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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskinby Liesl Shurtliff
Synopses & Reviews
In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke.
Rump has never known his full name—his mother died before she could tell him. So all his life he's been teased and bullied for his half-a-name. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. For Rump discovers he can spin straw into gold. Magical gold.
His best friend Red Riding Hood warns him that magic is dangerous—and she's right! That gold is worth its weight in trouble. And with each thread he spins, Rump weaves himself deeper into a curse.
There's only one way to break the spell: Rump must go on a quest to find his true name, along the way defending himself against pixies, trolls, poison apples, and one beautiful but vile-mannered queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—Rump just might triumph in the end.
An inventive fairytale retelling, perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About 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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