Rapunzel's Revenge

by Shannon Hale

Other authorsNathan Hale (Illustrator), Dean Hale (Author)
Paperback, 2008

Call number




Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2008), Edition: First, 144 pages


Rapunzel is raised in a grand villa surrounded by towering walls. Rapunzel dreams of a different mother than Gothel, the woman she calls Mother. She climbs over the wall and finds out the truth. Her real mother, Kate, is a slave in Gothel's gold mine. In this Old West retelling, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws--including Gothel.

User reviews

LibraryThing member theokester
I haven't read any of Shannon Hale's other work, but they are on my list. Still, when I saw the art for this book and read the premise of the story, I knew I really wanted to read it.

For those who haven't heard of the book, this is a graphic novel set in the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Rather than
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following the standard storyline where Rapunzel is trapped in a tower and rescued by some handsome prince, we're given the story of Rapunzel as a vengeful heroine who frees herself and sets out on a quest to overthrow the evil witch/queen and free her family and the other unfortunates in the land.

The artwork is whimsical and very well done. The story is quick paced and lots of fun with plenty of tongue in cheek elements. The general setting/tone of the book is a sort of fantasy wild-wild-west world. Rapunzel uses her long hair like lassos and bullwhips...knocking down, disarming, and otherwise tangling up the bad guys along the way. She meets up with Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame) and together they work their way towards the wicked witch. Jack is quite a cad (which is how I generally considered him from his fairy tale), but he is of some help to Rapunzel and they make a decent team.

The story was a lot of fun and the art was very engaging. I also really enjoyed the fact that there wasn't anything too racy, violent or controversial...I finally have a graphic novel that I would let my kids read by themselves. This in itself is a great selling point for the book...the comic & graphic novel world has become very mature lately and it's great to see a rich graphic novel that is appropriate for younger kids. The book itself is a fairly short read (took me about an hour), but it's probably just right for younger readers.

Supposedly there's another Hale graphic novel in the works, so I'll keep my eye out. If you have younger readers or you're a kid at heart, and you want to dip into graphic novels while avoiding mature themes, I can definitely recommend this book to you.

4 stars (out of 5)
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LibraryThing member erinbreland
Rapunzel's Revenge is a graphic novel and the first one that I have ever really read. I have never finished a graphic novel because they never hold my interest and I think it is because of the way that it is written. This graphic novel though was not so bad and it help my interest up until the very
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end. Rapunzel's Revenge is about a girl named Rapunzel who lives in a village that is surrounded by stone walls with her evil mother Gothel. Mother Gothel turns out to be who Rapunzel never would have thought. Rapunzels escapes from the dark tower that mother Gothel put her in an she meets up with a guy named Jack. Rapunzels and Jack encounter all kinds of obstacles while trying to reach mother Gothel but i am going to let the reason they are trying to get back to her a mystery and make you all read the book. It's GREAT!
This book in my opinion can't be used for anything in the classroom except for trying to introduce graphic novels to the students or just having it in your classroom for the students to read for pleasure. This was one of the easier graphic novels that I have read and i think that it would be great for introducing graphic novels to students.
This book although i thought it was going to be really bad and cheesy was actually really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to my friends and classmates. I would also use it in my class to introduce graphic novels to my students. I truly think that it was well written and the pictured were great also. Of course the pictures tell the story and the illustrator did a wonderful job on the colors and drawings. This graphic novel is my favorite yes.
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LibraryThing member thepequodtwo
for a fairy tale retelling, the variations of which are pretty common and plentiful these days, this adaptation of rapunzel is very different. the story starts out innocuously enough with a princess type atmosphere, but as soon as rapunzel escapes (unaided) from her vertical prison, the story veers
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off into a western adventure of outlaws, saloon fights, and hair lassoing galore. in keeping with the western feel, the tone and dialogue has a bit of a twang to it (with words like "darn tootin'" etc). that was the only thing that was a bit grating for me (but perhaps appeals to a younger audience.) otherwise, rapunzel's revenge is a fun read.
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LibraryThing member bell7
This hair-lassoing girl doesn't need a prince to do any rescuing for her. Once she finds out that Mother Gothel isn't her mother at all and her real mother is forced to work in the mines, Rapunzel plans her way out of the tree in which she is imprisoned. She then plots revenge on Gothel and the
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rescue of her mother. Along the way, other fairy tales and well-known characters emerge, re-imagined in this funny, quick read.
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LibraryThing member BookRatMisty
When I first started this, I have to say I was pretty iffy.  There's a bit to get through to get to the 'current' story, and I don't know that I've ever read info-dumping in graphic novel form.  It was...odd.  It made me feel really disconnected, and I wasn't sure I was going to like this.  But
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once Rapunzel is banished to her high, um, tower of sorts, it started to pick up, and it took off when Jack entered the story -- it was enjoyable from that point on.

