June Teach-Alike: Liesl Shurtliff’s fractured fairy tales Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, and Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood are paired with the collection of children’s stories from the Brothers Grimm, Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
In 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their first collection of fairy tales called Kinder- und Hausmärchen (English translation: Children’s and Household Tales), later to be called Grimms’ Fairy Tales. While their stories have been altered to reflect the target age group—Snow White’s stepmother is no longer forced to dance to her death while wearing red-hot iron shoes—we regularly enchant young minds with the brothers’ fantastic tales of the Frog King, Cinderella, and Rapunzel.
Author Liesl Shurtliff has written spellbinding adaptations of some of our favorite fairy tales for a new generation of readers. Rumpelstiltskin—or Rump—is a young boy without a name, who must defend himself from pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a beautiful but vile-mannered queen while on a journey of self-discovery. Jack is on a quest with his overachieving little sister to save his dad and the day, and his journey will take him to the land of giants. Red Riding Hood, terrified of magic but totally nonchalant about the big bad wolf, is traveling through dwarves’ caverns and a beast’s castle to cure her Granny, with the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance named Goldie! Shurtliff uses characters we know and love, but extends their plights and victories, allowing us a more thorough adventure in the world of magic.
Classroom Lesson: Read the Brothers Grimm versions of well-known fairy tales. (National Geographic has a section dedicated to the original tales.) Either read or watch modern versions of the stories, and discuss the common elements of fairy tales. Examine the development and purpose of a fractured fairy tale. (ReadWriteThink hosts some wonderful ideas, including this interactive lesson: Fractured Fairy Tales.) Then have students read Rump, Jack, and/or Red and map out the similarities and differences. Higher-level: have students re-create a different fairy tale!
Bonus Material: Download the FREE Educators’ Guide for Rump, Jack, and Red!
Praise for Rump:
★ “As good as gold.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“This captivating fantasy has action, emotional depth, and lots of humor.” —School Library Journal
Praise for Jack:
“[Jack] soars into the sky and is a delightful story of family, perseverance, and courage.” —Booklist
“With a healthy dose of honor and integrity to accompany his wisecracking ways, Jack is a winning hero, and his adventures—both unexpected and recognizable—will please those readers with rollicking spirits or a yen for tales retold.” —The Bulletin
Praise for Red:
★ “Moving and filled with hope. . . . Red retells the story of the strong-minded girl in the red riding hood as a quest for friendship and self-knowledge.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
“Red’s narration is dry and sassy, her mishaps colorful, her quest eventful. Fairy-tale fun with resonant depth.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Red takes readers on a wild roam through story land, with plenty of magic and danger around every corner. . . . This is pure fun for fans of classic stories cleverly retold.” —School Library Journal