The Bottom Line
With Rapunzel’s Revenge, popular teen author Shannon Hale teamed with her husband, Dean Hale, to produce a graphic novel mash-up of a fairy tale and a western. Rapunzel’s story has been moved from the familiar fairy tale genre into a darker sphere where Rapunzel must now only save herself, but must also become the heroine who saves everyone from an evil ruler. Artwork by Nathan Hale effectively uses humor, color and perspective to enhance the storytelling and keep the reader’s eye moving between pictures and words. This imaginative take on a childhood favorite will find success with tweens and teens.
- Lots of action
- Strong female heroine
- Satisfying ending
- Literary allusions to other stories
- Depictions of evil characters are somewhat stereotypical
- Author: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
- Illustrator: Nathan Hale
- Length: 144 pages
- Recommended For: Ages 10 - 14
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication Date: 2008
- ISBN: 9781599902883 (paperback)
Guide Review - Rapunzel's Revenge - Graphic Novel
The story of Rapunzel’s imprisonment in a tall tower by the wicked witch, Mother Gothel, is widely known. Rapunzel has little in the world except her long, long hair. But authors Hale and Hale have added several twists to the story, including allusions to other tales and legends. Rapunzel does not escape her tower through the help of a prince, but literally by using her head – and her long, long hair.
This begins her series of adventures with a boy named Jack as she tries to find her way back to the witch’s mines to rescue her real mother who is enslaved along with most of the kingdom. Rapunzel and Jack fight bad guys, rescue children, meet a hermit, bandits and other interesting folk and are hunted by everyone for a reward.
This graphic depiction of the Hale’s original take on a familiar story has all of the elements that entice middle-school readers. It moves fast, has a lot of action and wicked villains, and shows the growing affection between Rapunzel and Jack with clever dialogue and typical ups and downs. The allusions add surprises and will delight knowledgeable readers. Teachers can use this to foster more fractured fairy tales, but teens who like graphic novels will enjoy it on their own.
Jean Hatfield has experience as a children’s librarian, a school librarian, and a head librarian. She has served on the selection committee for major children’s book awards and is presently responsible for the selection of public library materials for youth – children and young adults – for the public library system in the largest city in Kansas, Wichita.