There was great humor in unexpected moments, silly little things popping up like easter eggs, both in the text (and the sort of 'background' text, if that makes sense.  If you don't read graphic novels, I'm talking about the bits of text that pop up, not in a speech bubble or a box of text, but as quiet little background moments, going on behind whatever the text-box/bubble says.) and in the illustrations that accompanied the text.  I got the feeling that Shannon and Dean Hale (married) and Nathan Hale (no relation) worked well to layer things and inject cute little quirks.  It made for an enjoyable reading experience.

Rapunzel was interesting and fun (even if her braid lassos look like sausages), and she and Jack played nicely off of each other.  Jack is absolutely ridiculous and shameless, and I loved him.  He was a great foil for Rapunzel, and together with the Old West feel of the book, it all worked nicely.  The one thing that I wished different was Mother Gothel.  Rapunzel is such a fascinating story because it's hard to decide who the villain is.  Rapunzel's parents trade her away for some stolen lettuce, so it's hard to buy them as the suffering heroes, but what exactly does the old lady/owner of the lettuce want with a baby, anyhow?  And why does she keep her in a tower?  There are questions in Rapunzel that interest me, and it's fun seeing how authors will answer them.

I didn't completely love how Hale answered them.  Sure, some of the answers were really interesting, and certainly unique.  But Mother Gothel had great potential to be a sympathetic character to me - albeit a much-flawed one - but that potential was ignored in favor of making her seem completely black-hearted, even when there was clearly much more to the story.  It took away all of the fine little nuances and made me feel like this great opportunity was passed by; the story could have been dynamic and colorful where Gothel was concerned, and instead it was flat, black and white.  I wanted to explore her character, her motivations, and what I can only guess was her vast loneliness, and maybe paranoia.

But that being said, I still enjoyed this and will read Calamity Jack, and would recommend it to fans of graphic novels and fairy tales, and those looking for something a little different.  I think this one will be a great choice for boys and reluctant readers, too.  And moms, apparently, because mine was flipping through this, and having never read a graphic novel before, she was immediately interested, and I had to keep her from taking it until after I'd written my review and gotten pictures of the frames I wanted to share, which never happened anyway, cause GUESS WHOSE SCANNER IS BROKEN...
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LibraryThing member ashleymcquirk
This is the story of Rapunzel, well sort of. This graphic novel takes the story of Rapunzel and jazzes is up a little so Rapunzel isn't the helpless princess stranded in the tower waiting for Prince Charming. Rapunzel is adopted by an evil sorceress of sorts and locked away when she discovers that
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she was stolen from her real parents as their punishment. Rapunzel sets out from her tower to find her mother and save her from the terrible position she is now in. Along the way she encounters, wolves, rabbits, bandits, crazy old men, and elves.

I think one teaching point I could use in this book is to compare and contrast the story with the traditional fairy tale. I would have students speculate why the author would change the parts he/she did, why the story of Jack is or isn't a good fit with Rapunzel's tale or why the villain is a female acting alone. If I used it with upper level or older students I would introduce them to some feminist critiques of fairy tales and also to Vladimir Propp's theory that all fairy tales follow the same structure and themes. With these theories in mind, students could write a research paper on a fairy tale and fairy tale reinvention of their choice.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book because the "damsel in distress" routine has never appealed to me. I would much rather have a strong female character, whose strength and cleverness attract her Prince Charming, not her inability to fight for herself. I loved the humor throughout the story and found myself laughing out loud at some parts. Such a delightful read that would be useful in the classroom when I want to do a unit that is more interesting and appealing to students but will still teach them something meaningful in the process.
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LibraryThing member NTE
I love me some fairytale retellings, and Rapunzel's story - as told in comic book form by Shannon & Dean Hale (with art by Nathan Hale) is awesome.

