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For generations, storytellers, bards, and troubadours — ancient and modern — have been putting new spins on old tales. One of the oldest collections of stories, the Bible itself, even mentions this in Ecclesiastes 1:9:
That which has been done is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Epic Reads recently put together a gorgeous infographic specifically focusing on these retellings in YA — 162 of them, in fact. It could even be argued by some that a few of these original stories, like Romeo and Juliet, were based on earlier stories. You’ll find the infographic below, and a complete list of the retellings can be found here.
I remember loving Robin McKinley’s Beauty as a kid and thoroughly enjoying Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted some years later when I stumbled across it as a camp counselor (that one makes great bedtime reading for a room full of kiddos). Do you have any favorite YA retellings? Or favorite retellings in general?
P.S. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out The 10 Most Read Books of All Time.
Excellent infograph! I’ll bet CG Jung would have traced it all the way back to a handful of archetypes, mind you…
Loving the charts…makes you wonder if there is any originality left out there. (According to Christopher Booker’s The Seven Basic Plots we’re all just rehashing the same old stuff, just in different ways).
I tend not to read retellings. Well, that I know of anyway. I could be reading them and not even be aware of it. As your quote points out, everything’s been done before. 🙂
Reblogged this on 5 Writers 5 Novels 5 Months and commented:
I don’t have a working computer at the moment so here is a post I really thought was great!
This post came at an excellent time. I just started rereading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, and was looking for YA examples that were based on either fairy tales or mythology. I loved “Ella Enchanted”. It was my first exposure to a strong female protagonist!
I loved that list of retelling. Growing up in a German-speaking country, I learned reading with Grimm’s fairy tales, so this was a delight for me. Though I wasn’t aware of the original version of Little Red Riding Hood!