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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307977935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307977939
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twelve-year-old Rump lives with his grandmother in a mountain village where he endures endless teasing about his name. When he discovers that he can spin straw into gold, he hopes to end their poverty and hunger. Unfortunately, the troublesome magic forces him to accept anything offered in trade for the gold: a sack of flour, a cheap ring, or a queen’s firstborn child. Rump leaves home to discover his true name. While on his quest, he finds the knowledge, insight, and courage he needs to understand his gift and claim his destiny. Weaving details from Rumpelstiltskin into an accessible novel, Shurtliff makes the old villain into a young hero and creates an inventive story that extends and embroiders on the original fairy tale. In an era when fantasy often takes the form of high-octane adventure, this story offers a measured pace and the reassuring notion that a hero need not always rely on magic if he has his wits about him. Grades 3-6. --Carolyn Phelan


People Magazine, August 12, 2013:
"A fresh riff on the Grimm Brothers' Rumpelstiltskin, told with wit from the impish point of view of the troublemaker himself."

The Denver Post, May 6, 2013:
“A startlingly original book.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2013:
“As good as gold.”

School Library Journal, May, 2013:
“A beguiling take on a classic tale.... This captivating fantasy has action, emotional depth, and lots of humor.”

BookPage, April 9, 2013:
“Shurtliff takes the traditional fairy tale and turns it on its head, interspersing humor with tenderness, action with insight. Rump shows the other side of Rumpelstiltskin, one of the most vilified characters in fairy tales, and reminds readers that in a good story, very little is as it seems.”

"Liesl Shurtliff does more than spin words into gold—she gets us rooting for Rumpelstiltskin, a most magical feat."
—Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky

Lighthearted and inventive, Rump amusingly expands a classic tale."
—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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9 year old daughter loved reading this book.
Overall Rump was a very well written story with a sweet cast of characters.
Joy Kimberly
I love reading the alternate story of fairy tales.
this version is so much better than the last one. having a blast!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By William Weaver on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What makes this book special is how unique it is. The kids' game stinks right now. There are no toys and books; there are only "franchises." I can't buy Legos; I have to buy Star Wars Legos and X-Men Legos. And children's books are worse. They're not so much books as screenplays in utero, desperately seeking to become the next franchise. This would be okay, I guess, if they didn't all have the exact same Harry-Potter-plagiarized plot: Picked-on boy goes to school only to discover he's an Egyptian God! No! A Greek God! No! A Greek-Orthodox God! I fear we are two years away from a children's lit novel about a geeky boy who goes to Bethlehem High only to discover he can turn water into wine and walk on water. Then there are the celebrity children's lit books. Who are these parents reading the (ghost-written) words of Madonna and Terrell Owens to their children? Shame on the publishers who make me choose between the novelization of Cars 2 and If Roast Beef Could Fly by Jay Leno (real book, people).

So let's take a second and praise the author, Ms. Shurtliff, for just writing a great book. And how could it not be? This is a first-time author (without some sardonic blog) who landed a book deal with Knopf, the Rolls Royce of publishers. I read Rump today and it was a delight. Even though you may know the tale, Ms. Shurtliff surprises you on every page, and the book really takes off for the last 100 pages. This isn't a prequel or a sequel or a spin-off, but a far more meaningful and far less grim take on the Grimm tale. While set in a medieval/fantasy setting, Ms. Shurtliff doesn't spend a lot of time world-building and inventing terms a la Oz and Wonderland. If she introduces anything fantastical, she makes it her own (the trolls were my favorite; witches close second).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Lynn Wagner on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rumpelstiltskin has never been my favorite fairy tale, and yet two books during this year's Fairy Tale Fortnight have made me rethink the tale. The first was YA title Rumplestiltskin (Faerie Tale Collection) by Jenni James, which I reviewed the other day. Now, with the middle-grade offering of RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, I once again find myself caring about the odd character from the original tale. Unlike in the version from Jenni James, where Rumplestiltskin is the cursed brother of a greedy king and in love with the girl himself, this Rumpelstiltskin an ordinary boy. If, of course, having the ability to turn straw into gold is ordinary. He's figuring out the truth behind the magic coursing through his veins and is sucked into happenings beyond his control.

Rump has grown up never knowing his full name. His mother died moments after childbirth, whispering his name in his ear and only uttering its unfortunate beginning, "Rump," aloud. He gets made fun of all the time, too. After all, who wants to be named after a rear end? Names hold power, too, and without his full name, Rump is only half a person, smaller and weaker than the other boys his age. One day, his ailing grandmother throws away his mother's old spinning wheel, which he rescues from the trash. Messing around with it one night against her wishes, he discovers that he can turn straw into gold. Gold is huge in the mountains, and everyone goes out daily to mine for what little the pixies haven't gotten to in order to survive. Being weaker, Rump rarely finds anything, and he and his Gran never have enough to eat. With this gold, he knows he can change their fortunes for the better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on June 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When asked to describe "Rump" using one word each, the words: Fun, magical, happy, and adventurous came from my four children who all (amazingly) loved reading this book to its end. We love to read together and discuss the characters and plot; though, I rarely find a book they (and me too!) all like at the same time. Two girls, two boys, ages 8-11. This was one of those rare books for children not pushing a gender related theme. Well written, moves along, a fun fractured fairy tale. Thank You, Liesl Shurtliff!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Sue on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book, about the true story of Rumplestiltskin, is so darn clever. I adored the fairy-tale world building and the characters. Shurtliff really breathed life into a tale that I'd barely remembered from childhood. I really liked how having a special gift like spinning straw into gold wasn't as good as you'd think it'd be--there's a catch, for sure, and it gets Rump into all sorts of trouble as he tries to find out who and what he truly is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joy Kimberly on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Title: "Rump"
Author: Liesl Shurtliff
Publication date: 4/9/2013
Type of book: Young reader fantasy/fairytale.
Is this a part of a series, If yes, which number? Not part of a series.
Summary: Rump's mother dies in childbirth and he never knows the full name that she gave him before she died. He grows up with his grandmother who loves him very much but his life is not an easy one. They are very poor and Rump has to dig for gold in the mines every day just to put a little bit of food on the table. Because he's small, Rump gets picked on by the other kids in the village on a regular basis. His only friend is Red, a strong no nonsense girl who sticks up for Rump when she can. When Rump finds an old spinning wheel he discovers that he has the ability to spin straw into gold. He thinks that all his problems are solved but he quickly realizes that gifts can become curses in the blink of an eye.
*Rump: He is so sweet and you just feel for him throughout the story. I found him to be a very relatable character.
*Red: Spunky and strong. I loved her so much. Plus she is very smart and caring. Rump couldn't have picked a better friend.
Favorite bits:
*Gold hungry pixies.
*Rump's Gran telling him to spin gold in his heart.
*"A Stiltskin is magic at its greatest. Pure magic, un-meddled-with and more powerful than any enchantment or spell."
*Rump's Gran tells him the story of Snow White. I love when fairytale stories bring other tales into them. I find it really fun.
*Rump's aunts Hadel, Balthilda, and Ida are really fun to read about and it's sweet the way that they care for him.
*I liked the importance of names in the book.
*Mard and the other trolls are a wonderful part of this book.
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