Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin* by Liesl Shurtliff - middle grades book review
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
by Liesl Shurtliff
Ages 8-12 272 pages Knopf April 2013 Hardcover    

Rump. That is one heck of a name, and definitely an issue when the common theme one is approached with is “You must be exactly what your name stands for.” What a terrible weight for a child to have to battle and grow up with, particularly in a land where magical fairytale folk make for rather disturbing bullies. On this creatively unique tale of discovery, Rump has one extremely important goal: to learn his name, the whole of his name.

This quest of self-discovery leads to many insights and some unexpected complexities that quickly morph from a blessing into a potentially life-altering curse. Anyone who knows the original folk-tale version of “Rumplestiltskin” can hardly help harboring a tiny bit of subconscious dislike for the little man who uses magic to spin gold. However, there is little denying that Liesl Shurtliff manages to win readers over in rooting for Rump.

The pressure is on as the disadvantaged Rump must travel far and wide to lift the dangerous curse while encountering faeries, trolls, pixies, an evil queen, and many more unusual characters, places, and things. Utilizing a light-hearted eloquence and genuine sense of humor, the author lets readers traverse any and all hurtles alongside Rump as though we were part of the adventure he is on. Reminiscent of works such as Thornspell by Helen Lowe or The Somebodies by N.E. Bode, Rump successfully brings readers into a delightfully refreshing and fun perspective on a favored old classic tale.

The vocabulary, humor, content and stylization of this middle grades chapter book are ideal for a fourth-grade reading level and up. There is an element of J.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings map-questing that is prevalent, inspiring readers to visualize the route of adventure that Rump travels, marking the significant transitions that any long journey holds when exploring each new region along the way. What a fun world Shurtliff has created in her first novel.
books for elementary readers

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  S.R. Polinsky/2013 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (