Tani Griffin's Reviews > Straw Into Gold

Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt
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Mar 23, 2012

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bookshelves: engl-420-2012

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 story, probably because the prose is really quite packed and metaphor-rich. But I actually did grow to care about the characters, even the distant and underdeveloped queen and king. This is an imaginative coming of age novel in the fractured fairy tale genre, and instead of changing point of view or adding a bit of snark, this retelling attempts to redeem Rumpelstiltskin and offer a positive, hopeful reason for his apparent ill deeds. This book deals in an interesting way with the themes of moral responsibility, forgiveness, friendship, loneliness, and family. Middle graders with an interest in fantasy, and particularly those who like fractured fairy tales would like this meaty version.

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