by Liesl Shurtliff
published by Alfred A. Knopf
The BlurbThis funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold."
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
A Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, Rump is perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm.
"Lighthearted and inventive, Rump amusingly expands a classic tale." —Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven.
My Two CentsThis book was an absolute delight. I read it in one sitting--I couldn't put it down! Shurtliff's creative and wonderful take on this well known fairy tale is nothing short of magical! I love Rump's personality, which spills out of each page.
The whole premise of the story-which is obvious to all who know the classic tale-is finding out what Rump's name really is.
"My name couldn't be changed or taken back, because in The Kingdom your name isn't just what people call you. Your name is full of meaning and power. Your name is your destiny."
It wasn't just the obvious things that made me fall in love with this book though. There are many themes going on in the book and each leads to great conversation: Names, Greed, Places, Friendship, Secrets, and, of course, Destiny!
One of my favorite passages in the whole book was this one:
"...But sometimes places feel alive. Sometimes they feel powerful, like they could have a destiny, just like people...They feel alive."
Rump reminds me a bit of Ella Enchanted, which I love. The diction is playful, but full of meaning...and the characters are fantastic! All I can tell you is that this isn't a great kids' book, it isn't a great adult book, it's just a great book. I have recommended it to folks of all ages. You will love it, trust me.
About the Author
Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT with the mountains for her playground. She is the author of RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, a Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, and awarded the International Reading Association Children's and Young Adult Book Award. Coming soon are JACK: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, and RED: The True Story of Red Riding Hood.
Liesl lives in Chicago, IL with her husband, three kids, and a cat named Felix. She loves paradoxes, puns, and pink pigs. Not really the pink pigs. She just really likes alliteration.
Book ClubThis book is really amazing, which is why it was chosen to be a Texas Bluebonnet Book this year. As you know, we formed a Bluebonnet Book Club earlier this summer. I was absolutely thrilled to read Rump with my daughter and her friends from school.
The highlight of book club was that we got to Skype with Liesl Shurtliff and chat about Rump!!! The girls were super excited, and maybe a bit star-struck! I was so proud of them and not only their understanding of the novel, but their great questions for Liesl.
Liesl was wonderfully patient with them, taking time to answer each of their questions. She was awesome with them, and I would highly recommend her to all librarians and educators for appearances!
Here's a photo of our book club with Liesl Shurtliff front and center on the screen:
And this wasn't everyone! Most of the girls had a sibling with them who had read the book too! So we had a house full of Rump fans!
Thank you, Liesl, for a wonderful book and a fabulous visit! We can't wait to read Jack in 2015!