Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Fans of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series will enjoy this inventive retelling of the classic Rumpelstiltskin fable. The only thing shorter than 12 year old Rump, is his name.  His mother was only able to gasp the first part of Rump's name before she died. In a kingdom where your name determines your destiny, a four letter name that also serves as a synonym for butt spells out a rather bleak future for Rump. Rump spends his days working in the gold mine, attempting to unearth enough gold to exchange for a bit of grain for himself and his Grandmother.  Of course the villiage children delight in taunting Rump over his short stature and ridiculous name.  Things start to look up for Rump when he comes across an old spinning wheel and discovers that he is quite talented at spinning straw into gold.  His friend Red warns him that magic always comes with consequences, but Rump doesn't heed the warning, believing he has finally found his destiny.  His newfound talent comes with some strings attached and only complicates Rump's life further.  Determined to set things right, Rumps sets out on a quest to break the curse and find out his true name which he believes will finally reveal his true destiny.  To succeed, Rump must take on pixies, trolls, and a wicked queen but with outspoken Red by his side, he might have a fighting chance. 

Shurtliff's debut combines many of the familiar elements of Rumpelstiltskin with a creative new twist.  Rump is a far cry from the hot-headed meanie in the classic tale who is ultimately outwitted by the cunning miller's daughter. Rump is a great re-aloud story as children will take pleasure in picking out the various references to fairy tale characters that are interspersed within the story.  

For other fun and inventive retellings of fairy tales, check out A Prince among Frogs by E.D. Baker and Storybound by Marissa Burt. 

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