In this version Rapunzel doesn't know that there's anything beyond the gated, guarded semi-Utopian community her 'Mother' has created for her. She just
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knows she's not allowed over the walls. And - as anyone who has ever dealt with children in any capacity can tell you - that means that going over the walls is exactly what she yearns to do. But once she makes it over, she finds a startling new reality: here there are mines and slaves, and magic-less barren wastelands. And here is her true mother, the one she was stolen from long, long ago. Now that she knows all of this, can she once again hide behind the walls, live as if nothing has changed?

Hell no: and so she is locked away in the tallest tree, as punishment for disobeying, for rebelling. And in that tree, as her hair grows longer and longer, and time passes, Rapunzel plots her revenge.

Which is all super entertaining and amusing and kick-ass: any girl who manages to use her hair as a weapon, a harness, a rope and a disguise, is one I want on my team. And she's fighting for the people who need it, against the Big Bad: comic book 101! I really enjoyed this, and will definitely be passing it on to some littles in my life, and finding the sequel as well.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
I really enjoyed the modern western twist. Rapunzel was fierce, and not once did she even consider giving up. I know it's stereotypical, but her hair was great. The way she used ti to her advantage even through her frustations. I don't like the story of Rapunzel, but this was and amazing
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adaptation. I never would've suspected such a twist. AHS/EK
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LibraryThing member librariankristin
In this graphic novel fractured fairy tale retelling of Rapunzel, she rescues herself from the tower and saves the kingdom from the evil witch. It turns out, very long hair makes an effective lasso in this westernized version! Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale does an admirable job creating a tough
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heroine out of one who has historically been more famous for just sitting around.
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LibraryThing member aapike
I really enjoyed this re-telling of the Rapunzel fairy tale. The Rapunzel the Hales' wrote about does not wait to be rescued, but saves herself and quite a few other people as well. I also liked the inclusion of another fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Golden Goose. I thought the
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intermingling of the two tales was refreshing and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out.
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LibraryThing member katec9999
I love re-tellings of fairy tales, and when I saw the cover of this graphic novel, I had to read it - what could be better than a braid-whipping Rapunzel decked out like a cowgirl? The story begins with Rapunzel living in a beautiful villa with the woman she always thought was her mother. The villa
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is surrounded by a towering wall, and Rapunzel has never seen what is on the other side. Her only companions are the guards of the villa, who befriend her and entertain her by teaching her how to throw a lasso. On her twelfth birthday, she decides she must see what’s on the other side, and uses her lasso trick to get over the wall. What follows are the events that lead to her finding out the truth about her mother, and seeking out her revenge.
Shannon Hale, the author of Princess Academy and The Book of a Thousand Days, created this graphic novel with her husband Dean, with illustrations by Nathan Hale (no relation). Hale is known for having strong female protagonists in her stories, and this Rapunzel does not disappoint. I’m praying that Hale writes more graphic novel fairy tale re-tellings, because this one is a gem!
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LibraryThing member lindamamak
Very new take on an old story, told in beautiful pictures.
LibraryThing member kivarson
This graphic novel is an engaging modern adaptation of the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Instead of using her hair to assist potential rescuers, these shiny red locks are transformed by Rapunzel into deadly weapons--lighting fast lassoes. Not only does Rapunzel manage to rescue herself, she helps several
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villages and befriends a young friend, Jack, and his mysterious goose.
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LibraryThing member bwyatt
This book is amazing. It is about a girl who is trapped in the tower of a castle. She has long long hair and her prince charming is trying to save her. She decides to let her long hair down which can reach the ground and her prince charming comes to rescue her.
I thought this book was very sweet
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and girly. It reminded me of my sister and all the books she used to read. Since I just had a daughter I think this will be a good book for her.
I would read this book to a group of children at a library. I think that they would love a good fairy tale and you could teach them that this cannot really happen to a girl and explain why.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
This delightful adventure yarn (or should I call it a braid?) starts off with a colorful Wild West retelling of Grimm’s fairy tale. Rapunzel upon discovering that the witch Gothel is not her real mother has a fit of rebellion that lands her in an arboreal prison. In this version Gothel, who has
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great power over plant life, imprisons Rapunzel high atop a tree not a tower. There the resourceful heroine grows out and braids her long hair into a lasso and rescues herself from the heights. She then proceeds to town and rescues a rogue named Jack and his pet goose in a bar fight. Together they plot the downfall of Gothel and the liberation of Rapunzel’s real mother and all of Gothel’s other serfs.
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LibraryThing member krau0098
This is the first book that I have read by Shannon Hale, although I have a few more books of hers that I want to read. This is actually a graphic novel/novella. I really liked this book.

