School Library Journal
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Gr 3-6-A beguiling take on a classic tale. In The Kingdom, one's name is full of meaning and power, and young Rump is sure that his is incomplete. Just before his mother died in childbirth, she only managed to utter, "His name is Rump.." And so Rump grows up with his grandmother, mining the mountain for specks of gold for their greedy king and suffering ridicule for his name. Shurtliff's world-building is inventive and immediately believable: gnomes rush about delivering messages they have somewhat memorized, gold-craving pixies are flying and biting nuisances, and wise witches live in the woods, as does a band of huge smelly trolls. All the elements of the original story are here-the greedy miller, the somewhat dimwitted daughter, and Rump's magical ability to spin straw into gold-but Shurtliff fleshes out the boy's backstory, developing an appealing hero who is coping with the curse of his magical skills while searching for his true name and destiny. This captivating fantasy has action, emotional depth, and lots of humor.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Twelve-year-old Rump lives with his grandmother in a mountain village where he endures endless teasing about his name. When he discovers that he can spin straw into gold, he hopes to end their poverty and hunger. Unfortunately, the troublesome magic forces him to accept anything offered in trade for the gold: a sack of flour, a cheap ring, or a queen's firstborn child. Rump leaves home to discover his true name. While on his quest, he finds the knowledge, insight, and courage he needs to understand his gift and claim his destiny. Weaving details from Rumpelstiltskin into an accessible novel, Shurtliff makes the old villain into a young hero and creates an inventive story that extends and embroiders on the original fairy tale. In an era when fantasy often takes the form of high-octane adventure, this story offers a measured pace and the reassuring notion that a hero need not always rely on magic if he has his wits about him.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist