Some stories stick with us and become part of our cultures, ideas, and lives. Some authors take familiar stories from fairy tales, fables, legends, mythology, or classics and twist them in unique and unexpected ways. From a reimagining of the Three Musketeers to a fresh take on Sleeping Beauty, here are ten new and upcoming retellings for YA and MG readers.
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder 1/11/2022, Razorbill/PRH
Sleeping Beauty has a new and adventurous twist in this YA fantasy. Fi, a bookish treasure hunter, pricks her finger and gets stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose, a prince under a sleeping curse. Fi has to work together with Shane, a warrior with grit, to break the century-old curse on Briar Rose's kingdom–a task made all the more challenging when you add in dark magic, Witch Hunters, a mysterious witch who might steal Shane's heart, and the frightening possibility of Fi falling in love with Briar Rose.
Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O'Neill, 2/22/2022, Roaring Brook/Macmillan
In 1918 Russia, Anna, a bourgeois girl, narrowly escapes the massacre of her family in Yekaterinburg amidst the empire's crumbling. She offers Evgenia, a peasant girl and communist, a diamond to take her as far south as possible. Evgenia accepts the offer because it will help her get medical attention for her brother, but finds herself on the wrong side of the war as the Bolsheviks start hunting down both of them.
One for All by Lillie Lainhoff 3/8/2022, FSG/Macmillan
In this gender-bent, #OwnVoices retelling of The Three Musketeers, Tania, an aspiring fencer written off as a "sick girl," finds herself in L'Académie des Mariées, a secret training ground for musketeers. With newfound sisters at her side who hide daggers under their socialite garb, Tania finds her purpose. But when she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot, her loyalties become increasingly murky and complicated.
Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson 3/15/2022, HarperTeen
While all bookworms want to be Lizzie Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Marnie Barnes realizes that she's actually more of a Mary Bennet–protagonist Lizzie's forgettably dull sister. Marnie needs to reinvent herself, so she opens herself up to the world with her bubbly roommate at her side. She wants to be the main character of her life, but can she do that without rewriting herself entirely?
Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard 6/7/2022, Flux/NorthStar
Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her wrongly-imprisoned father, and can get it–if she can complete the better half of ten daunting labors. While she has her gifts of magic and strength and the help of Pollux, she still has to beat Castor, who has her own gifts and her own ambitions. Gen has to fight for her hopes and her life in this genderbent retelling of the labors of Hercules.
A Song of Silver and Gold by Melissa Karibian 6/12/2022, Hansen House
Princess Kaelyn of Avalon disguises herself as a man, Captain Kae, and led a crew on the open sea to eradicate the sirens she blames for her brother's death. Aqeara is a siren warrior of Meyrial, and when her negligence causes the death of Meyrial's princess, she seeks a sea witch to help her overturn her banishment. Aqeara gets a human body and the mission to carve out Captain Kae's heart before the next full moon. If she completes her task, Meyrial's princess will be revived–but Kae and Aqeara's plans are complicated when they begin to fall for each other in this fantastical twist on the Little Mermaid story.
Accomplished by Amanda Quain 7/26/2022, Wednesday Books/Macmillan
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in this contemporary YA. Georgiana escaped expulsion from Pemberly Academy after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year thanks to her family name, but she hasn't escaped the school's scorn or her brother's disappointment. So when she starts her junior year, she sets out on a plan to become the Perfect Darcy. This task isn't easy, and Georgie has to find her way before she loses everything—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
Frances and the Monster by Refe Tuma 8/23/2022, Harper Children's/HarperCollins
In this charming middle-grade twist on Frankenstein, Frances accidentally reawakens her grandfather's most terrible secret invention while trying to prove her scientific prowess. With her pet chimp and robot tutor by her side, she sets out to hunt the monster before it can destroy her future in science and her entire city.
Lioness of Punjab by Anita Jari Kharbanda 9/17/2022, Yali Books
It is the winter of 1705, and the tenth Guru of the Sikhs is under attack by the armies of the mighty Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Under siege and isolated, Guru Gobind Singh Ji's men are exhausted beyond measure, and forty soldiers choose to head home. Back in the villages of Punjab, these forty men come across a spirited Sikh woman—a warrior who has been training all her life for this moment—who leads the deserters back to the Guru.
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije 10/4/2022, HarperCollins
In this middle-grade book filled with Lebanese culture, twelve-year-old Shad Hadid is an aspiring baker whose life is flipped upside down when he discovers he comes from a long line of alchemists and is sent to the mysterious Alexandria Academy. His arrival at the school awakens a nefarious force and he holds the key to either stopping—or unleashing—their evil plot.
Comment below what you're most excited to read!