Book Review: Rump, The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Rump: The True Story of RumpelstiltskinRump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was never a heart or a story behind Rumpelstiltskin.

He was just a scary, small man who spun straw into gold, and eventually fell to his well-deserved death. And yet these were the two things I found in Rump: a protagonist with so much heart and depth, and a story that impressed.

I had just spun straw into gold.

It must be difficult to retell a famous story, because people already have their own expectations and their own ideas about what should happen. I know I did. I was afraid that the 12-year-old Rump who cared so much about other people would someday die. It wasn’t fair. I cared about him – his late growth, his childish flaws, and his name (or the humor behind it).

My mom named me after a cow’s rear end.

The name was a great premise. This book was about the meaning behind a name. But it was also about the people behind those names, and the decisions behind those people, and the consequences behind those decisions. Everything about this book was in Rumpelstilktskin. He was the magic. His insecurities, his decisions, and his growth all made the classic fairy tale I knew into something so true and so much more magical than I expected.

It’s all the things in the middle that make a person special.

And it wasn’t just Rump. The whole book was brimming with fairy-tale-perfect characters: the tough and dependable Red, the surprising Witch in the Woods, the lovely Wool Sisters, and even the nasty miller. How they all fit in the story and their dynamics made for a really interesting and magical read. It almost makes me wish that this was the real tale because I loved seeing a heart and a story behind the man…whose names begins with Rump.

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