|Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin|
Author: Shurtliff, Liesl
Relates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin's childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a first-born child is his reward for helping the miller's daughter-turned-queen.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 158376
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 61306
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/15/13)
School Library Journal (05/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (05/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2013 A person’s name defines their destiny in the Kingdom, which is unfortunate for twelve-year-old Rump, whose name seems only to inspire other people’s potty humor. His luck appears to change when he realizes he inherited his late mother’s secret ability to spin straw into gold. Magic always comes with a price in the Kingdom, however, and Rump is unable to properly bargain with the gold he creates, instead settling for whatever the other person offers-including a firstborn child, as offered by the miller’s daughter who, as the original tale goes, gets herself into trouble when she claims Rump’s ability as her own. Rump wants nothing to do with the bargain and runs away to Yonder, where he hopes to discover his true full name (he believes his mother died before completing its full length) and his real destiny. Rump is pretty irresistible as the down-and-out kid who simply refuses to give up, and readers who have had their share of bad luck will appreciate his witty resourcefulness and his honest frustration. His travels through Yonder yield plenty of allusions to classic fairy tales as well as appearances by various mythical creatures, most of which turn out to be harmless (and in some cases, adorable), giving the whole story a whimsical, playful feel. There’s quite a lot of whimsy, though, since the plot meanders, and the convoluted backstory behind Rump’s true name and how it is entangled in the spell that weaves gold is more confusing than it is satisfying. Still, it’s always good to hear the villain’s side of the story, especially when said villain turns out to be a rather charming twelve-year-old boy. KQG - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/20/2013 Gr 3–6—A beguiling take on a classic tale. In The Kingdom, one's name is full of meaning and power, and young Rump is sure that his is incomplete. Just before his mother died in childbirth, she only managed to utter, "His name is Rump…." And so Rump grows up with his grandmother, mining the mountain for specks of gold for their greedy king and suffering ridicule for his name. Shurtliff's world-building is inventive and immediately believable: gnomes rush about delivering messages they have somewhat memorized, gold-craving pixies are flying and biting nuisances, and wise witches live in the woods, as does a band of huge smelly trolls. All the elements of the original story are here-the greedy miller, the somewhat dimwitted daughter, and Rump's magical ability to spin straw into gold-but Shurtliff fleshes out the boy's backstory, developing an appealing hero who is coping with the curse of his magical skills while searching for his true name and destiny. This captivating fantasy has action, emotional depth, and lots of humor.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2013 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. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.