New Tales for Old: Folktales as Literary Fictions for Young Adults

The timeless themes and versatility of folk tales have helped them survive and flourish over centuries, taking on myriad forms-short story, picture book, film, poem, and novel. New Tales for Old gathers together a number of popular folktale reworkings (not just simple retellings) in a variety of genres that appeal to young adults. After discussing the nature of folktales, their cultural context, and the characteristics that make them attractive to young adults, de Vos and Altmann interpret specific Grimm tales describing their many reworkings and offering suggestions for using the material with young adults. The tales discussed in this book are: Cinderella, The Frog King or Iron Henry, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.


“Good for both casual browsing and concentrated study. De Vos and Altmann will convince even the Disneyfied of readers that the old tales are not just for children. The themes of independence, self-determination, sexuality, and identity are strong and enduring and explain why these tales are both timely and timeless.”-The Story Bag

“Provides a valuable introduction to the study of the specific tales included.”-Marvels and Tales

“The text is accessible, the organization of the material is excellent, and the quotations from other scholars illustrate concepts well. There is a wealth of information on which to base a study unit. The works of Jack Zipes and Peter and Iona Opie cover some of the same topics, yet de Vos and Altmann provide a feast for fans of folklore and for storytellers. An excellent resource.” – School Library Journal

“High-school teachers and librarians will find a lot in this lively guide to stimulate discussion about the old childhood stories and about all the new versions of traditional fairy tales that are being told now for YAs and adults in fiction, film, opera, poetry, and on the Internet.” -. Hazel Rochman, Booklist


2000 Storytelling World – Storytelling World Award, Special Storytelling Resource