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Rapunzel's Revenge: 02/18/09
January and earlier this month I had the fun task of reading the finalists for the Graphic Novels category of the Cybils. I'm relatively new to the genre so it was thrilling to get this chance to experience the best the genre has to offer for 2008. The winner for the Elementary/Middle Grade category is Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Nathan Hale and Dean Hale.
Rapunzel is one of those characters we all grow up on. She's one of the Brothers Grimm best known characters. I though have never seen her dressed like a cow girl and brandishing her hair like a weapon or gallivanting through something recognizably Utah (but not Utah). Nor have I ever seen anyone ask the question I've always wanted answered: "why was she locked in the tower?"
Rapunzel's Revenge starts with the why, quickly answers it and then goes happily on its own tangent that blends the wild west with fantasy and fairy tale elements. Rapunzel hooks up with a chap named Jack and they set out to get revenge (and rescue Rapunzel's mother).
I loved this graphic novel and I hope the three Hales collaborate again. I would love to revisit Rapunzel's world. The novel isn't set up as a continuing series but there's enough wiggle room to add further adventures. The world building is thorough enough to easily carry another story or two. My husband has also read Rapunzel's Revenge and he loved it too. My son likes the illustrations but so far we haven't read the book together. I'm sure we will someday.
On a side note, I love learning unexpected things from books. From Rapunzel's Revenge I learned that rapunzel is an alternate name for a type of lettuce called corn salad (Valerianella locusta). That tidbit of information forms the keystone for the plot. It was a little throw away detail that blossoms here and makes Rapunzel's Revenge stand apart from all of the other versions of the fairy tale I've read.
Comment #1: Thursday, February, 19, 2009 at 07:14:07
Glad to hear you liked this! I've been reading good reviews so far. And I actually have it in my hand to start reading today!
Comment #2: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 15:55:10
It was a really fun read. It was one of the rare books where I was sad to see it end.
Comment #3: Saturday, February, 21, 2009 at 06:29:15
Rapunzel's Revenge is on your list of books to read in the very near future.
Your review along with others have helped us to decide to read this book. Thanks.
Comment #4: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 15:57:51
I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading.
Comment #5: Saturday, February, 21, 2009 at 09:25:52
I have been meaning to pick this up as I love fairytale retellings!
Comment #6: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 15:59:25
I haven't read many retold fairytales but this one was excellent.
Comment #7: Saturday, February, 21, 2009 at 10:53:38
This is the second time I've seen this book and I STILL can't place Shannon Hale or why the name is so familiar! Arg! At any rate, I'm not really a graphic novel fan but I still think this book sounds entertaining and rather fun!
Thanks for the review.
Comment #8: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 16:02:23
She's probably best known for The Goose Girl.
Comment #9: Saturday, February, 21, 2009 at 14:45:00
I've read all of Shannon Hale's books except this one. Just can't seem to want to read a graphic novel even one by Hale. Maybe saomeday.
Comment #10: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 16:04:00
No one's forcing you too. Maybe you'll see it at the library and give it a try. Having enjoyed her graphic novel I want to read her other books.
Comment #11: Saturday, February, 21, 2009 at 16:27:00
I've been curious about this book for a while. I've read some of Hale's other works and enjoy her writing. I'll have to check this one out.
Comment #12: Saturday February 21, 2009 at 16:06:06
I haven't read her other novels but I want to. Rapunzel's Revenge is one of the best graphic novels I've read.
Comment #13: Wednesday, March, 4, 2009 at 16:39:09
Nice review! You got me interested. I'll have to find this for my daughter to read. Thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know about it. :)
Comment #14: Thursday, March 4, 2009 at 16:03:30
You're welcome. Your local bookstore should have a copy. If not, you can also order it online.
Comment #15: Monday, May, 11, 2009 at 10:20:55
This is so cool. I want to read this book but I don't know where to find it. There was a copy at our book fair but I forgot my money (oh, no), and I've been trying to find it online.
Comment #16: Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:16:55
Your local library probably has a copy you can borrow.