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Rapunzel's Revenge Hardcover – August 5, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Rapunzel's Revenge Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5 Up–This is the tale as you've never seen it before. After using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once moonlighted as her mother. Dogged by both the witch's henchman and Jack's outlaw past, the heroes travel across the map as they right wrongs, help the oppressed, and generally try to stay alive. Rapunzel is no damsel in distress–she wields her long braids as both rope and weapon–but she happily accepts Jack's teamwork and friendship. While the witch's castle is straight out of a fairy tale, the nearby mining camps and rugged surrounding countryside are a throwback to the Wild West and make sense in the world that the authors and illustrator have crafted. The dialogue is witty, the story is an enticing departure from the original, and the illustrations are magically fun and expressive. Knowing that there are more graphic novels to come from this writing team brings readers their own happily-ever-after.–Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, New York Public Library
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From Booklist

This graphic novel retelling of the fairy-tale classic, set in a swashbuckling Wild West, puts action first and features some serious girl power in its spunky and strong heroine. Young Rapunzel lives a lonely life, never knowing what lies beyond the high garden walls of her mother’s royal villa until one day she climbs the wall to see what’s on the other side. When she finds that the world outside is a dark place oppressed by her mother’s greed for power and uncovers the real secret of her own birth, she is imprisoned in a magic tree tower. In her years of captivity, she learns a lot about self-reliance and care for her exceptionally long hair, and eventually she is able to escape, vowing to bring down her mother’s cruel empire. Hale’s art matches the story well, yielding expressive characters and lending a wonderful sense of place to the fantasy landscape. Rich with humor and excitement, this is an alternate version of a classic that will become a fast favorite of young readers. Grades 5-8. --Tina Coleman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; First Edition edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159990070X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599900704
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a graphic novel in the truest sense of the word, a done-in-one novel length comic book. It's intended for, and marketed to, the middle reader set (ages 9 to 12), but it's just as suitable for young adults and adults alike.

Rapunzel's Revenge takes place in a fairy-tale-version of the American west, in which standard fairy tale tropes are recast in western idioms. The main character is Rapunzel, a young girl raised in a well-guarded villa by a woman she thinks is her mother. When Rapunzel learns that the woman is in fact an evil sorceress who rules the land with an iron fist, she tries to escape, only to end up imprisoned in a high tower, her hair cursed to grow endlessly. But rather than waiting for any handsome prince to come along and rescue her, Rapunzel simply braids her hair into two long rope-like braids, frees herself, and then using her braids as lariats and whips sets out to end the sorceress's rule once and for all. She meets up with a young ne'er-do-well named Jack, who is down on his luck until his pet goose finally lays an egg, and together they travel across the deserts and forests, having adventures. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Every so often a book comes along that crosses boundaries, and this graphic novel should appeal to the young, the old, girls, boys, and, unless a true snob, it should even appeal to those who don't usually like comix. Unlike some, I've been reading science fiction, horror, adventure, and mystery stories for over forty years, so the mixing of the western, fantasy, and fairy-tale genres didn't bother me, it just enhanced the story.

This review may contain spoilers, but everything important happens within the first twenty pages anyway, so this review shouldn't spoil much. This modern retelling of an old fairy tale is reset in an alternate universe of our old American west. The story starts off with the Hales painting an idyllic picture, literally and figuratively, of the young redheaded Rapunzel and her life in Mother Gothel's huge hacienda where everybody is nice to her. However, she is also having troublesome dreams of being part of a family that she barely remembers.

Unfortunately, Rapunzel is just an average girl and she rebels against being cloistered in Gothel's hacienda. In an act of rebellion on her twelfth birthday, Rapunzel escapes from Mother Gothel's place and discovers what Mother Gothel's kingdom is really like and who her real mother is.

This angers Gothel and Rapunzel is then taken by the thuggish Brute to Gothel's swamps and is placed in a tree hollow where she stays until she is sixteen. At that time Rapunzel is given a choice by Gothel to either be an obedient girl or stay in the tree. Rapunzel denies Gothel, and is punished by being abandoned forever, and left in the tree.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Shannon Hale's novels, and I too was surprised that this is in a "comic book" format. Wow! The story is well-told, but my kudos go to the illustrator Nathan Hale. I had to read this twice in succession -- first to enjoy the plot, but the second time to look closely at every picture. The pictures make the text even more ironic and witty, and there are little themes in the pictures alone (watch the goose, for example). I feel silly sometimes for reading "kid's books", but this was so classy I plan to share with friends.
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Format: Hardcover
A popular novelist may be prone to looking at the whole of their oeuvre. They consider their past works, look to the future, and decide to write a graphic novel. What makes them do this? Is it the potential to reach whole new audiences? Is it the accessibility of the format? The trendiness of it all? Or it is something else? Could it be that graphic novels are the wave of the future? Could be. Certainly they offer an author a whole new way of looking at the literary format. Why an enterprising young man or woman - and man, could perhaps even take a fairy tale and do wondrous things with it. You could even, and maybe I'm just talking crazy stuff here, take the fairy tale of Rapunzel, slap it into a pseudo-cowboy/wizardry setting. Add in Newbery-Honor winner Shannon Hale, her husband, and a guy with the same last name who doesn't happen to be related to either of them, and you have a rip-roaring tale of betrayal, escape, romance, and very long locks. Hypothetically, of course.

First things first. You are all familiar with the story of Rapunzel I assume, yes? Witch takes neighbor's baby after the husband steals some of the rapunzel plant for his wife to eat. Witch keeps kid up a tower until the child's hair grows long and she is eventually rescued by a prince. It's all pretty basic stuff. Well that's sort of the true story, but not exactly. For most of Rapunzel's life she's actually kept in a lovely castle with the woman she thinks is her mother, learning rope tricks from the guards and generally having a good time. One day the girl grows inordinately curious about the tall wall that surrounds her home and so she scales it. Consequently, what she sees from the top causes her to question everything about her life.
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