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The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers: And Other Gruesome Tales

Jen Campbell, Adam de Souza


Fourteen of the most gruesome fairy tales from around the world are re-told for contemporary readers and restored to their original, grisly versions: 'Guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck' - Neil Gaiman

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Welcome to the forest.

This is where the stories live.

They’ve been breathing in the dark for hundreds of years.

Let me show them to you.

Here is the man who likes to eat children.

Here is the castle that screams in the night.

Here are the souls trapped under the sea.

This book contains fourteen gruesome tales

from around the world.

Shall we take a closer look?

Take my hand. Follow me.

We don’t want you to lose your way…

Jen Campbell's collection of terrifyingly gruesome tales lends a modern edge to fairy tale collections for young readers. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of fairy tale history, Campbell's stories undo the censoring, gender stereotyping and twee endings of more modern children's fairy tales, to return both classic and little-known stories to their grim versions, whilst celebrating a diverse range of characters.

Featuring 14 short stories from around the globe, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is illustrated in a contemporary style by Canadian artist Adam de Souza. De Souza's brooding illustrations are a highly original blend of 19th-century Gothic engravings and moody film noir graphic novels. Beautifully produced in a hardback format with a rose gold ribbon marker, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is a truly thrilling gift.

Winner of a Made for Mums GOLD AWARD 2022, Book for children 9-12 years old

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'Guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. A wonderful addition to the bookshelf of any young reader who seeks to walk on the spookier side of the street'
Neil Gaiman

'Smart, layered and full of beautiful storytelling ... The stories are dynamic and thrilling and the illustrations are just so incredibly vivid … brilliant!'
Elle McNicoll, author of 'A Kind of Spark'

'Quietly revolutionary... fairy tales retold from a perspective – feminist, queer, disabled – that you don't often find in traditional tales. Beautifully done'
James Catchpole, author of 'What Happened to You?'

'With its stunning illustrations and beautifully written stories, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers is a deliciously dark and provocative subversion of traditional fairytales'
Louise O'Neill, author of 'Almost Love' and 'The Surface Breaks'

'Deliciously dark, provocative, modern and relevant...Think Grimm’s tales told with a splash of Roald Dahl from a world turned upside-down'
The School Reading List

'This collection ... intentionally avoids the Disney-fication of folklore ... These tales are disturbing - and satisfyingly so... Atmospheric illustrations pair effectively with the text, and Campbell departs from tradition to include overtly feminist stories as well as gay and lesbian romance without a hint of societal condemnation... Creepy and progressive'
Kirkus Reviews

'I loved this! Jen puts an unconventional twist on classic scary fairy tale tropes... I love how each is a peek into the culture of different countries all over the world'
Morgan Long, YouTube vlogger

'A frighteningly good read-aloud'
The School Librarian

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 24.0 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 120 pp

Illustrations: 86

Publication date: 7 October 2021

ISBN: 9780500652589

Contents List

The Adults Who Lost Their Organs (German)
The Boy Who Tricked a Troll (Norwegian)
The Daughter Who Loved a Skeleton (Nigerian)
The Girl With the Horse’s Head (Chinese)
The House That Was Filled With Ghosts (Japanese)
The Kingdoms at the Centre of the Earth (Russian)
The Man Who Hunted Children (South African)
The Man Who Tricked Death (Egyptian)
The Princess Who Ruled the Sea (Inuit)
The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers (Korean)
The Son of Seven Mothers (Indian)
The Souls Trapped Under the Ocean (Irish)
The Woman and the Glass Mountain (Spanish)
The Woman Who Could Remove Her Head From Her Body (Salvadoran)

About the Author

Jen Campbell is a bestselling author and award-winning poet. She's written ten books for both adults and children, spanning non-fiction, poetry, short stories and children's books. Her podcast BOOKS WITH JEN is an iTunes top 100 podcast. She reviews books on BBC Radio, runs a book club for TOAST, and has a Youtube channel where she talks about books, the history of fairy tales, and the representation of disfigurement and disability.

Adam de Souza is an illustrator based in Vancouver, Canada. His clients include Vice, The Globe and Mail, and Live Magazine.