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Straw Into Gold

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  126 reviews
What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, who are ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Clarion Books
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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryA Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessA Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
A Kaleidoscope of Colors
196th out of 786 books — 102 voters
Rumpelstiltskin's Child by Bonnie FerranteThe Crimson Thread by Suzanne WeynA Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. BunceThe Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande VeldeStraw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt
Rumpelstiltskin Retellings
5th out of 16 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

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Level: Middle School ( Potential difficulty with dialog when character "Da" refers to "Tousle" in 3rd person when talking with him)
This novel is an excellent derivative on the traditional tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Author Gary Schmidt answers the question - Why did Rumpelstiltskin want the boy? in this story that stays true to the elements of traditional literature including a great twist-(that is all I will say - I don't want to spoil the fun of it). Two boys (around 14 yrs of age), strangers, en
Casey Strauss
Straw in the Gold by Gary D. Schmidt takes the story of Rumpelstiltskin and adds a twist, what if they queen hadn’t been able to guess his name and he in turn took her child? The book opens with a retelling of the story, with Rumpelstiltskin leaving the queen with her baby. In the opening chapter, a young boy, Tousle, and his father are traveling to the city to see the king, who is returning to the city after successfully preventing a rebellion. Tousle is horrified to hear that, as a punishment, ...more
Mixed feelings. Probably 4 for the story, but 3 for the writing, which I really got hung up on.

I love the books I've read by Mr. Schmidt so far so I was game for this one, especially being a fairy tale retelling. Personal opinion here (well, I guess this all is, eh?): although it was decent reading, this genre is not where he shines. But I'm no expert on him at all, so throw that out if you don't like it.

Themes were great. Interesting take on the tale. Characters didn't really grow on me suffi
Have you ever wondered why Rumpelstiltskin wanted the first born child in his classic tale? The author of "Straw Into Gold" created a chapter book that spins more than gold. It unravels a mystery that answers that question. The prologue to the story tells a version of "Rumpelstiltskin" in which the little man spins the straw into gold for the miller's daughter, but she is not able to guess his name so he takes her first born child. Then as chapter one of the story begins, we meet a young boy na ...more
Gary Schmidt's adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin, Straw Into Gold, is intended for readers at a 5th-6th grade level. At first I found this novel to be interested because it began with a prologue of the original Rumpelstiltskin story but as opposed to the queen (miller's daughter) guessing the name, she fails and her baby son is taken away. Schmidt's fantasy begins years later when a boy named Tousle travels into the kingdom but is confronted with his own quest for answers that if not answered within ...more
I loved this new take on the story of Rumpelstiltskin! The story has wonderful layers and the characters were so fun to read! I loved the adventure and the quest of solving the King's riddle! It was really interesting reading about why Rumpelstiltskin took the baby and why he did all that he did.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys fairy tales. I would also recommend this to anyone who loves adventure stories and solving mysteries and puzzles.

Violence: very very
Kathryn Reeder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tousle was raised by Rumplestiltskin. Yes, the Rumplestiltskin who traded spinning straw into gold for the princess's baby. This story dives into what might have happened in the princess didn't guess Rumplestiltskin's name. Tousle, unbeknownst to him, has been set up to mend things that happened in the past. In order to save a village from hanging, Tousle is asked to answer the King's riddle. Tousle is given a blind boy to help him on his journey. Tousle and Innes, the blind boy, encounter many ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Anna added it
Shelves: books-13-25
Tousle knows nothing about the world save what his father has conjured up for his entertainment. So when his da tells him they can go to the great city of Wolverham for the king's procession, Tousle can scarcely believe his luck. But when the king asks if anyone will beg mercy for a crowd of rebels, Tousle steps forward, not even sure why he's doing it. Given a riddle to solve in order to save the rebels and himself, Tousle and one of the rebels, Innes, set off on a crazy adventure to find the q ...more
Straw Into Gold is a brilliant twist on the famous Rumpelstiltskin tale. It is written by Gary D. Schmidt, who is on my top 10 favorite authors list. Combine famous fairy tales and favorite authors…you have a treasure in your hands!

