The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
By Vivian Vande Velde
Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 116 pages. Young adult fiction.
The fable of Rumpelstiltskin has been around for ages...but when you think about it, it really doesn't make a lot of sense. Why would a poor girl be able to spin straw into gold and yet live in poverty? Why would she consent to marry the king after he threatens to kill her the first few times they meet? Why does Rumpelstiltskin want her first born child, anyway? Vande Velde has written six short stories that tell the story of Rumpelstiltskin in a way that clears up all of these inconsistencies, in this wonderfully unique collection.
I had this book recommended to me by some of our teen readers and I instantly fell in love. The writing is very much in the style of a fairy tale, but is successful in clearing up some of the holes in the original story.