Thirteen-year-old Tiến reads fairy tales to his mother, Helen, to help her practice her English as she works as a seamstress. Woven through the fairy tales are memories Helen has of immigrating with her husband. The fairy tales are variations on the story of Cinderella. The first is about a maiden named Alera who is promised to the Old Man in the Sea to repay her father’s debts. She demands three impossibly beautiful dresses as payment, then escapes his clutches after receiving them. She wakes up on a distant shore and finds a new family in the kitchens of a palace. The kind prince has a ball for his birthday, and Alera wears one of her beautiful dresses. Of course, she catches the eye of the prince.
In between reading stories Tiến attends school and tries to navigate his crush on one of his best friends, Julian. His other best friend, Claire, encourages Tiến to tell Julian and his family that he is gay, but Tiến can’t find the words to express it in Vietnamese in order to tell his parents. Outside pressures make Tiến feel ashamed of his feelings, so will he ever find the courage to tell his mother?
This edition collects volumes 1-2 of the original run of Mermaid Saga.
Mana is the hope of her village, which is entirely made of older ladies. One day, Yuta comes to the village and disrupts their entire way of life. Yuta is a centuries old young man who gained immortality by eating the flesh of a mermaid, and is now questing for a way to reverse his immortality. He uncovers the real reason the village is protecting Mana, and instead of letting them get away with their sinister plan, he breaks her out and steals her away from the older ladies. The rest of the volume is comprised of other adventures of Yuta and Mana as Yuta tries to find more mermaids who could potentially help him become mortal.
Illustrated by Jeff Stokely
This book is a reimagining is the story of the Pied Piper. In the village of Hameln, a young woman named Maggie lives and dreams of falling in love. She has gone deaf due to a tragedy of childhood cruelty, and she continues to live with judgment from the villagers. The village of Hameln is beset with rats, bringing fever and ruining crops and stores of food. In comes a mysterious stranger who claims he can rid the village of all the rats. He negotiates his fees, including all-expenses-paid while he stays in the village, and begins his recon. This includes getting to know the lovely Maggie, who cannot fall under his spell naturally. Nevertheless, the two begin to admire each other, but double-crossing and deep-seeded bitterness threaten everything Maggie knows about the man of her dreams.
Illustrated by Dom Reardon and Matthew Dow Smith
Rebellious Teen Nissy (nickname for Nicnevin) has her life in London uprooted by her mother after being expelled from her school for drugs. Mom takes Nissy and her younger brother to a village in the North of England to detox from fast-paced city life. The family is supposed to be cleaning up grandma's house, left derelict for many years, but Nissy and her brother have other plans, always absconding and leaving mom to do all the heavy lifting. There, Nissy meets an interesting older man investigating the mysterious past of the village, including witches and druids. Nissy reads some of the family history from her grandma’s diary, and finds out there is more to them than she first thought.
Illustrated by Jo Rioux
This haunting story, based on an old Celtic folktale, is about two sisters of a king and faerie mother. The mother passes away, and the two daughters grieve very differently. When they find their father in a questionable situation with two young ladies, their opposite reactions shape the course of their lives. Dahut, the strong-willed red-head, follows in her mother’s magical footsteps and does what she can to protect the city of Ys from the sea. Rozenn, the kind and gentle brunette, retreats to the country and tries to live among the folk. She, being the heir, does not understand her sister’s life and what the grisly price has been to keep Ys prospering. The last half of the story is full of heart-breaking moments as the two sisters make many sacrifices to keep their people safe. In the end, this story has half a happy ending, but mostly chilling and unsettling.
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