I will warn readers (without spoilers) that Rumpelstiltskin does not appear very much and the story does not hold a lot of magic or action. It is more of a heartfelt fairy tale as narrator Tousle and Innes go on a quest to answer the king’s riddle lest they be killed.
Linda Lipko
If you like fairy tales this is a good book to read. This is the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, done in a very clever and creative way.

After reading two excellent YA books by Schmidt, I am on a quest to read all of his writings. His images are crisp, the writing is good and he has the ability to allow the reader to feel the emotions of the characters.

In this version, Rumpelstiltskin is not the ogre or creepy little guy who poses a riddle for his own gain, but rather, he has a unselfish reason to
Early Gary Schmidt. Not as readable as some of his later works (though I felt the same about Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster boy) but with the same flavor. I couldn't help seeing Da as a not-evil version of the same character in Once Upon a Time, but that only added to my enjoyment :)
Heidi Stewart
This may be a good book for small children, but I found the overall focus of this book to be misplaced. The moral of the story is love being more important than greed, and this plays out in the king (who we know nothing about) and not in the two small boys we follow around for the whole story (and whose struggle ultimately doesn't coincide with the story's moral). I think if this story gave us more insight into the king and queen, it'd be more successful. As it is, the climax just falls flat bec ...more
This fairy tale novel is a reworking of Rumpelstiltskin, in which the queen did not guess Rumpelstiltskin's name correctly. From there, you are led on a journey to discover who the real villain is (if it is not Rumpelstiltskin), and if Rumpelstiltskin is not a villain, then why did he want the baby?

I enjoyed this read. There were a few (just a very few) violent elements that made me not mark it for older children, but a teenager could definitely handle it.

It is just a sweet tale of two lost boys
Beverly Kennett
"Straw Into Gold" begins with a prologue telling the traditional Rumplestiltskin tale except that in this version the queen never learns his name and he takes her son away when he is about one year old. Chapter One begins eleven years later, describing the little man and his "son" living in the heart of the forest, happy together. They eat breakfast and finish their chores before making what turns out to be the boy's first trip into the village to see the king and queen in a celebratory parade f ...more
It’s Rumpelstilskin with a twist. What if the queen can’t find the quirky little man’s name and her baby gets taken away? I love telling the story of Rumpelstilskin and I will love retelling this version as it is twisted and yet as believable as the original, as things start to fall into place. The beginning of the story is the same: you have a boastful miller who brags about his daughter, the promises of the daughter to the little man, the roomfuls of straw turning into gold, but things start t ...more
I have read a lot of re-tellings of Rumpelstiltskin, and I have liked all of them, but not as much as this particular version. From the very beginning, the Author had me convinced about the direction of an certain element, and then completely surprised me by revealing that I was wrong. I was never completely sure how things were going to turn out, and I was eager to find out how he would wrap things up. He doesn't disappoint.

The writing itself I found a little confusing at times. It's like the A
I am not a big fan of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, but I liked Gary Schmidt's redux of it. I am starting to find that he is quickly becoming one of my favorite children's authors. This is one of his earlier books, and therefore I don't think it has the same caliber of writing as Trouble or Wednesday Wars, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Normally I don't like "Happily Ever After" endings, but I don't mind it in this book because it's, well, a fairy tale!

Schmidt has taken the tale and create

Tousle's first trip to the city doesn't go quite as he expected. Sure, he gets to see the king and even the queen and everything is quite as glamorous as imagined, but he didn't really expect to challenge the king over the lives of strangers. He definitely didn't anticipate ending up running for his life with one of those strangers, caught in a web of political intrigue and on a quest for the king to answer a mysterious riddle - a riddle only the queen has a chance of answering. A
Tousle has been waiting for his entire life for the day that that his Da, an odd looking little man with bulging eyes a long beard and magical powers, will allow him to take the journey to the city and watch the King’s procession. On this particular day the King has returned from squashing rebels in one of his Lord’s nearby villages. The weak and beaten rebels are to be executed, but Tousle on a whim of courage begs for the lives of the remaining rebel families. The K
Heather Hansen
This is a 10 star book, as many of Gary Schmidt's books are. It is a beautiful retelling of the story of Rumpelstiltskin, in my opinion the best I have read. The theme revolves around a riddle "What fills a hand more than one skein of gold?" In the answer lies the whole purpose and theme of the story.

