Booktalk: Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

Lies Knives cover

I first picked up Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses because I love fairy tales, I love retellings of fairy tales, and (I confess) I thought that a poem-format book would make for an easy booktalk.  But the more I read, the more I realized that I didn’t want to read any of the poems out loud both because of the “mature” language and because I didn’t want to limit myself to just one or two stories.  So instead I wrote the booktalk in more of a list format, so that listeners will get some idea of the range of stories in this book.

If you go to Ron Koertge’s website, you can learn more about this and his other books.  I’ll confess that I’d only read his novels before, but if you’re interested in poetry he has another recent release that might interest you, as well.

ETA: This booktalk had a really fast turnaround time (I recorded it about two minutes after writing it).  Then I realized after I’d posted this episode that I made a couple of small but vital grammatical errors in my recorded booktalk.  I’ve fixed the errors in the printed version below.  My apologies for the confusion.


Once upon a time, people made some bad decisions.

Two girls listened to their mother, and turned against their beautiful stepsister.  A man broke into a witch’s garden because his pregnant wife was craving a salad.  The Beast hoped that Beauty would fall in love with him.  A girl was kind enough to share her food with a stranger.  A man promised that his daughter could spin straw into gold.  And a girl wondered what it would be like to be eaten by a wolf.

Yes, there’s magic, and danger, and punishments, and rewards, and falling in and out of love, and revenge, and death.  But most of these stories don’t end QUITE the way you’d expect.

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