Rapunzel’s Revenge – Shannon Hale, Dean Hale (illus: Nathan Hale)

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A new take on the fairy tale of Rapunzel (she with the long hair), and one that I would recommend for younger female readers who are searching for a kick-butt female role model (a la Katniss). This Rapunzel character has grown up behind the walls of a castle-like place with a mother with whom she could not connect for some reason – a feeling that she was different somehow.

As time goes on, Rapunzel decides to find out for herself what’s on the other side of the wall (involving some impressive rock-climbing skills), and once she does this, of course, all bets are off and a new world opens up to her. (The “other side” of the wall reminded me a lot of the ash heaps that Fitzgerald describes as being just outside New York City… Not that I’m a bit obsessed with Fitzgerald and that book or anything. Nope. Not me.)

Rapunzel runs away after finding out that her biological mother had been forced to give her up as punishment for stealing some food, and adventures ensue. She develops some killer skills in defending herself using her hair braids as a weapon, and when she teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame), she showcases some great assertive and leadership skills. There are cowboys, there are dangerous animals, and there are all the other elements of an action-packed story which makes this a book hard to put down.

The illustrations (or “sequential art”) are (is) great, the story is modern with some unpredictable twists, and this is a good read for anyone (but especially for younger female readers). I loved it.

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