This is the story of Rapunzel; with a few twists. Rapunzel escapes from her tower and proceeds to get revenge on
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her evil step-mother. She wields her many feet of hair as a weapon and defeats many a dastardly enemy with these deadly locks.

This was a really fun book. The drawings are well done and very humorous. The story itself is also very well done and extremely funny. The graphic novel is a pretty good length; it took me a couple hours to read it. Overall a pretty uplifting story, lots of action, and lots of humor.

The whole story is done with a gunslinger, wild west type feel to it. So, Rapunzel's step-mother is an mining baron of sorts and her side-kick Jack is a lousy cowboy thief. I also enjoyed that this fairy tale ties in with the story of Jack (with his magical bean and goose that lays golden eggs).

Overall a great story and lots of fun to read. I am eager to read more of Shannon Hale's books.
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LibraryThing member kayceel
Charming! This is a great read for anyone who found it very annoying that Rapunzel had to wait to be rescued from her lonely tower. In this Old West retelling of the Rapunzel story, Rapunzel is put in a forest tower by the witch she once believed was her mother - believed until the day she climbed
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over their garden wall to discover a vast slave mine beyond and had an accidental meeting with her real mother.

A witch with incredibly powers of growth, the witch grows a giant tree with a hollow room at the top, and banishes Rapunzel until Rapunzel agrees to accept that the witch is her mother. The day Rapunzel defies her is the day the witch stops maintaining the magic that kept the tree tower room open and stocked with food, so it's lucky Rapunzel's been practicing roping and whipping her incredibly long braids in her boredom...

The real adventure begins after Rapunzel escapes that tower room and decides to save her real mother from slavery. Rapunzel is a tough, smart and clever girl - a wonderful role model for anyone. She makes an unexpected outlaw friend, which ends up being fortuitous, since the minute the witch learns of Rapunzel's escape, she puts a price on her head.

Highly recommended - an exciting and fun read!
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LibraryThing member othmanw
I found this graphic novel, Rapenzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale, to be an extremely entertaining and original twist of the much beloved classic fairytale. The author puts an amusing surprise in this story as she places the feisty Rapunzel in an Old West setting with a humorous sidekick and adds a
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spice of romance. In this interpretation Rapunzel is definitely not a damsel in distress, but the heroine. In addition Hale adds the touch of other fairy tales such as the Golden Goose and Jack in the Beanstalk to create a fun novel for young adults. The illustrations are excellent, drawn with great detail and vibrancy which carries the story on at a good pace. The main characters are engaging and satisfyingly complex, with some excellent dialogue and scenes between them.

In this tale a young girl named Rapunzel is confined in a luxurious villa with her mother Gothel. She is pampered and coddled, yet curious. One day Rapunzel discovers the truth that Mother Gothel has stolen her from true mother who is enslaved in the mines. Upon Rapunzel’s discovery, Mother Gothel abandons Rapunzel in an enchanted tree. Until finally Rapunzel escapes using her extensive brick-red braids.

Once Rapunzel is free of her prison she journeys into the world she’s never known, and is shocked to discover the effect of the Gothel’s wickedness. The heroine teams up with her new found friend Jack and travel through the land determined to rescue her mother. Along the way she realizes the hardships the citizens are put through every day because of Gothel, and stalls to help them. Eventually, she gets back to the villa, and bravely frees her real mother and, deals with Mother Gothel, whose magical powers lead to her downfall. Lastly Jack confesses his love for Rapunzel, who happily declares identical feelings for him.

In my opinion, this is a good book with a good message. Readers are shown the benefit of never giving up and staying determined. There is adventure and excitement in the storyline and that keeps readers interested. The illustrations are colourful and appealing so this novel seems appropriate for many ages. Also, it is easy for readers to relate to the heroine of the novel, and this makes it a better read. It is a well carried through plot with quite a good resolution. The dialogue between characters is appropriate and believable. Overall, it is an excellent book that will appeal to many different types of readers.
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LibraryThing member mmpvppl
Neat twist on the Rapunzel fairytale. Enjoyed the expressive text/illustrations. I'd recommend for children older than 3rd grade, but depends on their ability to tolerate conflict.
LibraryThing member YouthGPL
Kearsten says: Charming! This is a great read for anyone who found it very annoying that Rapunzel had to wait to be rescued from her lonely tower. In this Old West retelling of the Rapunzel story, Rapunzel is put in a forest tower by the witch she once believed was her mother - believed until the
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day she climbed over their garden wall to discover a vast slave mine beyond and had an accidental meeting with her real mother.

