People enjoy the bizarre.  But what makes the bizarre bizarre?  G. K. Chesterton states in his book Orthodoxy, "Oddities do not strike odd people. This is...why the new novels die so quickly and why the old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy: it is his adventures that startle him: they startle him because he is normal. But in the modern psychological novel the hero is abnormal...hence the fiercest adventures fail to affect him adequately." Inspired by this quotation to create odd (or should I say normal) novels, gina Doman set about rewriting old fairy tales such as “se White and Rose Red,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “i Baba and the 40 Thieves” in a surprising new way. A Catholic herself, she inserts normal, public-schooled Catholic teens and normal, Catholic college students into the role of hero or heroine, facing a wild set of circumstances which are the modern equivalents of the events in the old fairy tales.  

What are the modern equivalents of the events in the old fairy tales? How about 40 cyber thieves for Ali Baba’s robbers, 7 friars for 7 dwarves, and aikido sticks for swords in the hands of the various Prince Charmings. Regina Doman reports that fairy tales fascinate her because they are about ordinary people in an extraordinary universe, as opposed to weird people in a mundane world, and her books exemplify that thought. The twist for the majority of Covenant students is that Catholicism doesn’t seem normal! Part of the fun of reading these books is in discovering the normality of the protagonists, for Catholics are Christians, too.

Are you thinking, “Fairy tales are for babies. I want something real?” Don’t worry; these books are tough. In every book, the heroes and heroines come face to face with seduction, abduction, murder, or drugs. Real-life dangers in our culture rise to confront normal Catholic teens and college students who have to figure out what to do and how to do it the same way you or I would. These stories are alarming and seriously thought-­provoking. But, for those of you who enjoy some light­hearted spice, know that there’s plenty of humor and fun mixed in, not to mention the inevitable happy ending of the traditional fairy tale­­ made even better by the fact that the victory belongs to God.

Now that you can sense the flavor of the Fairy Tale Novels, let me list the titles they are comprised of and a short description of each. e Shadow of the Bear is the story of the meeting between two brothers falsely accused of being drug dealers and two innocent young Catholic girls.  ack as Night, e second installment, tells how one of those girls tries to take refuge in a friary from the persecution of her drug dealer boss, and the third installment, king Rose, describes a very peculiar Sleeping Beauty rescued by many princes and one Prince Charming. Twelve “dancing princesses” face the dangerous consequences of their clandestine sins in dnight Dancers, y personal favorite.  In Alex O’Donnel and the Forty Cyber Thieves, the hero and his girlfriend come face to face with both murder and sudden wealth -- all because of a technological cat and a strange website.  punzel Let Down: a Fairy Tale Retold tells e tragedy of a couple who have premarital sex and must live through the pain -- a book I recommend only to those who have faced such a situation, either themselves or through a friend.

Try giving the Fairy Tale Novels a whirl! See what it’s like to be a Christian when faced with death or seduction at every corner. Watch your peers, in your own “extraordinary universe,” face temptation, defy cultural brokenness (such as abortion centers), and find their life ­partners. Laugh at the antics of a pack of Prince Charmings coming to the rescue with aikido sticks. These books are fast reads, so try picking one up over a weekend or on a Sunday, and experience the extraordinariness of our country.