Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

( 9 )

Overview

This 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 ...

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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

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Overview

This 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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


Publishers Weekly
Debut author Shurtliff upends the traditional characterization of this fairy tale's antihero, recasting Rumpelstiltskin as a sympathetic and tragically doomed protagonist. His mother dies shortly after childbirth and only manages to utter half a name, Rump, making him the butt of jokes and also influencing his fate. "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," he explains. The author effectively builds the devastating events—including the death of his Gran, hunger, and hopelessness—that lead Rump to discover his ability to spin straw into gold, riches he trades to the town swindler, the miller. When the miller lies to the king and tells him his daughter possesses this ability, Rump steals into the castle to help her, trading magic for trinkets until she offers her firstborn, which the rules of magic dictate he must accept. Shurtliff fills Rump's world with common magic and deadpan humor; the picaresque-style narrative gives the maligned character a refreshingly plainspoken voice, while honoring the original story's hauntingly strange events. Ages 8–12. Agent: Michelle Andelman, Regal Literary. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Twelve-year-old Rump does not know why he was given this strange name. It matters because, in his kingdom, your name is your destiny. With a rather unfortunate name, Rump’s need for gold seems particularly intense. Here is his account of his experience as the tiny man who could spin straw into gold. In this version, Rump discovers his mother’s spinning wheel and learns it can make gold thread from straw. This brings trouble, as King Bartholomew wants the thread. The greedy miller sends his daughter Opal away and tells the king that she can spin straw into gold. Rump attempts to rescue Opal but discovers that he must bargain with her so the gold does not vanish. Rump leaves the castle in order to learn about his mother and search for a stiltskin to fix his spinning travails. He encounters some helpful trolls along the way and meets wool witches who turn out to be his aunts. Along the way, Rump learns that he is bigger than his name and can have more control over his destiny. Rump’s first-person narrative adds humor, as does his friendship with spunky “Red,” who might be better known as “Little Red Riding Hood.” Readers can appreciate the combination of well-known fairy tale elements and Shurtliff’s wry tone, whether they read this book for themselves or enjoy it as a classroom read-aloud. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk; Ages 8 to 11.
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
Shurtliff turns the Rumpelstiltskin tale on end, providing the heartbreaking yet humorous history of the manikin's dilemma. When he is born, his mother only manages to say part of his name before she passes: "Rump." His name becomes the source of teasing, and while Rump can appreciate the humor--sometimes--he is concerned. His name is his destiny; how can he grow when he does not know his full name? To his surprise, Rump also discovers he can spin straw into gold--a curse, since when Rump trades the gold, he must accept whatever is offered. Using a crisp, cheeky tone and with the back story meticulously built, the landscape mapped out and the characters in place (including some nods to other fairy-tale denizens), Rump's romp begins. The miller is greedy and worsens the situation when he tells the king that it is his daughter who spins gold. Rump tries to save her, but she is frustratingly fatuous and makes terrible trades (a baby!). Witches do not offer much advice, other than "Watch your step." When Rump learns that he must find a "stiltskin" to break the curse, it may also be the clue he needs to figure out his name. In his moment of triumph, children will want to dance alongside the unlikely, likable hero. As good as gold. (author's note) (Fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307977960
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/22/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 27,849
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!
Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Totally fab!

    Totally fab!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Title: ¿Rump¿ Author: Liesl Shurtliff Publication date: 4/9/2013

    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. 
    Characters: 
    *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. They live simple happy lives and they are very smart. They take care of Rump when he needs it the most. 
    *I love that Rump says that meanness is a choice.
    *Overall Rump was a very well written story with a sweet cast of characters. I flew through it and I think that readers will really enjoy this enchanting tale. 
    Problematic bits: I feel like Rump may be a little on the heavy side for some young readers but that is the only issue I had with it. 

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Highly recommend...very enjoyable!

    Highly recommend...very enjoyable!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    Ood book

    Great book ybdfgjcfarytgdgfrraaffnvmmnjguv i just wasted
    your time but really good twisy on an old classic

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Stars

    I have heard about this book I thought it would be good to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Good job!!!

    This book is AMAZING!!!! Every part had me on the edge of my seat!!! I recomend this book to everyone!!!! :D

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    P

    SHE WENT TO BELL AND TOLD EVERYONE 4 FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2014

    Not enough new stuff in this story to really keep it interesting

    Not enough new stuff in this story to really keep it interesting. However, I really liked the trolls in this book. Red seemed to be a pointless character. Overall, not really impressed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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