June 06, 2013

A boy’s Grimm ghost in a most unusual town

By Tom McNeal
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The ghost of Jacob Grimm has been wandering the earth since 1863, searching for his beloved dead brother—and the other half of the famous fairy-tale-writing duo—Wilhelm. The endless search is what keeps Jacob from leaving the Zwischenraum, the ghost realm, and brings him to the door of 15-year-old Jeremy Johnson Johnson, an outcast in the backwards town of Never Better. Jeremy is the only one who can hear Jacob, and the Brother Grimm quickly becomes the boy’s only friend and protector. And Jeremy can use all the help he can get: His father is a heartbroken shut-in and the bank is ready to foreclose on their home.

Then one day Ginger, the town spitfire, takes a real interest in Jeremy. She invites him to the bakery where the locals claim the Prince Cakes are like a love potion. One bite and suddenly Ginger can't stay away from Jeremy. Is it a budding friendship or a magic spell? Either way, she's determined to help him save his home. But Jeremy needs more than Ginger's help, as an evil lurks in Never Better, and it's coming straight for Jeremy Johnson Johnson.

Far Far Away is an incredibly imaginative modern fairy tale told through the first-person narration of the ghost of Jacob Grimm. In rich language, Tom McNeal intricately weaves the collected tales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm into Jeremy’s unusual world, thus giving readers the impetus to research the history of these dark fairy tales, far more than any Disney movie could. Suspenseful with a sinister villain, Far Far Away is equally heartwarming as it is scary.

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Far Far Away

Far Far Away

By Tom McNeal
Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780375849725

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