Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
ISBN: 9780399250965
Pages: 325 pages
Publisher/Date: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group Inc., c2010.

“So this is really a formality, but just to be thorough, do you do the dishes at home?”
What kind of question was that? “Yes, most of the time.”
One more bad thing about my stepsisters going away to college–I was the only kid left to do chores.
“About how often?”
“Most days. Five or six times a week, probably.”
“And how many have you broken this year?”
“Yes, dishes, glasses, that sort of thing.”
“None. Why?”
“Oh, we can never be too careful. When was the last time you lost your keys?”
“I never loose my keys.”
“Excellent. All right, sort these please.” Dr. Rust handed me a box of buttons.
“Sort them? Sort them how?”
“Well, that’s up to you, isn’t it?”
This had to be the strangest interview I’d ever heard of. Was I going to lose the job because Dr. Rust didn’t like the way I sorted buttons? (12)

Elizabeth Rew is lonely at her new school, so she takes the advice of her teacher and takes a job at the New York Circulating Material Repository. Instead of lending out books or dvds like a normal library, the repository lends out objects, from old clothes to kitchen items to everything in between, including magical items as Elizabeth soon finds out. These working magical items include the slippers from the 12 dancing princesses, the flying carpet from Aladdin, and the magical mirror from Sleeping Beauty. However, items are going missing, and the nature of the thefts leads Elizabeth’s boss to believe it’s an inside job. When one of the pages also goes missing, Elizabeth and her coworkers set out to track down the real thief.

I was very excited to read this book when I first heard about and when I first saw it. Let’s be honest, the cover is absolutely eye-catching. Speaking as a librarian and a self-proclaimed fantasy nutcase, I enjoyed this story. As the story progresses, readers discover that Elizabeth and the rest of the pages seem to be “gifted” and uniquely suited to handle this job. There is a light romance between some of the characters, and they are predictably paired by the end of the book.

I kind of expected more from Elizabeth though, especially since her story is set up to mirror a modern-day Cinderella (mother dies, father remarried to an evil woman with two spoiled step-sisters). Her coworkers have their own quirks, although I wish we had gotten to see more of Anjali in the story. Anjali is the quiet page who goes missing, and it seems like after this occurs her younger sister Jaya steals the show with her spunky and enthusiastic nature. The boys, Marc and Aaron, play off each other, jealously vying for attention and trust from the two girls. Aaron seems the most suspicious of the pages, which seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. He doesn’t trust anyone, and therefore in return no one trusts him. We seem to get the most background information about Marc, whose family is known by the head of the library and whose history plays a role in the story’s resolution.

Fantasy and library fans might get a kick out of seeing a lending library of magical items. The ending allows for a sequel in the future, but readers will still be satisfied with the conclusion.