YA Spin-Offs of Classic Stories


Whether they are set in a contemporary high school or hundreds of years in the future, there are heaps of YA retellings and reimaginings of classic stories – more than enough to have their own list. But spin-offs of the original – that is prequels, sequels, midquels or ones that add a new point of view – are a little harder to find.

So after much sleuthing we have put together a small list of some of the YA spin-offs that are out there.

The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
“In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice”

There are currently two books in this series (This Dark Endevour and Such Wicked Intent) with no details for a third. This Dark Endevour was a 2012 ALA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee and a Red Maple Fiction Award winner.

The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer

The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle
“When Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, discovers her mother has disappeared—on her 14th birthday nonetheless—she knows she alone can find her. Disguising herself as a grieving widow, Enola sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mother’s whereabouts—but not even the last name Holmes can prepare her for what awaits. Suddenly involved in the kidnapping of the young Marquess of Basilwether, Enola must escape murderous villains, free the spoiled Marquess, and perhaps hardest of all, elude her shrewd older brother—all while collecting clues to her mother’s disappearance!”

There are six books in this series: The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline and The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye. The first and fifth book were both Edgar Award nominees, but unlike previous works by Springer did not win.

Bloodline by Kate Cary

Dracula by Bram Stoker
“Thirty-five years have passed since the death of the Master. But now a new evil walks among the living. . . . When nineteen-year-old John Shaw returns from the trenches of World War I, he is haunted by nightmares—not only of the battlefield, but of the strange, cruel and impossible feats of his regiment’s commander, Quincey Harker. Harker’s ferocity knows no limits, and his strength is superhuman.

At first John blames his bloody nightmares on trench fever. But when Harker appears in England and begins wooing John’s sister, John must confront the truth—and stop Harker from continuing Dracula’s bloodline.”

Currently there are two books in this series: Bloodline and Reckoning.

Young Bond series by Charlie Higson

James Bond series by Ian Fleming.
1933, orphan James Bond (13) starts Eton, spends Easter in Scotland. Dying Uncle Max tells thrills and terrors of being a Great War spy. Near castle of Lord Hellebore, father of Eton bully George, Loch Silverfin holds bloodthirsty eels. After Kelly cousin Alfie and Pinkerton agent vanish, James, Cockney red-haired Kelly and emerald-eyed Wilder Lawless explore.

Commissioned by the estate of Ian Fleming, there are currently five books in the Young Bond series written by Charlie Higson: SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command. More books have been confirmed, only this time to be authored by Steve Cole.


Young Sherlock Holmes

The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle
1868 England, Sherlock Holmes 14 unexpectedly summers with Farnham relations, befriends orphan Matt. Why does a dark cloud float from a corpse covered in red boils? Sherlock fights, runs, gets caught, drugged, whipped, ordered killed; defending bystander is fatally knifed. Americans, logical tutor Amyus Crowe and daughter Virginia in well-fitting breeches help.

After the success of the Young Bond series, a series about a young Sherlock was commissioned by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. So far six books in the series have been released: Death Cloud, Red Leech (aka Rebel Fire in the US), Black Ice, Fire Storm, Snake Bite and Knife Edge.


The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

First in a trilogy, The Madman’s Daughter spins off of The Island of Dr. Moreau while the second book released, Her Dark Curiosity, takes its inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The third book, due 2015, is still untitled.

Stoker and Holmes by Colleen Gleason

Bram Stoker (author of Dracula) and The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle
Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Interestingly, Stoker and Holmes spins off of one fictional series and the author of another classic. There are currently two books in the series, The Clockwork Scarab and The Spiritglass Charade (due out late 2014).

Troy, Ithaka and Dido by Adèle Geras

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, The Aeneid by Virgil.
The siege of Troy has lasted almost ten years. Inside the walled city, food is scarce and death is common. From the heights of Mount Olympus, the Gods keep watch. But Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is bored with the endless, dreary war. Aided by Eros’s bow, the goddess sends two sisters down a bloody path to an awful truth: In the fury of war, love strikes the deadliest blows.

Each of Geras’s three books takes the events of the three epic poems (Troy for The Iliad, Ithaka for The Odyssey and Dido for The Aeneid) and filters them through the point of view of a young woman (often a servant) in the royal household.


And there you have it. Eight YA spin-offs of classic stories. Expect a post (or posts, as there’s that many) about modern retellings in the future! But until then, do you have any more to add to this list? Or if you have read any, what did you think?



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