The writing is poetic and beautiful. The imagery is often stunning and the characters more beautiful and believable than most I have read in modern day writing.

Some of my favorite lines:

pg. 140 - "T
(Elective reading, satisfies both Schmidt and fantasy requirements)

Summary: A twist on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, this story picks up years after the strange little man takes the prince from the queen after her second guess. Two boys, Tousle and Innes, are commanded by the king to solve a riddle in seven days or suffer death. The two set off to find the answer and are constantly followed and hunted on their journey. Will they be able to find out the answer to the kings riddle and also be able
What if the Miller's daughter didn't guess Rumplestiltskin's name? The first chapter sets up that premise, while the rest of the story follows our main protagonist years and years later, a young boy named Tousle. When Tousle stands up to the king for condemning a group of rebel's to a hanging, the king gives Tousle, and a blind boy named Innes, a riddle to be solved in seven days- or the rebels die. They journey together, dodging obstacles along the way, and coming to learn who they really are.
This novel is a reworking of the Rumplestiltskin fairy-tale. It is short, fast paced novel that features Tousle, an eleven year old boy who has never seen the city. The novel opens with Tousle travelling with his Da to the city to see the triumphant return of the king, who has just put down a rebellion in the kingdom. After the king has announced that he will put all the captured rebels to death, Tousle steps forward in protest. In order to save them, the king requires that Tousle, along with a ...more
Tani Griffin
GARY D. SCHMIDT CATEGORY If you've ever wondered why Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold to steal a baby, this is the adventure book for you. When Tousle speaks up on behalf of the one hundred villagers who rebelled against Lord Beryn, he finds himself banished from the kingdom, tasked to discover the answer to the king's riddle in order to save the doomed villagers, hunted by both the dark King's Grip and the Guard, and his only companion is a blind boy. It took me a while to get in to the sto ...more
Tousle has grown up all his life with his Da, a tiny little man with spindly fingers with a gift that can weave straw into gold. He's never questioned his past or his life, content with living day to day. When Da finally allows Tousle to go with him to town to watch the King's procession, Tousle is excited. However, the King's procession isn't everything Tousle had hoped. A group of rebel prisoners follow the procession, battered and beaten and on the verge of execution unle
Jun 05, 2013 JoDean rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: middle-grades
I really liked this. I started it awhile ago, got distracted, and had to return to the library not reading more than the first chapter. I determined to try again because I want to read all of Gary Schmidt's books. Again, the first chapter was not as engaging. I persisted, and WOW, what a great twist on the Rumplestiltskin story. Two great youth characters; kind, loving adults along the way. I am finding that Schmidt has a great deal of positive humanity in his books. I've really loved, or at lea ...more
Danielle Spencer
Straw Into Gold is a Rumpelstiltskin spin-off, and a darn delightful one, too. The novel mainly follows the story of Tousle, who has grown up with the suspected Rumpelstiltskin. If you're like me, you jump the gun and assume he's the stolen child of the queen. Tousle eventually stands up in defense of justified rebels, and must team up with another orphan boy, blind Innes to answer a riddle to save the rebels from execution. On they journey, they uncover secrets about themselves a
This may be a good book for small children, but I found the overall focus of this book to be misplaced. I got really bored t times although it was a good book. This is pretty much the story of Rumpelstiltskin from the miller's point of view. I think if this story gave us more insight into the king and queen, it'd be more successful. I really wasn't that interested, but I wanted to finish the book because I was almost done.
Fun retelling of Rumplestiltskin. Very interesting how the author changes some details, creates some suspense, and pulls together the story. The weaknesses of the king and queen, their telling love for each other that is hidden from their enemies, and the subtle machinations that happen with the political situation was cleverly told, and loved the love that Da and his 'son' have for each other.
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

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