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Revisiting Favorite Characters

July 9, 2014

The internet has been buzzing this week about the return of Harry Potter! On July 8, 2014, J.K. Rowling released a new short story on the extensive Pottermore website that offers a glimpse into Harry’s life as he attends the Quidditch World Cup with his family. He’s 34, has a few gray hairs, still wears his signature glasses, and of course, he’s an Auror, but I can’t help but wonder if this is a return fans really want. Should Harry’s story have been finished at the end of THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (without the epilogue, thank you very much) or do new short stories about a different chapter in Harry’s life add to the original joy of the series?

There’s really no wrong or right answer. Revisiting familiar characters is often one of the most enjoyable and imaginative forms of storytelling. Sometimes the visit takes us to the same story-world like the new Harry Potter short story. Sometimes the visit offers us a new world for familiar characters to navigate. Characters like Batman, Robin Hood, Captain Kirk, and Sherlock Holmes have all been re-imagined and adapted to fit modern society. The trick is to remain true to the nature of the original while creating a unique spin on a beloved character.

Here are three of my picks for YA novels that revisit familiar characters in unique ways.


GRIM is a collection of fairy tales re-imagined with a dark, sinister twist. There are seventeen short stories by seventeen of the best young adult authors today, including Myra McEntire, Amanda Hocking, Jeri Smith-Ready, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, and Jon Skovron to name a few. Fresh Fiction reviewers Debbie Wiley and Samantha Randolph both agree that GRIM is an absolute must read because the stories are eclectic, edgy, and entertaining. GRIM is going on my shelf next to my hefty Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales collection.


Cinderella and her prince would never have met if it hadn’t been for the help of the Fairy Godmother and one magical, beautiful dress. So what happened to CINDERELLA’S DRESS after the happily-ever-after?

It’s World War II. Kate is seventeen, working in a department store, and doing what she can for the war efforts when long-lost relatives from Poland land on her doorstep. With them is a steamer trunk they claim holds the real Cinderella’s dresses. Can Kate keep the dresses safe from the descendants of the wicked stepsisters? CINDERELLA’S DRESS is a unique blend of historical detail and fairy-tale magic sure to please anyone who’s ever pretended to be Cinderella.


“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Captain James Benjamin Hook has been cursed to play villain to the malicious boys of Neverland in a war that never ends. Until Stella Parrish dreams her way into Neverland. She’s a forbidden grown woman; a woman who can open the magical world of Neverland in ways Hook never could. Stella might be able to break the curse, but can they do it before Pan’s boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game?

Captain Hook is certainly getting his share of sexy make-overs. Fans of Once Upon a Time have seen the misunderstood, romantic Hook, and ALIAS HOOK promises to show a different side to this cursed man. With a touch of romance, new and exciting exploration of Neverland, and female protagonist with her own powers, ALIAS HOOK re-imagines the world of Neverland for a modern day audience. I can’t wait to read ALIAS HOOK.

Tell me, dear readers, what stories do you want to see re-imagined?

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