Everyone knows the fairy tale stories. Girls who are princesses who are rescued by princes who get married and live happily ever after until the end.
But life isn’t really like a fairy tale, not for most modern girls in Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (2014) by Christine Heppermann.
In this collection Hepperman presents 50 poems that bring fairy tale themes and ideas together with the lives of modern girls in clever ways. Eerie photographs accompany the poems to lend a haunting quality to this deceptively slim volume.
Hepperman’s poems range from titillating to empowering as she explores themes of beauty, freedom and sexuality among others in a variety of free-verse poems. While many of the themes–particularly those dealing with physical beauty or eating disorders–are familiar ones, Hepperman’s commentary remains timely and electric.
A range of retellings and original material make these poems approachable for every reader while the black and white photography throughout the book is guaranteed to draw readers in.
Poisoned Apples is a smart, utterly feminist collection of poems that encourages girls to take charge of their lives whether that means finding their own way to a happy ending or taking a different path into new territory.
Possible Pairings: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen, The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff