Go the Distance

Disney-Hyperion. (Twisted Tale). Apr. 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368063807.
Gr 6-8–As the 11th book in the “Twisted Tale” series, Calonita’s latest novel riffs on classic Disney fairy tales by asking, “What if things had been different?” When Hercules completes his hero quest, he joins the gods on Mt. Olympus, except Zeus refuses to admit his son’s one true love, Megara—a mortal with pale skin and striking red hair. Hercules and Meg are bound to be separated, but Hera offers a way for the two lovers to be together forever. Now Meg has little time to complete a quest of her own that will force her to face her darkest fears and memories while learning to trust others once again. Aficionados of Disney movies and classic fairy tales will enjoy this romp alongside familiar characters. This retelling brings Meg’s story to the fore and, along with it, questions about what Meg as a formerly sidelined character really wants for her life. Although the relationship between Meg and Hercules lacks a little in nuance and complexity, this story uses the “what if” twist to center the experience of a spunky woman who grows emotionally through the course of her quest.
VERDICT A satisfying retelling, recommended for fans of the “Percy Jackson” series and adventurous, modernized fairy tales.

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