So I’m not too big on graphic novels. Comic books. The kind of stuff my husband had boxes of. I don’t think that Shannon Hale’s newest book is going to convert me. But I enjoyed it because it is the most fun of Hale’s books for young readers.
Hale has written some beautiful novels for young readers: Princess Academy, Book of a Thousand Days, and the Bayern books. They’re lyrical and done with finesse, and their heroines are strong role models for girls. But her wit is not as evident in those books as it is in her adult book, Austenland. As great as her writing is, that is a shame. Because Hale has a great sense of humor (just check out her website!). She’s wry and clever and gives the feeling that she would be a fun gal to hang out with.
The fairy tale heroine with long locks gets Hale’s attention this time around. Other classic tales have been adapted to some extent in other books, and now Hale wrangles Rapunzel’s story into a totally new animal — the story of a girl who’s been mistreated by an evil mother figure now not only gets to take revenge on the witch, but she gets to be transplanted into the Old West and outfitted like a real cowgirl. The prince doesn’t save her — she and the guy get to be friends, and she saves him just as much as the other way around.
The drawings by Nathan Hale (no relation, incidentally) are sharp and vivid, perfect foils to Hale’s writing. And the story is loaded with great details and entertaining little bits of humor. This Rapunzel will lasso the attention of a reader of any age.
Rated: None. No language or offensive scenes.