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The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin

The Rough-Face Girl (original 1992; edition 1998)

by Rafe Martin

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1,082637,702 (4.43)9
Title:The Rough-Face Girl
Authors:Rafe Martin
Info:Puffin (1998), Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:native american, fiction, cinderella story

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The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin (1992)


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Summary: The Rough-Face Girl is an Algonquin Indian folk telling of ‘Cinderella’. As a result of her daily duties and the meanness of her two sisters, life has literally left the Rough-Face Girl with a scarred and marled face. All the women in the village are trying to be wed to the Invisible Being, however he will only marry the girl who can see him and answer to his sister. The Rough-Face Girl can see the man and transforms into a beautiful being, in and out.

Personal Reaction: I liked this story much better than the classic version. The girl did not have to be physically beautiful for a desirable man to want her. Despite not having much in material wealth or beauty, the girl is satisfied with what she has.

Classroom Extension: A good book to include, students can compare versions and the details of the culture they stem from
  KaitlynBlevins | May 5, 2015 |
The message shows the same one as Cinderella that even though the girl lived poorly she could only offer what she had and for her honesty she was chosen to be the wife. It doesnt matter where you come from but who you are from the inside, offer what you have and stay true to it. The book could be used in grades 3-5 focusing on culture and history.
  biancagrhm | Apr 29, 2015 |
This is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story from the perspective of an Algonquin Indian girl who is scarred from working by fire. It includes a lot of magic as it does in the original, and takes a very different approach to the classic tale, instead using a scarred figure, instead of just a servant girl, as the heroine and the ‘Cinderella’ character.
Personal Reaction
I loved this story, because of its message of inner beauty being far more important than judging people simply by how they look. It’s a very good message, especially for children who struggle with self-esteem.
Extension Ideas:
1) In class I can compare this version of the classic Cinderella story to the original and have students talk about the two versions.
2) I can have students work on activity sheets to quiz them on the reading.
  GSoto95 | Mar 25, 2015 |
A Native American spin to the Cinderella tale. The Rough faced girl finds a mate in the chief of her village "The Invisible Being." It is a book about overcoming her outward appearance and letting her true spiritual beauty shine, only to be recognized by the Invisible Being and his sister.
  kamijake | Mar 10, 2015 |
This story was a legend about a young girl who was made fun of by everyone and bullied by her sisters. She was forced to stoke the fire which caused her hair to become singed and scars to build up on her hands, arms and face. There is a man called the invisible man who lives in her village. No one has ever seen him but his sister who lives with him. It is the desire of every woman in the village to marry him. Her sisters ask for the finest clothing from their father and go to his tent to meet him and ask for his hand in marriage. His sister stops them and asks them questions about her brother, because the sisters claim they have seen him. They answer wrongly and are turned away. The girl decides she wants to marry the invisible man. She asks her father for clothes, but he has nothing left to give her besides some old mocassins. She puts them on anyway and goes down to the tent. The sister of the invisible man recognizes the girl has a kind heart and saw her inside beauty. She asks the girl the same questions she asked her sisters. She answers correctly and it is clear she has seen the invisible man. In the end they get married and the girl is transformed to have outward beauty to match her inward beauty. ( )
  kvelin | Feb 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Based on an Algonquian legend, this Cinderella story is, "in its original form, actually part of a longer and more complex traditional story." Three sisters compete for the love of the Invisible Hunter, who rejects the two beautiful but cruel and hard-hearted sisters for the scarred sister who is beautiful inside. Illustrated with striking full-page, full-color paintings.

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rafe Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shannon, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To the enduring vision of the earth's traditional peoples - RM
To Heidi, Bonne Bonne, and Donny - DS
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Once, long ago. there was a a village by the shores of Lake Ontario.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Traditional/folk and fairy tales. Primary-intermediate. An Algonquin Cinderella story incorporating Shannon’s realistic paintings. The Invisible Being is the coveted husband, and the materialistic sisters cannot see what the Rough-Face Girl sees: the beauty and power in nature. Good for comparative literature, Native American literature/studies. Too wordy for preschool.
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In this Algonquin Indian version of the Cinderella story, the Rough-Face Girl and her two beautiful but heartless sisters compete for the affections of the Invisible Being.

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