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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. A beautifully repackaged retelling of ""Rapunzel.
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Starred Review. Grade 6-10–This inventive reworking of a fairy tale explores issues of identity, self-perception, and true love. The story features two beautiful young women. The first, Rapunzel, is shunned by her vain mother at birth because she is odd looking (completely bald). Melisande, a sorceress, takes the infant as repayment for a theft from her garden, and raises and loves her as if she were her own daughter. The other beauty is Rue, the sorceress's real daughter, imprisoned for years in a magic tower by a wizard who once sensed thoughtlessness in Melisande and decided to teach her a hard lesson. As Rapunzel matures, her increasing ability to see into people's hearts allows her to discern the other girl's presence in Melisande's heart. When growing unrest results in suspicion directed toward the sorceress, she and Rapunzel, now 16, must flee from their farm, accompanied by a tinker and his boy, an orphan named Harry. Melisande takes them to the tower where she hopes Rapunzel will figure out how to save Rue, and the result is a happily-ever-after ending for all. Strong characters, a clever plot, some interesting moral dilemmas to ponder, and a touch of romance make this version of the fairy tale worth a second look.–Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA
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