Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale. Rapunzel’s Revenge. Illustrated by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008. 144 pages. pap. $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-288-3.
Annotation: A classic twist on the fairy-tale Rapunzel, Shannon and Dean Hale set long-haired Rapunzel in a wild western landscape. She along with her friend Jack (of bean-stalk fame) battle monsters, coyotes, and henchmen in an effort to free her mother and cripple her step-mother’s cruel reign over the local inhabitants.
Summary: A high-action retelling of the fairy-tale classic, Rapunzel is set in the Wild West. Little Rapunzel has been raised by a wicked stepmother, Mother Gothel, inside a walled castle. One day Rapunzel views the wasteland surrounding the castle and ends up meeting her real mother, a peasant forced to work the mines. Mother Gothel then imprisons Rapunzel inside a magical tree for five years. Rapunzel’s beautiful and strong red hair grows over twenty feet long and she is able to escape. Spunky and smart Rapunzel learns that she does not need a prince to save her, she can do it herself. She befriends a young man named Jack (of bean-stalk fame) and together they free Rapunzel’s mother and bring down the reign of terror caused by Mother Gothel. At the very end, Rapunzel and Jack realize that they have fallen in love over the courses of their adventures.
Evaluation: This high energy fairy-tale is well suited to the colorful graphic novel format. The expressive art with many panels of action scenes matches the witty dialogue and exciting plot twists of the story. The cast of villains along with the deepening friendship and blooming romance between Rapunzel and Jack add extra interest to the full color story. Recommended for ages 9 to 14.
Genre / Subject: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Adventure, Hair, Revenge, Identity, Friendship, Family, Persistence
Awards: 2009 ALA Notable Books for Children, 2009 ALA Graphic Novels for Teens, 2009 ALA Great Graphic Novels for Teens