Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Rapunzel's Revenge by Nathan and Shannon Hale

I originally meant to review this with the second graphic novel put out by these two, Calamity Jack, but quickly realized that the stories are a bit different. Having said that, I thought I'd better get to it and review them separately!

Synopsis: In this graphic novel, we take the well known character Rapunzel, and twist her story a bit. This Rapunzel is set in the Wild West, and her wicked witch caretaker is ruling the west by creating rampant drought and evil repression. Rapunzel soon learns that her own mother was one of the workers in the slave camps set up by the evil witch. Getting too saucy for the witch to handle, she placed Rapunzel up a very tall tree, in the middle of a swamp. Little did she know though, that Rapunzel's hair would grow to such an extent that this empowered young woman would escape by using her hair as a rope swing.

Soon after her escape, she pairs up with a young Jack to try to free the kingdom. Through a series of adventures, Rapunzel shows her own strength, and looks to bring justice back to the land.

Review: Graphic novels are a new phenomena with me. I actually have grown to really like them, and am pretty happy to see that I'm not alone in this fascination. Although I'd say that Rapunzel's Revenge might be a more enticing read for a youngster (were I a mother with young children, I could see this being a favorite), I did find it a fun, fast read. I'm not quite jaded enough as a full-time English teacher to not find entertainment in a fun, graphic read...thank goodness.

Besides being a read that is sure to be loved by young readers, I thought that its heroine, Rapunzel, was great. Rapunzel was brave, strong, and had a sense of justice about her that was really refreshing. Some of these types of female characters can be more of the "damsel in distress" or "princess," and need saving from others...and themselves. Thankfully, Rapunzel was this rough and ready gal, out to save herself and others!

Overall, I thought this was a really great read, and had amazing pictures to propel the story. I'm half way through Calamity Jack, and am as entertained with this second story as I was with the first. These are certainly quick, innovative twists on characters we're familiar with as adults, and new enough to feel brand new to young readers. I'd definitely recommend sharing them with a young audience! For more information on this great, graphic novel, see: Rapunzel's Revenge.

*Review based off of a library copy of the book.

What is it about graphic novels? Do you read them, and when do you feel compelled to pick one up?


  1. I liked Rapunzel's Revenge and the western theme take on the fairy tale. It made it fun. I haven't read Calamity Jack yet though.

  2. I just finished Calamity Jack. I think that graphic novels don't appeal to me very much. I must not be the correct audience for them. But, I did love these ones!

  3. I'm really going to have to break down and try a graphic novel-I don't know why I haven't read one yet.

  4. I tried posting a little earlier so if this ends up a duplicate, I apologize!!

    I recently read both of these and really enjoyed them too! Though I will admit that this one was my favorite of the two. I even caught my son picking them up again and again!!