Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, by Liesl Shurtliff | Book Review
By Liesl Shurtliff
Hardcover: 272 pages
Age Range: 8 to 12
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 2013)
What to expect: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Mystery, Magic, Suspense, Humor, Adventure, Friendship
In Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, author Liesl Shurtliff crafts an entertaining fractured fairy tale based on the Brothers Grimm character by the same name. The story begins with an introduction to Rump, a hopeless 12 year old whose mother died before revealing his full name, leaving him an orphan with only half-a-name. To make matters worse, Rump’s half-a-name garners more than its share of teasing and bullying, adding misery to the life of a boy who stopped growing at 8. Rump spends his days dodging bullies and working at the mines, unsuccessfully looking for gold to trade for food to share with his frail grandmother. Rump is adamant that your name is your destiny and has convinced himself that finding his full name is the key to freedom from his own bleak destiny.
Rump’s desperation wanes when he finds his mother’s old spinning wheel and discovers that he can spin straw into magical gold. Though advised against it by his grandmother and his best friend (Red Riding Hood) Rump convinces himself that his new gold spinning talent will deliver the happiness he yearns to find. As warned, Rump quickly learns that the gold invites an evil greed that casts a curse on all who succumb to its allure. To break the curse, Rump must rely on his own resolve and courage to find his true name and shape his own destiny.
Rump is a creatively spun story that elicits sympathy for Rumpelstiltskin, who is traditionally portrayed as an antagonist. Shurtliff provides a perspective to readers that demonstrates that even antagonists and villains have a story to tell and sometimes their versions might surprise and delight you. Rump is an enjoyable and suspenseful read, perfect for fairy tale and adventure fans alike, with a hopeful message of triumph, sprinkled with magic and humor.
Add this book to your collection: Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
Coming soon: Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk (April 14, 2015)
Readers may also enjoy:
A Tale Dark & Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz | Dutton Children’s Books | Ages 9-12
Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine | Harper Collins | Ages 8-12
About the Author
Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Just like Jack, she was made to do lots of yard work, pulling weeds and growing green stuff she did not want to eat. Now she lives with her family in Chicago, where it is very hard to grow things in her elf-sized yard. She dearly loves the local farmers’ market and always makes her kids eat the green stuff. Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater.
Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin, by Liesel Shurtliff, was reviewed by Gi Hallmark. To discover more great books just like this one, follow along with our book reviews and articles tagged with Fractured Fairy Tales, Fairy Tales and Mystery.