written by Shannon and Dean Hale
illustrated by Nathan Hale
N.Y.: Bloomsbury, 2008
ages 8 - 12
Rapunzel's story is familiar, but completely unique in this telling. This story takes place in the Wild Wild West, complete with lassos, six-shooters and gold mining. Action and adventure come first, with a bit of romance as the story develops.
Rapunzel lives a lonely life, having been taken by a miserly rich old woman because her father stole the Rapunzel (lettuce) from the woman's walled garden. Rapunzel barely remembers her family, but she is truly unhappy being raised in her "mother's" walled estate. After scaling the walls and seeing the outside world, she realizes how Mother Gothel's power and greed have wrought harm and destruction. Rapunzel is locked in a tower far in the forest because of this discovery. But then after escaping from her tower, she meets a new friend Jack, and proceeds to try to get revenge and rescue her true birth-mother. Along the way, she discovers and proves her strength.
Thinking about it, I really like the way she wants to demolish Mother Gothel not just because she's hurt Rapunzel, but also because Gothel has hurt so many other people. This Rapunzel is certainly a TAKE CHARGE kind of gal.
For a taste of the book, watch this book trailer that a fan made:
The sequel, Calamity Jack, will be released in January 2010. It follows Jack's story as he tries to outswindle evil giants (think beanstalks), and help restores his city.
Find Rapunzel's Revenge at your local public library on WorldCat.org. Or snap it up on Amazon while the bargain price sale lasts! If you make a purchase by clicking a link below, Great Kid Books receives a small commission which will be used to buy more books to review for kids!