Written by: Liesl Shurtliff
Printed by Scholastic Inc. 2014
Age Range: Middle Grades (8-13 years old)
Book Review by:
Elizabeth S. Tyree
In Liesl Shurtliff’s Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin the audience is introduced to Rump, a 12 year old boy living in a world where your name is your destiny…and he’s named after the rear end of a cow.
Rump is trying to find his destiny and, along the way, discovers family secrets, friendship, and the real power of names.
At the beginning of the story Rump is a small-for-his-age twelve year old that is the *ahem* butt of the town’s joke. Liesl Shurtliff has created a world in which nothing has a unique name, except for the people inhabiting it. Rump lives in The Village on The Mountain, wherein no animals have names and no town in THE KINGDOM has a real name, known only as Yonder, The King’s City, etc.
On the Mountain, villagers dig for gold to trade with the Kingdom for their rations. Pixies, who love gold, become excited around veins of gold, but haven’t been active lately…that is, until Rump turns 12 and they become agitated every time they’re anywhere around him.
Cue zany antics and the search for his true name! With the help of his only friend, Red, her grandmother, and his family, Rump searches for his real name, learns his special gift, and begins the journey that will lead him to becoming a well-known and sometimes villainized fairy tale character.
I give this book 5 out of 5 dragons for the awesome cover art. The whimsical depiction of a dark wood, a castle, pixies, and two young people on the cover caught my eye before the title did!
As for the story, I give it 4 out of 5 dragons. I enjoy a good twist on the classics probably more than a lot of people I know, but this had little to do with the old story I always enjoyed. In fact, I rather like the character of Rumpelstiltskin and this supremely likable character, whom the audience will identify and empathize with, threw me for a loop!
Over all, though, I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to reading other works by Liesl Shurtliff. (I’m getting ready to go get Jack now!)