MODULE 13: GRAPHIC NOVELS AND SERIES BOOKS
Summary: This is the tale of Rapunzel its never been told before. Living a lonely life in her mother’s villa, Rapunzel’s curiosity forces her to find out what is beyond the large wall of her home. She is imprisoned in a tower for her impudence. Eventually she uses magnificent hair to escape from her tower. After learning the woman she thought was her mother is not, she goes in search for her true parent. Along the way she teams up with Jack, another fairy-tale character of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Determined to bring down the cruel system her pseudo-mother has enforced on the people, Rapunzel takes the lessons she learned in her years trapped in the tower and applies them to this new battle.
Citation: Hale, S. (2008). Rapunzel’s revenge. Gordonsville, VA: Bloomsbury USA.
Impression: I really enjoyed this retelling of the traditional tale. The format is easy to follow and the art is interesting and humorous. I loved Jack and his role in the adventure. The setting of the American west is interesting and plays well into the story. The art is filled with details of the Old West and the relationship between Jack and Rapunzel progresses naturally. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good book, graphic novel or otherwise.
Library Journal, 214. Available from School Library Journal website:
This is the tale as you've never seen it before. After using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once moonlighted as her "mother." Dogged by both the witch's henchman and Jack's outlaw past, the heroes travel across the map as they right wrongs, help the oppressed, and generally try to stay alive. Rapunzel is no damsel in distress–she wields her long braids as both rope and weapon–but she happily accepts Jack's teamwork and friendship. While the witch's castle is straight out of a fairy tale, the nearby mining camps and rugged surrounding countryside are a throwback to the Wild West and make sense in the world that the authors and illustrator have crafted. The dialogue is witty, the story is an enticing departure from the original, and the illustrations are magically fun and expressive. Knowing that there are more graphic novels to come from this writing team brings readers their own happily-ever-after.
Uses: I would use this book in a program introducing patrons to graphic novels beyond manga or comic books. This is a growing group of books that include many American artists and authors, in both fiction and non-ficiton. It could also be used as a part of a writing workshop on twisted fairy tales, paired with books such as Beastly and Ella Enchanted.