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The Rough-Face Girl

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  8,702 Ratings  ·  452 Reviews
This moving adaptation of the classic children's story Cinderella tells how a disfigured Algonquin girl wins the heart of a mysterious being who lives by the lake near her village.

The powerful Invisible Being is looking for a wife, and all the girls in the village vie for his affections. But only the girl who proves she can see him will be his bride. The two beautiful but
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 13th 1998 by Puffin Books
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The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe MartinMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeCinder Edna by Ellen JacksonAdelita by Tomie dePaolaYeh-Shen by Ai-Ling Louie
Cinderella Stories
1st out of 84 books — 294 voters
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
217th out of 1,944 books — 7,784 voters

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Apr 03, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
An interesting, beautifully illustrated Algonquin tale reminiscent of Cinderella. The ending is fascinating and I'm still trying to figure out all of the possible endings besides the obvious "happily ever after" with her "prince." It's so intriguing that she "sees his face everywhere" even though no one else can see him. I wonder if this is to reflect that, when we love someone, they are always present with us. Whether there is a deeper Spiritual meaning here (is the marriage in someway symbolic ...more
Feb 23, 2015 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The illustrations just SLAY me!

Gorgeous, beautiful and rich and dark and full and lively and soft and... I love them so much Pee-Wee Herman asked my why don't I marry them and I said "I will" and had a little ceremony and a honeymoon where I stared at them over and over...


The story is a nice adaptation, using what seem to be authentic Algonquin themes and mores, but as I am not Algonquin, I can only guess. The similarity to the classic "Cinderella" tale are obvious, but this story seem
I have read many versions of this classic Native American “Cinderella” story, but never have I read a version with such dramatic illustrations. “The Rough-Face Girl” is a Native American tale retold by Rafe Martin along with illustrations by David Shannon and it details about how a young miserable girl realizes that having a pure heart can set her free. “The Rough-Face Girl” is a truly brilliant tale for children to enjoy for many years!

In a village near Lake Ontario, there lived a poor man who
Jennifer Tarr
This Native American version of the Cinderella story is lovely and haunting. It is a fitting parallel to the original or the "Disney" version which is well known to most students--and you could easily picture a discussion of comparison and contrast. The references in text and pictures to Algonquin Indian culture is woven into the story of a young girl, mistreated by her older sisters, who through self reliance and determination finds herself worthy of true love. What stands out to me are the fac ...more
Lisa Vegan
Apr 20, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Algonquin-Native American folklore and/or Cinderella stories
This is a folk story from Algonquin Indian folklore, and it’s unmistakably a variant on the Cinderella tale.

Here, the Cinderalla figure is scarred by fire from the work she’s had to do and she’s the one who has to find/see the prince figure in order to marry him.

There is a whole theme of beauty on the inside being what’s important, and here nature also plays a central role. The “invisible being” our heroine wants to marry seems to be one with nature.

The ending seems open to interpretation, but
Soobie's heartbroken
I had ordered some second hand manga. Two days ago a big, heavy, white USPS bag was delivered to my door. I opened it and found a surprise: one manga (out of the 7 I had ordered), this illustrated book and three other big tomes:
What Your First Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good First-Grade Education,
What Your Second Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Second-Grade Education Revised,
What Your Third Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Third-Grade Education

I E-mail
Robyn Char
Sep 15, 2015 Robyn Char rated it it was amazing
In this Algonquin Cinderella story, a young woman defies the cruelty of her sisters and village to win the heart of a great warrior who cannot be seen by any but the most worthy of people; to most, he is invisible. We watch the Rough Face Girl endure mocking and rough treatment, and still find the courage to love herself and the world around her. In this way, she answers the riddles that win her a husband: the great invisible warrior.

The Rough-Face Girl is an admirable heroine for her combinati
I love the concept.
I guess the reason is that women care so much about their looks, especially American women. There is vanity and superficiality inside of a lot of today's women, even if they don't recognize it in themselves. (For instance, some female who might appear plain all of the time might be the type to cry because she doesn't feel pretty. Maybe she's not the type to cry easily and wouldn't shed a tear over anything else, but if she feels ugly she'll cry. Females are sensitive to how th
Eva Leger
Dec 11, 2012 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-julia
I forget just how I came to borrow this from the library. I either found it there and the cover caught my eye or its somewhere on a children's lit list here on GR. either way Julia and I read this tonight and I'm impressed. I'm in the - slow - process of removing Julia's books from my page here and adding then to her own. My goal there is two-fold, one, I want my page back. Two, I want her to have her own page. There will be few, a very few, children's books left on my page after all is said and ...more
Becca Noelle
Oct 06, 2010 Becca Noelle rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love Cinderella stories and am always looking for new variations. This one comes from the Algonquin Indians and I was immediately excited by its departure from the traditional Cinderella formula. The heroine is not oppressed by a stepmother, in fact no mother is ever mentioned. However the abusive older sisters are present and force the youngest daughter to tend to the fire causing her hands and face to scar with burns and her hair to singe and fray. Already we are presented with a girl who is ...more
Julia Brumfield
Aug 18, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it it was amazing
When we were younger we received this humongous book that was a collection of rhymes, stories, parables and so much more. Within those fondly remembered pages was this story and at the time it charmed me to no end while it still does (I also believe that it was one of the reasons why I ended up becoming so interested in Native American cultures as well later on down the road).

