Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Genre 6 Fantasy - Rapunzel's Revenge

Rapunzel’s Revenge
Written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Illustrated by Nathan Hale
New York, N.Y.: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1-59990-288-3

This tale is about a maiden temporarily in distress, by being imprisoned in a tall low tree in an enchanted forest created by the woman, Gothel, she thought was her mother. She learns of her true identity and attempts to free her real mother from the mines. She teams up with a boy named Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk and through several escapades Rapunzel saves both of them by using her braids as weapons. From one encounter to another, she gets closer to her goal, she must battle several adversaries and Gothel in order to free her mother and all the other people in the village. Rapunzel’s vengeance is felt by the old lady Gothel as she triumphs in imprisoning her. Rapunzel saves the village, her mom and falls in love with Jack and his gold laying goose.


The story of Rapunzel attempt to deal with the power of intuition, as she has the reoccurring dreams about her life with a family, Gothel, her make believe mother, keeps telling her, “Ignore the dreams, my Dear and they’ll go away”. She tries but yet can not stop herself of dreaming. The motifs of this novel, magic, good versus evil, heroism, archetypes characters, and fantastic objects like Rapunzel’s hair make this a high fantasy novel. The illustrations are dark but colorful when need be and easy to understand, they compliment the story. The language is such that you can understand what is going on and the use of dialogue welcomes the reader to be part of the story. It is a delightful story with the western twist as the story setting is desert, Rapunzel and Jack dress in jeans sharing a horse ride to their destination and the use of her hair as a lasso at to the skill of a cowgirl. As Jack and Rapunzel team up to fight for a good cause, their friendship grows to a happy ever after ending to the story, with Goldy, the gold laying goose next to them.


The dialogue is witty, the story is an enticing departure from the original, and the illustrations are magically fun and expressive. Knowing that there are more graphic novels to come from this writing team brings readers their own happily-ever-after.

School Library Journal

This graphic novel retelling of the fairy-tale classic, set in a swashbuckling Wild West, puts action first and features some serious girl power in its spunky and strong heroine. Hale’s art matches the story well, yielding expressive characters and lending a wonderful sense of place to the fantasy landscape. Rich with humor and excitement, this is an alternate version of a classic that will become a fast favorite of young readers.


"The Hale team creates an engaging heroine....This novel presents entertaining girl power at its quirkiest."


"A dash of typical fairy-tale romance, a strong sense of social justice and a spunky heroine make this a standout choice for younger teens."



A wide selection of books that depict retellings of folk tales and fairy tales, as well as sample of books that tell folk tales and fairy tales in the traditional format

A list of books in this genre (retold folk narratives), including titles that may not be available in the classroom book display

Have student brainstorm to rewrite their own fairtale.

Discuss possibilities of where story can take place, what kind of characters could be put in the story and as you share ideas the emerging of plot and setting become evident.

Make list of various themes and different locations for stories to take place.

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