A witch with incredibly powers of growth, the witch grows a giant tree with a hollow room at the top, and banishes Rapunzel until Rapunzel agrees to accept that the witch is her mother. The day Rapunzel defies her is the day the witch stops maintaining the magic that kept the tree tower room open and stocked with food, so it's lucky Rapunzel's been practicing roping and whipping her incredibly long braids in her boredom...

The real adventure begins after Rapunzel escapes that tower room and decides to save her real mother from slavery. Rapunzel is a tough, smart and clever girl - a wonderful role model for anyone. She makes an unexpected outlaw friend, which ends up being fortuitous, since the minute the witch learns of Rapunzel's escape, she puts a price on her head, making her new friend's advice valuable indeed!

Highly recommended - an exciting and fun read!
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LibraryThing member ShirleyDurnal
Newbery Honor-winning author Shannan Hale, known for writing young adult and adult fiction, has teamed up with her husband, Dean, to write this humorous graphic novel. Nathan Hale (no relation) assists their storytelling with his expressive artwork. Rapunzel’s story begins in a magical fairy tale
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setting. She lives in a grand villa where there are devoted servants and everything magically grows but she is troubled by dreams. Who is Gothel, the woman she calls mother? Maybe her dreams would make sense if she could look over the tall garden wall that surrounds the villa. Escaping briefly, she discovers a poverty stricken western mining town. She meets her true mother, Kate, who is working in the mines and she learns that Gothel is responsible for the extreme poverty of the people.

Rapunzel’s escape is quickly discovered; she is captured and placed in a tower for a few years. During this time she becomes very resourceful and talented learning to use her long braids as a whip or lasso and also to free herself from the tower where she is confined. She is determined to save her real mother and free the people from Gothel’s evil power. Soon after she gains her freedom she meets Jack, a mysterious roguish outlaw. He agrees to help her if she will help protect him. Together they strive to overcome evil and make the world a better place.

Even readers who do not read graphic novels may be surprised to find this fantasy adventure selection enjoyable. The sequel, Calamity Jack, was released January 2010. These selections are recommended for both boys and girls grades five and up, including adults.
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LibraryThing member PennsaukenLibrary
Rapunzel is fiesty, and she's learned to lasso with her hair! Try this one for a new twist on the classic story of the long-haired girl locked in a tower.
LibraryThing member librisissimo
Substance: A radical modernization of Rapunzel, with side-swipes of other tales. Anime romance. Evil despotic witch destroys the country and enslaves the people, for no apparent reason other than that she can. Imaginative use of Rapunzel's hair and Jack's (ahem) talents.
Style: Contemporary comic
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LibraryThing member mjmbecky
Graphic novels are a new phenomena with me. I actually have grown to really like them, and am pretty happy to see that I'm not alone in this fascination. Although I'd say that Rapunzel's Revenge might be a more enticing read for a youngster (were I a mother with young children, I could see this
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being a favorite), I did find it a fun, fast read. I'm not quite jaded enough as a full-time English teacher to not find entertainment in a fun, graphic read...thank goodness.

Besides being a read that is sure to be loved by young readers, I thought that its heroine, Rapunzel, was great. Rapunzel was brave, strong, and had a sense of justice about her that was really refreshing. Some of these types of female characters can be more of the "damsel in distress" or "princess," and need saving from others...and themselves. Thankfully, Rapunzel was this rough and ready gal, out to save herself and others!

Overall, I thought this was a really great read, and had amazing pictures to propel the story. I'm half way through Calamity Jack, and am as entertained with this second story as I was with the first. These are certainly quick, innovative twists on characters we're familiar with as adults, and new enough to feel brand new to young readers. I'd definitely recommend sharing them with a young audience!
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LibraryThing member 2017mslengyel
Rapunzel's mother was in jail in Mother Gothel's mine. It was interesting.


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