What makes this particular retelling of Cinderella so interesting is the lack of a stepmother and the fact that her sis
Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
Jul 15, 2016 Sarah (Books Before Bandaids) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Day 16 of #astoryadayjuly is #classicdisney of which I have none, the closest I could come is Algonquin Cinderella tale The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin with the powerful illustrations by David Shannon. Instead of a prince looking for a bride, a powerful invisible being is searching for a bride and, every girl in the village wants to be his wife. Two very beautiful, but very spoiled, daughters of one village elder do everything possible to catch his attention, but the girl who does catch his a ...more
Bonnie Ferrante
Jul 08, 2016 Bonnie Ferrante rated it it was amazing
Only a woman who can see the great, rich, powerful, handsome, and Invisible Being can marry him.

A poor man has three daughters, the youngest of which is scarred from being forced to constantly tend the fire.

The haughty, hardhearted two older girls decide to dress themselves up and attract the attention of the invisible being. They force their poor father to give them rich jewels and clothing. They lie to the Invisible Being’s sister about being able to see him but she uncovers their deception.

Becky B
A native American girl is scoffed at by her sisters because tending the fire has scorched her hands, face, and hair. They call her Rough-Face Girl. In their village is a huge wigwam purported to be the home of an invisible being who will marry the girl who can see him. Rough-Face Girl’s two stuck up sisters saunter off to the large wigwam sure they will be wed to the invisible being, but the sister of the invisible being sees they cannot truly see him and scare them away. Unlike her sisters, the ...more
Maria Estrada
Apr 20, 2016 Maria Estrada rated it it was amazing
This is a fractured story from the original tale of Cinderella. This Indian version is a little different because the "prince" is a rich, handsome, and an invisible being. Many women wanted to marry him but they had to pass the "test". The invisible being's sisters had to approve of the woman he was going to marry by making sure she would be able to see him. Therefore the only one that is able to see him is the "rough-face" girl. Even the fairy god mother is different in this story. You will nee ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
Martin, Rafe., and David Shannon. The Rough- Face Girl. (1998). An Algonquin tale about sister number three, who quietly accepts the burdens put upon her by her family, while her two haughtier sisters get the best of everything. Indeed, their careless work ethic is etched on their very faces which are beautiful, whilst hers’ is scarred from years of tending to the fire. When the word gets out that the powerful Invisible Being is looking for a wife, they apply for the job, first demanding beautif ...more
Stephanie Gamache
Mar 30, 2016 Stephanie Gamache rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Stephanie by: Librarian
Shelves: etec-545-class-3
Martin, R., & Shannon, D. (1998). The rough-face girl. New York, NY: Puffin Books.
Target Audience: Ages 5 and up
Genre: Folktale (Fairytale) – motif: Cinderella

In a community where every unwed female hopes to marry the rich and power Invisible Being it is understood that only the one who can SEE him will be given that honor. Rough-Faced Girl has been abused by her sisters for as long as she can remember and due to being forced to tend to the fire she has become disfigured but this does not de
Hannah Moles
Feb 27, 2016 Hannah Moles rated it really liked it
The story of The Rough-Face Girl, by Rafe Martin and David Shannon is a fractured fairy tale of the traditional Cinderella story. Unlike many other fractured fairy tales this one is more twisted on the ideology of a different culture. As I was reading the book cover, I discovered that the story is actually based on Algonquin Indian Folklore. Some of the differences between the traditional Disney story of Cinderella and Marin and Shannon's version is that the women in the new version are of Nativ ...more
Kristen Sawyer
Summarize the book:

