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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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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
Top customer reviews
The tale is a good one and most have no doubt heard some version of it before. This time, however, it unfolds from inside the mind of Rumpelstiltskin himself, a character traditionally marked as a villain. We see him now as a well-meaning, but inexperienced, bungling and over-matched "tweener" suddenly aware that he's misused magic and made a mess of things.
The real strength of this book is the skill of the writer. She has fashioned an uninterrupted hum of action involving a cast of characters finely scaled to precisely the proper degree of "appealing" or "disagreeable" without crossing the line to genuinely "offensive." The story advances with balance, suspense, and well-placed humor. The result invites ongoing reader reaction ranging from dismay to approval to surprise.
Even if your memory has muddled somewhat with time, it doesn't matter. The tale in these pages -- while departing from the original Grimm -- draws its audience into a fresh, exciting and, I believe, improved version, aka, a Liesl Shurtliff fairy tale.
However, the true story of Rumpelstiltskin, is a great story of struggle, hope, encouragement and the power of love and friendship. It is a story that adults can enjoy, and learn from it.
This is a great story. Any kid (or adult even) who likes fantasy or fairytales should enjoy this one. I enjoyed going along with Rump on his journey to discover not only his name but his destiny. Knowing the original fairy tale, I was on pins and needles waiting for Rump to finally discover the truth behind his name.
I really enjoyed the trolls and the witches, and almost everyone in the world was delightfully despicable (except for Martha and Helmut, whom I also enjoyed).
It's an excellent read for anyone who enjoys Young Adult fantasy.