Review: Rapunzel's Revenge

on Middle Grade, graphic novels
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Rapunzel's Revenge is a graphic novel by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale. It is Wild West adventure adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel in the form of a graphic novel and I cannot recommend it enough!

Age: It's generally categorised as suitable for 10+ or late Primary School, but I'd definitely recommend it for both younger and older audiences. My family discovered Rapunzel's Revenge around 2010, everyone enjoyed it thoroughly; my mum, me (20), my younger sisters (18, 15, 5). My five year old sister would get us to read it to her repeatedly, all the way through.

A Few Reasons to Read it:

  • The illustrations are beautiful, have lots of colour, great details and work together with the words to create the story.
  • Rapunzel is a great example of an active female heroine who subverts fairy tale tropes and is totally loveable and relatable.
  • The male protagonist, Jack, is not belittled, he is valued in a way it does not detract from Rapunzel's value. They do a really good job of balancing a great female protagonist without demeaning the male.
  • It's not all about romance, the story indirectly, and directly, tackles all sorts of issues from control of scarce resources (thank you sister studying economics), the problems with guns, stealing etc.
  • It values people, all people, and challenges the idea that selfishness is necessary to personal happiness.
  • It's really, really, funny.

Some Notes:

Shannon Hale's website has some great resources. Paper doll pdfs, world map, thoughts on the graphic novel format etc.
Calamity Jack is the sequel and equally awesome.

Finding it:

Most online book sellers have it, but I'd recommend your local independent bookshop - it's the kind of thing they love, and if they don't have it, would definitely order it for you. Also I think most libraries would have it.

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