Letters from Rapunzel

Letters from Rapunzel

by Sara Lewis Holmes

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060780739
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/20/2007
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.73(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sara Holmes has lived in eleven states and three countries and now lives in Lorton, Va. Letters from Rapunzel is her first novel and the winner of the first annual Ursula Nordstrom Fiction Contest.

Read an Excerpt

Letters from Rapunzel

Chapter One

2:02 a.m.

Dear Box #5667,

Let me get right to the point. It's the middle of the night, I can't sleep, and YOU are the pea under my mattress.

This letter's about my dad, Aaron Brogan. I found a piece of a letter he was going to mail you, torn up and stuck down the side of his chair. That's how I got your address (part of it, anyway—I couldn't find your name).

I couldn't make sense of most of the letter, since it was only a piece, but the part I could read said:

. . . You are the secret to my success as a poet and a human being. Writing these letters every day has helped me keep my heart open, to be willing to live, to keep the darkness . . .

The rest was torn off. I wish I'd found it sooner. Maybe then I could've written you right away, and asked you how to save him. Because last week he fell victim to the Evil Spell again.

The last time this happened, he had to be away for three days. This time, he's already been gone a week. And now my mom says it could be another month! So if you've been wondering why he hasn't written you, that's why. But please, please, don't give up on him.

My mom says it's an illness, not an Evil Spell, but I know I'm right. Dads don't stop talking just because they're sick. Dads don't forget that their daughters are supposed to get off the bus at 3:05, and they don't sit in the house with the lights out and not answer the doorbell when it rings. Dads, at least my dad, are home every day to meet you and have popcorn and root beer.

I have to get to sleep now,before Mom gets home from work. She's usually not this late, but I guess there was a baby rush. Her record's twelve babies in one night. I think that's why I'm an only child.

Sincerely,

Rapunzel

P.S. That's not my real name. After all, I don't know your real name yet. And yes, I know Rapunzel didn't have a pea under her mattress. Wrong story. I'll explain tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll have lots of time to write.

P.P.S. Tell me about you. How long have you been my dad's friend? Where did he meet you? Are you a poet too?

2:55 p.m.
Monday
(Day One of My Captivity)

Dear Box #5667,

As I told you last night, I have lots of time to write you today. Without my dad at home after school, my mom signed me up for the Homework Club, which isn't a club at all. It's two tables in the cafeteria. Oh, and one faded black and white sign that reads:

Study Hall! It's where you want to be!!!!

I'm sitting with my back to that sign right now, trying to avoid the wrath of the Homework Witch. (They call her the Homework Coach, but when I asked for notebook paper, she hissed and pointed to the propped-up sign at the end of the table that said, "Be prepared. Paper and pencils NOT provided.") That's why this letter's on the back of my math homework from last week.

I hope you don't mind me writing you another letter even though I just wrote you last night and you haven't written me back yet. I know letter writing is supposed to be like Ping-Pong—back and forth, back and forth, back and forth—but you're my only chance at figuring out what to do. Mom says the Evil Spell is bad this time, except she doesn't call it that, of course. That's my name for it. She calls it "C.D."

My mom likes to abbreviate things a lot. She leaves sticky notes on the dishwasher that say, "Plz unld. Thx!" One time, I saw her list for the store and it said,

2 pkg. t.p.
lg. d.w. soap
apls., prs., grps.
VGTBLS!!!
m&c
lnch. mt.
rtbr.
10 pr. ptyhs.

(That last one's panty hose, in case you're wondering.)

But anyway, I already knew the Evil Spell was worse this time, because yesterday, before my mom went to work, I asked her if I could call my dad, and she said,

"His medication is making him sleep a lot,"

and I said, "I'll call when he's awake,"

and she said, "Be patient, honey,"

and I said, "He's still not talking, is he?"

and then she didn't say anything, and I knew.

She was going to be late for work, but I followed her to the car, and I said, "Does he have anything to write a letter with? I could send him paper and his blue pens and you could—"

"He can't write you, honey," my mom said. "I'm sorry, but he just has to concentrate on getting better."

I started to tell her it wasn't me he needed to write, it was you, and how you were the secret to his success, but then I realized I'd have to admit to reading a letter that didn't belong to me. And before I could think of any other way to tell her, she was pulling out of the driveway.

But how will he escape from the Evil Spell if no one helps him? I can't do much, at least not while I'm locked up here in Homework Club. But here's my idea. I'll write you in his place, every day if you want me to. And you can write me back, and together we can rescue him.

I think I'll be good at writing lots of letters, because it's just like talking. Everyone says I talk too much, but that's the beauty of letters, isn't it? I can talk all I want and you can listen to me how you please—all at once, or in little bits, or over and over if you really like what I'm saying. Just don't feel you . . .

Letters from Rapunzel. Copyright © by Sara Holmes. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Letters from Rapunzel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Cadence Brogan aka Rapunzel may have found someone to help her with her problems. That someone is P.O. Box #5667.

