Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
Why this book?
McKinley’s Beauty is a classic in (at least) two ways. 1) It’s a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast, rather than an adaptation. These classic fairy tales very clearly indicate the problem of choosing your family, full of wicked stepmothers, bumbling fathers, and jealous siblings. The trope that really gets me is typified in Beauty: the father who is willing to sacrifice his daughter for his own safety. Not exactly stellar parenting, but it’s so common in these old stories! 2) McKinely is a master storyteller, who allows you to revisit this well-known story in new ways (and it predates the Disney version—no Mrs. Potts in Beauty).