Rapunzel's revenge by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Ill. by Nathan
Hale. Bloomsbury, 2008. ISBN 9780747587439
(Age 9+) Highly recommended. If you like feisty heroines, adventure and a touch of humour then the graphic novel, Rapunzel's Revenge is the book for you. In an unique take on the fairytale Rapunzel, Shannon and Dale Hale have produced a wonderful story about a girl who has lived in a walled castle with Gothel, the woman she thought was her mother. She has a happy life, learning rope tricks from the guards and swinging from trees. When she discovers that her real mother works as a slave in the mines and questions the evil Gothel; she is imprisoned in a hollowed-out room at the top of a tall tree for her insubordination. Finally she escapes using her long locks as a rope. And then her adventures begin as she sets off to rescue her mother and save the country from the cruel Gothel.
The authors haven't portrayed a beautiful princess waiting in her tower for the handsome prince to come and rescue her. Instead Rapunzel is a hair-toting cowgirl who uses her braids as lasso and whip and manages to outwit guards, outlaws and ornery old codgers out to get her. With her companion, Jack and his goose, she uses her long locks as a weapon to ward off evil doers.
Nathan Hale's illustrations are a visual feast that make the heroine come alive and give a vivid background to the story which is full of witty asides and laugh aloud humour. Combine this with a droll retelling of the fairy tale, lots of action and a touch of romance and you have a winning combination.