Granny alive. The three set forth on an adventure that will guide them to interact with various other fairytale characters–(you’ll need to read it to find out who!)–and Red and company find themselves in quite the pickle on more than one occasion. (Of course!)

Through it all, Granny’s words echo in the back of Red’s mind–Don’t be afraid. As each day passes, Red learns the importance of putting an end to her fears and not allowing them to direct her decisions or life. A perfect lesson for any child living amongst the turmoil of our world! This book is truly an inspiration for our young people to look past what scares them most and to look deep inside for true strength! The value of family and the legacy that we leave behind is also touched upon.

Highly recommended for children of all ages (including older teens!) Be sure to add this book–along with RUMP and JACK–to your 2017 reading list! 

Happy reading, friends!

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