The blurb

In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone’s joke.

Rump by Liesl ShurtliffRump has never known his full name—his mother died before she could tell him. So all his life he’s been teased and bullied for his half-a-name. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. For Rump discovers he can spin straw into gold. Magical gold.

His best friend Red Riding Hood warns him that magic is dangerous—and she’s right! That gold is worth its weight in trouble. And with each thread he spins, Rump weaves himself deeper into a curse.

There’s only one way to break the spell: Rump must go on a quest to find his true name, along the way defending himself against pixies, trolls, poison apples, and one beautiful but vile-mannered queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—Rump just might triumph in the end. (~Indiebound)

The author

Liesl ShurtliffLiesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!

Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel.

The review

Let’s be honest here–a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin? In which Rump is the good guy? Yeah, I was sold before I even cracked open the book.

My favorite shorts on Rocky and Bullwinkle when I was a kid were, without a doubt, Fractured Fairy Tales. How can you not love a new, hilarious twist on a classic story? And that’s exactly what Liesl has done here. Rump is a sympathetic hero, teased for his unfortunate name. His best friend, Red, is a kick-butt gal–I’m pretty sure the Big Bad Wolf would be more afraid of her than vice versa. Trolls aren’t quite as bad as they appear. Same goes for witches. Princesses? Good looks aside, they’re kinda flawed (and not so sweet).

Thanks to an incredibly imaginative and well thought-out world and backstory, this book manages to stick to all of the most memorable plot points of the original fairy tale, but the antihero is now the hero. Rump’s good heart and dry sense of humor will have you rooting for him the whole way (and, if you’re like me, you’ll look forward to any scene that includes the feisty Red). And even though the story is turned on its head, you’ll still find the same themes of greed, power, and destiny.

This is an incredibly fun read boys and girls alike will love.