The Grimm Legacy begins as a tale of an ordinary life: Elizabeth Rew is adjusting to her mother’s death, her father’s remarriage, and switching to public school so her father can help pay tuition for her two new stepsisters. She has nobody to sit with at lunch time and feels lonely and virtually invisible. After writing her term paper on the Grimm brothers, her friendly (if eccentric) history teacher offers her an after school job, which she accepts gratefully.
Elizabeth soon learns, however, that this is no ordinary job. She has been hired as a page at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a sort of library for objects. The repository stores and lends out everything from china tea sets to Marie Antoinette’s wig. But what really surprises our fair heroine is when she learns that the basement of the repository houses the Grimm Collection – magical objects bequeathed to the repository straight out of fairy tales and folklore.
I love this premise for a young adult title, because not only does it make the mundane magical (how many high school students wish their after school job was a bit more glamorous?), it also takes the enchanted and makes it ordinary. Though apprehensive of these items at first, by the end of the book all the young repository pages have used magical objects in their everyday lives, with varying degrees of success and many unforeseen consequences.