Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spirit of Grimm Infuses This Delightful Mystery

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spirit of Grimm Infuses This Delightful Mystery

Article excerpt

Byline: June Weltman

FAR FAR AWAY

Author: Tom McNeal

Data: Alfred A. Knopf, 400 pages, $9.99 paperback; ages 12 and older.

Tom McNeal has written a strange, sad and frightening story about a town where kids keep disappearing. It's also a fairy tale of sorts with a hero who has a guardian ghost, a beautiful girl who can leg wrestle, and a happy ending.

Much of the story is grim - as in the Brothers Grimm, whose original collection of folk tales in Germany in the early 1800s portrayed heroes, princesses, romance and magic wonders as well as evil, cruelty and death.

Fifteen year-old Jeremy Johnson's mother ran off when he was young, leaving her collection of fairy tales in the attic. Later, his father retreated to his bedroom and didn't come out. His dear grandfather, who loved Jeremy "more than the sun and the moon," died three years ago.

Taunted at school, Jeremy's only real friend is Jacob, a ghost of one of the Grimm brothers. …

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