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20 Folk Tale Adaptations in Literature to Curl Up With On a Rainy Day

Folk tales have fascinated and captivated audiences for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Why is that? What makes them so enduring? Well, the answer is simple. They continue to hold relevance for society and its’ problems, wants and needs. The trapping surrounding the same fundamental principles and messages in these stories can be adapted to fit the needs of any age. I could go through and analyze exactly why these tales are still so relevant to us, but I’ll save that for another day (spoiler alert! My future blog posts are about to become a bit more Grimm, pardon the pun).

Movie and television adaptations are on the rise, but book adaptations have been making an appearance for much longer. In fact, those classic tales that we all love and make adaptations from today, such as Grimm’s fairy tales, were themselves adaptations. If we really wanted to go back to the original oral tales we’d be hard pressed to find the very first person who told the story, as they are long long gone from this world. Today I am focusing on those novel adaptations that I believe best represent the genre. These novels span folk tales from Cinderella, with Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, all the way to The Twelve Dancing Princesses, with Heather Dixon’s Entwined. If you like folk tales, trust me you’ll want to curl up with one of these good books. So, dream of a rainy day, a cozy fire, and go ahead and indulge yourself.

20 Folk Tale Adaptations in Literature to Curl Up With On a Rainy Day

#20 Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Rose Daughter

#19 Beastly by Alex Flinn

Book - Beastly

#18 Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

enchanted book cover

#17 Entwined by Heather Dixon

Entwined Book Cover

#16 Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

Book - Spindle's End

#15 East by Edith Pattou

East Book Cover

#14 Just Ella By Margaret Peterson Haddix

Just Ella

#13 The Fire Rose By Mercedes Lackey

The Fire Rose

#12 Zel By Donna Jo Napoli


#11 Briar Rose By Jane Yolen

Briar Rose

#10 Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister By Gregory Maguire

confessions of an ugly stepsister

#9 Deerskin By Robin McKinley


#8 Beast By Donna Jo Napoli


#7 Enchantment By Orson Scott Card


#6 Beauty By Robin McKinley


#5 Wildwood Dancing  By Juliet Marillier

WIldwood Dancing

#4 Cinder By Marissa Meyer

Cinder; YA Heroines

#3 The Two Princesses of Bamarre By Gail Carson Levine

two princesses of bamarre

#2 Daughter of the Forest By Juliet Marillier

daughter of the forest

#1 Ella Enchanted By Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted

Did you notice any books that I didn’t include that you think should be added to the list? Sound off below…



Take a look at Autumn’s Top 20 Fairy Tale Films.

Check out the Beauty and the Beast Classic Romantic Moment of the Week.

Peruse Autumn’s Review of Alethea Kontis’ Enchanted.

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By on September 25th, 2013

About Rebecca Lane

Rebecca Lane grew up in the hot desert landscape of Tucson, Arizona where she decided early on she wanted to write, if only to mentally escape her blistering surroundings. She has always been enamored of the arts and literature. As a child she often wrote short stories, and rewrote the endings of novels that she simply could not abide. She received her Undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she was lucky enough to also spend a year studying at Oxford University. While she began her journey dreaming of the day she would sing opera in a large Manhattan theater, she found in the end she could not stand waitressing and simply could not give up books and her hopes of someday writing them. She is currently working as a freelance writer/editor and earning her Masters in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

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