Spinners

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Overview This is the story of two spinners. The first honed his craft at a stolen wheel, crippling his leg, turning a room full of straw into a glittering dress for his beloved-and losing her. The second steals moments to teach herself. Saskia is her name, and she grows up to be a master spinner. Nothing is beyond her-until she, too, must spin straw into gold. And it is then that they meet ... Awards:An ALA Best Book for Young AdultsAn Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist Love, pride, magic, greed, and revenge-a wonderful read. Booklist A lyrical meditation See more details below
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1999-08-01 Hardcover First Edition New in Like New jacket Brand New condition first edition, first printing hardcover book, no marks, no wear. We have added plastic cover to ... make it even nicer! MendoPower Employment Services will immediately and carefully pack this book in high-quality bubble lined, envelopes. Then we send you a confirmation e-mail. We appreciate your business and welcome any questions. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This is the story of two spinners. The first honed his craft at a stolen wheel, crippling his leg, turning a room full of straw into a glittering dress for his beloved-and losing her. The second steals moments to teach herself. Saskia is her name, and she grows up to be a master spinner. Nothing is beyond her-until she, too, must spin straw into gold. And it is then that they meet ... Awards:

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist

Love, pride, magic, greed, and revenge-a wonderful read. Booklist

A lyrical meditation on the Rumplestiltskin story with an expanded plot and a singular psychological slant. Kirkus Reviews

Elaborates on the events recounted in the fairy tale, "Rumpelstiltskin," in which a strange little man helps a miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Napoli and Tchen spin fairy tale into something less than gold in this attenuated retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin." The villain of that tale, the odd little man who helps the miller's daughter but demands her first-born child, is first seen here as an unnamed lovestruck youth, a tailor. His beloved is carrying his child, but her father, ignorant of his daughter's pregnancy, doubts that the tailor can support her and wants her to marry the wealthy miller. To impress his would-be father-in-law, the tailor promises that he will clothe his bride in gold; to this end, he steals an elderly woman's spinning wheel and ends up obsessed, turning straw into gold but somehow "rumpling" his leg--thus earning his lover's disdain and the hated sobriquet Rumpelstiltskin. The narrative then fast-forwards and shifts to Saskia, the miller's daughter (really Rumpelstiltskin's child), whose mother has died in childbirth. After a series of hardships, Saskia becomes renowned for the marvelous yarns she can spin. Girls will enjoy many of the details here, like the yarns Saskia designs out of violets and fruit fibers, but the novel will disappoint anyone expecting Napoli to do here what she did for Hansel and Gretel in The Magic Circle and for Rapunzel in Zel--this is all back story. While there are intriguing subplots, many are simply dropped, and the characters' motivations implausibly swerve at pivotal moments. In the end, this version fails to offer new insights or perspectives on its famous subject. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote KLIATT's Nov. 1999 review of the hardcover edition: With my major in comparative literature long ago in university, I perhaps find these efforts at reworking familiar tales especially interesting. Napoli obviously has devoted her writing life to such efforts. Here she and another writer take up the tale of "Rumpelstiltskin," which is familiar to all. She turns it into a morality tale of the crippling reality of greed and vengeance. The production is absolutely lovely, with its cover art of a luminescent young girl and a hint of a spinning wheel. Not the passive girl of the original tale, Saskia has survived a childhood with an inept drunken father by developing her love of spinning, ever creative in her use of different materials. She is the vision of good struggling against adversity. Who is the twisted little man who rescues her by spinning straw into gold for the king? He is the other main character of Napoli's version of the story. He is there at the beginning, a handsome young tailor in love with the woman who became Saskia's mother. He is not strictly evil, yet he is the character in juxtaposition to Saskia; he is her opponent who would take from her that which she most loves, her child. Instead of persevering in adversity, as she does, he is caught up in his misery, unable to love even though he himself is desperate for love. An intriguing story told with great confidence. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Penguin/Puffin, 198p, 18cm, 98-54640, $5.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Napoli has a magic touch with fairy tales, remaking them from the inside out, but in this case the alteration is not quite as successful. Writing here with Tchen, she re-creates the story of Rumpelstiltskin as a tale of the consequences of passionate and thwarted love. A young weaver's foolish boast dooms both himself and his lover, and shadows the future of their unborn child, setting the stage for the events familiar to readers from the original tale. A medieval village setting provides a believable background for Saskia, the couple's daughter, as she struggles to survive through her developing spinning skills. Immediacy is sustained by the use of an unusual third-person, present-tense narrative, with the viewpoint shifting among the main characters. Magic does occur, of course, but it doesn't drive the story. The authors strive to create flesh-and-blood characters and work very hard to establish credible motivations for all of their actions. This is where the seams start to show. The book skillfully weaves folk images into the realm of realism, but there are holes in the plotting.-Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Geri Wright
This retelling of Rumpelstiltskin is beautifully written, with a lyrical, haunting quality that lingers in the mind well past the final page. The style is deceptively simple, the mood dark and brooding. A young adult novel, it held my interest and drew me in, never talking down to the presumably younger audience.
SF Site
From The Critics
A lyrical meditation on the Rumplestiltskin story with an expanded plot and a singularpsychological slant. (Kirkus Reviews)
Kirkus Reviews
From Napoli (Sirena, 1998, etc.) and Tchen, a lyrical meditation on the Rumpelstiltskin story with an expanded plot and a singular psychological slant. A poor but hardworking tailor falls deeply in love with a beautiful farmer's daughter, and asks for her hand in marriage. The farmer, not kindly disposed to the tailor, prevaricates, only agreeing when the tailor insists that he's financially secure enough to make his bride-to-be a wedding dress of gold. It takes thievery and magic to do so, and the experience takes its toll on the tailor, leaving him crippled and twisted. Frightened by his deformity, the girl, now pregnant with the tailor's child, marries a miller, then dies in childbirth. In time, the tailor's biological daughter becomes a spinner and attracts the attention of the king. Once the miller brags to the king that his daughter can spin gold out of straw, the story begins to dovetail more closely with the Rumpelstiltskin legend and loses its verdant inventiveness. The crippled, emotionally bereft tailor and his daughter never become as sympathetic as their situations dictate, as neither is particularly likable and the authors undermine their characters' internal integrity to service the classic plot line. (Fiction. 12-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525460657
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Jo Napoli is the author of many books for children and young adults includingThe Magic Circle, Zel, and Stones in Water. She has won numerous awards, including the Golden Kite Award and the Sydney Taylor Award for Stones in Water. She lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    Endings: Make or Break?

    For me, the ending of a book either makes or breaks the story. Sadly to say, this ending was not quite up to par. It was weak and unexpected, in a bad way. The general story was pretty good, but again, sadly-done ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2005

    Bittersweet, more sweet

    This book was really good, i finished it in two days,though the ending was sad, i found this book to be satisfying, i never really liked this fairy tale before but Spinners showed you the other side of the story and you really flet everything the characters felt, sadness, loss, regret, love this book was good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2003

    love this book

    This is a good book for every one to read. It is a book that makes you think about the other side of the story, and maybe things you didn't think about before. A wonderful twist on a classic children's story. This book made me cry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    Touching.

    I loved it so much,very romantic in the beginning so children under 12 would be a little grossed out,and later too,when the daughter of the spinner gets married. It was very sad too,but I loved it. I love books like these.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2001

    EXTREMELY GOOD BOOK

    Im 14 and in 8th grade. We read this book over the summer and did a report on it. This was one of the best books i ever read. IN fact, today september 10, 2001 . Richard Tchen came to my school and talked to us about the book. It was a VERY GOOD BOOK...READ IT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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