by Shannon and Dean Hale
ill. Nathan Hale
YA graphic novel. 144 pp.
Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the person she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the girl played in her grand villa and lush garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the ridiculously huge garden wall. Year after year, things just seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally managed to sneak over the top of the wall and was horrified to see what lay beyond . . .
Newbery Honor–winning author Shannon Hal teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair, along with a mysterious outlaw named Jack, gallop around the wild and Western landscape, battling creatures and outrageous villains, righting wrongs, and changing their world forever.
I picked this up at Devil's Den while looking for the Larklight series. I'd like to say that I picked it up at Theric's suggestion, but that wouldn't be true; his post merely reminded me that I had heard about and become interested in this book a couple years ago at a writer's conference at UVSC. Oh, and that it has now been released. (But, in all fairness, I did purchase The Invention of Hugo Cabret because of his suggestion. Not that this book was shelved anywhere near the children's section. Nope. It was by the café.) When Shannon mentioned this project, I recall her talking about how much she enjoys graphic novels but felt that there's a dearth in graphic novels to appeal to girls. (Given the explosion of the graphic novel market in just the last two years, I imagine this may no longer be the case. Any comment here, Fobby or Theric?)
Personally, I'm rather meh about this novel. I think the story is interesting, but I would have preferred the phenomenal, full-fleshed version that I know Shannon can produce. That said, kudos to her for delivering a girl power book with a heroine who actually has some internal power, as opposed to that unnamed-travesty-that-I-have-still-not-cracked-open-regardless-of-the-glee-I-feel-in-all-the-negative-reviews-I've-read-of-it. Most of the graphics are rather cool, but I feel that quality was sometimes inconsistent. Of course, that's coming from a non–graphic-novel-reader perspective. It's not my favorite book out there, but I'm glad it iis out there.
The Reading Zone