Cadence's father has battled clinical depression most of his life. His recent bout has required treatment in the hospital to regulate his medication. Shortly after her father's hospitalization, Cadence discovers a torn piece from a letter her father had written to someone with the address P.O. Box #5667. Not knowing this person, but hoping whoever it is can help shed more light on her father's condition; Cadence begins writing her own letters.

The problems Cadence hopes to get help with include her father's rapid recovery and return home, a busy, hard-working mother, an annoying classmate named Andrew, and mandatory attendance in the GT (Gifted and Talented) program.

A great lover of fairy tales, Cadence focuses on the similarities between herself and the imprisoned Rapunzel. Many of her letters describe her hope to escape and her search to find a cure for the Evil Spell holding her father "prisoner." As she searches for answers, some of what she discovers is not pleasant. In an effort to protect her, Cadence learns that her mother, who refers to her husband's condition as C.D., has not been completely honest about the extent of the depression. Not being able to share her thoughts with her father, more and more of Cadence's feelings pour out in her letters to #5667.

Sara Lewis Holmes cleverly creates Cadence's story through these letters. She has Cadence holding out hope that her letters will be answered, but even as that hope fades, Holmes portrays a positive, up-beat Cadence. Any reader will identify with the struggle to overcome adversity, but this book is sure to hit home with readers who have experience with friends or family members suffering from clinical depression.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cadence Brogan aka Rapunzel may have found someone to help her with her problems. That someone is P.O. Box # 5667. Cadence's father has battled clinical depression most of his life. His recent bout has required treatment in the hospital to regulate his medication. Shortly after her father's hospitalization, Cadence discovers a torn piece from a letter her father had written to someone with the address P.O. Box #5667. Not knowing this person, but hoping whoever it is can help shed more light on her father's condition Cadence begins writing her own letters. The problems Cadence hopes to get help with include her father¿s rapid recovery and return home, a busy, hard-working mother, an annoying classmate named Andrew, and mandatory attendance in the GT (Gifted and Talented) program. A great lover of fairy tales, Cadence focuses on the similarities between herself and the imprisoned Rapunzel. Many of her letters describe her hope to escape and her search to find a cure for the Evil Spell holding her father 'prisoner.' As she searches for answers, some of what she discovers is not pleasant. In an effort to protect her, Cadence learns that her mother, who refers to her husband¿s condition as C.D., has not been completely honest about the extent of the depression. Not being able to share her thoughts with her father, more and more of Cadence¿s feelings pour out in her letters to #5667. Sara Lewis Holmes cleverly creates Cadence's story through these letters. She has Cadence holding out hope that her letters will be answered, but even as that hope fades, Holmes portrays a positive, up-beat Cadence. Any reader will identify with the struggle to overcome adversity, but this book is sure to hit home with readers who have experience with friends or family members suffering from clinical depression. **Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka 'Readingjunky'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought they'd exhausted the fairy tales, I grabbed a copy of LETTERS FROM RAPUNZEL. This story grabs your heart and doesn't let go as the precious main character shares her letters to a mysterious P.O. Box owner. The letters divulge her struggles with her father's depression, hospitalization and her subsequent acting out. While it deals with a very serious topic, the story is never dark or depressing. The main character is hilarious and her response to every challenge is anything but predictable. I fell in love with this story right away, and I plan to purchase it for young people and adults alike who have dealt with depression in their family. It's uplifting, encouraging, and hilarious. I laughed out loud and even began to jot down lines because there were so many wonderful insights that I wanted to remember. This story will stay with you for a long time. I look forward to more great writing from new author Sara Holmes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought they'd exhausted the fairy tales, I grabbed a copy of LETTERS FROM RAPUNZEL. This story grabs your heart and doesn't let go as the precious main character shares her letters to a mysterious P.O. Box owner. The letters divulge her struggles with her father's depression, hospitalization and her subsequent acting out. While it deals with a very serious topic, the story is never dark or depressing. The main character is hilarious and her response to every challenge is anything but predictable. I fell in love with this story right away, and I plan to purchase it for young people and adults alike who have dealt with depression in their family. It's uplifting, encouraging, and hilarious. I laughed out loud and even began to jot down lines because there were so many wonderful insights that I wanted to remember. This story will stay with you for a long time. I look forward to more great writing from new author Sara Holmes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought I'd read all the modernized fairy tales, I picked up Letters from Rapunzel. A fresh, lively, intelligent voice brings the main character to life as she struggles with her father's depression amidst a host of other day to day troubles. I frequently laughed out loud at her hilarious responses to a number of situations. So many wonderful lines jumped out at me that I began to record them to read later. Never dark or dreary, this amazing book addresses serious issues with hope and honesty. I look forward to sharing this great read with young people and adults alike. It's a must for anyone with depression in the family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cadence's, A.K.A. Rapunzel's, imagination runs wild in her heartfelt letters to the mysterious Box #5667. Her creative stories and somewhat-deviating-from-what-is-expected assignments for school are entertaining to read. As the book progresses, the seriousness of her father's clinical depression, nicknamed the Evil Spell, becomes more apparent. Appropriately, this novel ended with a Happy Ending not unlike the real Rapunzel's story.