The Rough-Face Girl is a Native American story similar to Cinderella. Down by a lake lived an invisible man that was both rich and powerful. All the girls wanted to be his wife. However, he would only marry the girl who could see him. It a village a short distance away lived a man and his three daughters. The two eldest daughters were cruel and hard-hearted. The youngest was scarred from tending her sister's fires. The two older sisters went to marry the invisible man, but the
Apr 30, 2015 Jorge rated it really liked it
“The Rough Face Girl” written by Rafe Martin, is an Algonquin Indian version of the classic Cinderella tale. The main character in this book is known by everyone as the ugly,"rough-face girl" a nickname bestowed upon for her less than appealing aesthetic. "Rough-face girl" is treated horribly throughout the book by her two older sisters, who are extremely conceited and viewed by the rest of tribe as beautiful women. All the women in the tribe strive to marry the great, rich, handsome, and all po ...more
Michael Torres
Mar 01, 2015 Michael Torres rated it really liked it
The Rough Face Girl gives the modern tale of Cinderella a unique, and inspiring twist. This story does a great job of teaching kids a moral lesson, never judge a book by it's cover. Our main character is a native woman who lives in a village with her sisters and father. She is covered in scars and burns marks due to trying to keep the fire pit within their home going. Immediately, you feel sorry for the girl, and almost want to offer her sympathy. It is as if the reader is experiencing the story ...more
Dannita Stanley
Feb 20, 2015 Dannita Stanley rated it really liked it
I thought The Rough-Face Girl was a great book. It is full of great themes that I feel are very important for students to learn at an early age. I am particularly drawn to stories where there is an "underdog" that wins in the end. I enjoy stories where students can learn what I feel are character building lessons such as "You can't judge a book by its cover" or "Material things don't define who we are."

I was drawn to the Rough Face Girl in this story because I immediately felt empathy for her. T
Anna Summers
The Rough-Face Girl is an Algonquin Indian Cinderella story. Rough-Face Girl is beautiful on the inside, but has scars all over her face and body from tending the fire. Her two sisters are ugly on the inside, but beautiful on the outside. All three sisters want to marry Invisible Being. Invisible Being’s sister sees Rough Face Girl’s inner beauty and wants Rough-face Girl to marry her brother. As Rough-Face Girl bathes in a lake, her scars disappear and her skin becomes beautiful. Rough-Face Gir ...more
Jess Farabaugh

The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin is a Native American version of the classic children’s story Cinderella. It is a story about a powerful Invisible Being who is looking for a wife. Only the girl that can prove that she can see him will marry him. All the girls in the village want to be his bride but his sister is the one who stands in their way. His sister is the only one who can see him. She is the one who questions the other women in the village who claim they have seen him. Two beautiful sis
Crystal MacNamee
Dec 02, 2015 Crystal MacNamee rated it it was amazing
The Rough Faced Girl
by Rafe Martin
Traditional Fantasy
Nebraska's Golden Sower Award (No Year Given)

The Rough Faced Girl is about a young girl who is living with her father and siblings in a tribal community. One day her family receives word that an invisible being from another village is looking for a bride and girls from all around come to his tent to present himself. His sister stands at the door of the tent and tests all girls to come to call. The rough faced girl's sisters go before her and t
Stacey Cross
Feb 17, 2015 Stacey Cross rated it it was amazing
The Rough- Face Girl is extraordinary take on the classic Cinderella story. To be quite honest, The Rough- Face Girl seems so much more than a fairytale and offers more of a spiritual tale with depth and enlightenment. This story mirrors the classic Cinderella tale in that there are three sisters, two of which are pompous and self- centered and one that does all the work and is depicted as being less desirable. The two 'beautiful sisters' have a sense of entitlement and feel that they are defini ...more
Dec 09, 2009 Jess rated it it was amazing
This is a great Cinderella story, that, in coming from Algonquin Indian tradition, was not Disney-fied like other "cultural" Cinderella stories. Emphasized is the spiritual connection between man and nature which ultimately leads to the book's happy ending. In focusing on nature rather than superficial appearances and supernatural entities (like in other Cinderella adaptations), this story remains true to traditional Native American values.
Jamie Therriault
Jul 31, 2015 Jamie Therriault rated it it was amazing
Estimate of age level of interest: 1st-6th grade
Estimate of reading level: 3rd-4th grade

Brief Description: This is the story of the youngest of three sisters, all daughters of a poor Algonquin Indian man. The older sisters are mean to the youngest sister. In the end, all of the sisters get what they deserve.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book:
This is a story of traditional literature. This is another version of the familiar fol
Lorena Magallanes
May 03, 2015 Lorena Magallanes rated it it was amazing
The Rough-Faced Girl is an Algonquin tale, one of more than 1,500 versions of the basic Cinderella story! The youngest of three, the rough-faced girl was forced to "sit by the fire and feed the flames," while her sisters mocked her. Each pages is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated picture in a rigid, wood-like border. You can see the scars and burns so intricately placed along her young face. There is an "Invisible Being" that every maiden in the village wanted to marry, so her sisters put ...more
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What other cultural stories did you really like? 3 13 Sep 28, 2011 11:48AM  
  • Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella
  • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
  • Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella
  • Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
  • The Korean Cinderella
  • Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China
  • Cinder Edna
  • Awful Ogre's Awful Day
  • Pink and Say
  • One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
  • Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave
  • Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairytale
  • Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella
  • Crossing Bok Chitto
  • Baseball Saved Us
  • Domitila: A Cinderella Tale from the Mexican Tradition
  • Princess Furball
This professional storyteller lives in Rochester, New York.
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