Rump: The True story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

        Rump: The True story of Rumpelstiltskin·    


          Age Range: 8 - 12 years
·         Grade Level: 3 - 7
·         Paperback: 272 pages
·         Published: April 2013
In a faraway kingdom, where your name is your destiny, twelve-year-old Rump is an outsider. His mother died before she could say his full name. With a name like Rump nobody (including Rump) thinks he has much of a future. One day everything changes, Rump finds a spinning wheel, and Rump is drawn to the spinning wheel despite his grandmother and best friend’s objections.

As he starts to spin, he learns that he can turn straw into gold. Rump begins to think that his future is starting to turn around, but he soon realizes that all magic comes with a price. With every straw Rump weaves into gold, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. The only way out of the curse is to go on a quest to find his full name. Rump must find out his full name before the curse destroys him, and hurts the people he loves most.

Book Trailer 


I have always enjoyed the story of Rumpelstiltskin. I was very excited to read this Mark Twain nominee in particular. Who doesn't love a twisted fairy tale? I did find this one to be quit entertaining, and I was surprised that it did not go in the direction I thought it would. Tweens really enjoy twisted fairy tales. So I think this will be a hit for that crowd. It also has a theme of “if you find yourself, you will set yourself free.”  I enjoyed that aspect of it, and I liked that it wasn't all fluffy. It does have some darker elements to it. (Which can be expected from a  retelling of Grimm fairy tale).  If you have any very particular parents, I would mention that to them. There are some elements of kidnapping, torture, death, and a little violence. Nothing is graphic. I feel like it is very appropriate for a middle grade reader, but it is something to be aware of.

Overall, I felt like it was a fun read. I enjoyed the magical elements to it such as a the witches, pixies, and the curse.  It brought in a lot of fantasy elements that I crave together with a great twisted fairy tale. I look forward to reading her next book & to do this book in our upcoming book discussions. 

Discussion Questions

In the story, being 12 years old is to be considered an adult. How does this rule effect Rump?  How old do you think you have to be to be considered an adult? What makes someone an adult?

What is a destiny? Rump must discover his destiny to discover his full name. How did he find his destiny? How do you think you discover your passion / destiny?

Why are names so important in this book? Do names hold this much power in real life?  In the book, the people of the mountains do not name their animals. Do you think it is a good idea for us to name our pets? Why do we name them?
*Bonus- call on someone to tell a story about how they named their pet*

Why do pixies like gold? What is the purpose of the pixies in the story? Do you think the story could have done without this element?

Knowing the consequences of lying, the Miller decides to lie to the king. Why did the Miller lie to the king? Do you think he wanted to save Rump or did he have other selfish reason behind his lie?  

When Rump offers his gold, he is cursed to accept any offer given to him. Why do you think this is part of the curse? Is Rump greedy?

In this book, all magic has consequences. Why is this? Shouldn’t magic make things easier?

Did you know the story of "Rumpelstiltskin" before you read this? If you knew the story,  what version did you like better? Why do you think the author chose to change the story? If you have never read this story,  do you want to read this story?

When Rump discovered his true name the curse was broken! Why did knowing  his name break the curse?  

 Knowing Rump’s mom story, do you think she could have been saved? What are some things she could have done differently?

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- Pamela

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