Rummanah Aasi
  Since I work with teens and adults, I tend to gravitate to that reading level especially when it comes to graphic novels. I didn't want to give you all the wrong impression that graphic novels and manga are not appropriate for younger readers. I read and searched through library journals for elementary school graphic novels and then went to my local public library for titles. I came away with quite a pile, which I'm sure you can see from my "Upcoming Review" tab. The first graphic novel from that pile is Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale (wife and husband) and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation to the previous authors).

Description: Rapunzel has grown up in a lovely castle, but has never been outside of its walls and lives with the woman she thought was her mother. When she finds that the world outside is a dark place oppressed by her 'mother'’s greed for power and uncovers the real secret of her own birth, she is imprisoned in a magic tree tower. In her years of captivity, she learns a lot about self-reliance and the numerous uses of her very long hair. With the will to escape, she eventually frees herself and vows to bring down her mother’s cruel empire while making friends and enemies all the way.

Review: Rapunzel's Revenge is a really fun read. It is the retelling of fairy tale classic set in the swashbuckling of the Wild West. It is nonstop action that stars a spunky, strong, powerful heroine. While there is a hero named Jack from the Jack and the Beanstalk fame, there is no doubt that Rapunzel steals the show. While locked up in her prison, she learns about self reliance. One of my favorite panel from Rapunzel's Revenge depicts Rapunzel reading and dismissing a book called "Girls Who Get Saved and the Princes Who Save Them". It is also very interesting and cool to see how she refuses to use her 'feminine wiles' to distract enemies, but rather uses her brains and physical strength to do so. Along with the action, Rapunzel's Revenge is very funny. I love the banter between Jack and Rapunzel, especially when he gives her the nickname "Punzie".
  Readers who are not familiar with graphic novels, will easily read this one and feel right at home. The panels are spaced out and easy to read. The different boxes for narrative and dialogue are easily identifiable. Illustrator Nathan Hale does a great job reflecting the dialogue and action with his illustrations. This graphic novel, unlike most, is colorful so it is definitely appealing to the eyes. Rapunzel's Revenge is a delightful read and I really look forward to reading Calamity Jack by these same authors and illustrator.  

Rating: 4 stars

Curriculum Connection:  Compare and contrast this graphic novel to the original Rapunzel and find clues or allusions to the Jack and the Bean Stalk stories by The Brothers Grimm. Learn about literary devices such as identifying and exploring themes, making inferences, and analyzing the graphic representations in the graphic novel.

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4 to 6.

If you like this book try: Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale or The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Lovely review Rummanah, I haven't read any graphic novels, I think mostly for the fear of getting easily confused with the order of the dialogue boxes and what not. However, you said with this one everything is easily identifiable, so maybe I should start by trying Rapunzel's Revenge. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Jenny. Your fear is actually pretty common and why most people are reluctant to give graphic novels a shot. I think this one might be a good intro for you.

  3. Hermana Maw Says:

    Thanks for the review. I've seen this book on the shelves and wondered about it. Now I know it's a good one to pick up. :)

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