There are a few YA and MG fairy tale retellings on the shelves now. I think these books are fun because they play with our preconceived notions of what “should” happen in the story. I recently read two fairy tale reimaginings that couldn’t be more different. A CURSE AS DARK AS GOLD by Elizabeth Bunce is a Rumpelstiltskin tale wrapped up in a well-written historical YA. RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE is a graphic novel with a Wild West setting written by Shannon Hale. (She also wrote BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS, a YA novel which uses the Rapunzel story in part.) By the way, Shannon Hale’s web site has a fantastic amount of information, even a script from RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE, in case you were thinking of scripting a graphic novel yourself.
I highly recommend both of these books. Despite knowing the fairy tales, I really didn’t know what was going to happen next in these new versions.
In her prologue, Elizabeth Bunce says that she wrote about Rumpelstiltskin because the story bothers her. She didn’t see how it could play out. Who would give their firstborn child away? So she wrote a story to make it plausible. You know which story has always bothered me? Hansel and Gretel. OK, their father abandons them to die, right? And to die gruesomely, starving and eaten by wolves. Yet after they kill the witch, they come back to him, and miraculously their stepmother is dead and they all hug and kiss. Wait, what? There’s got to be part of the story missing there.