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Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli

Spinners (1999)

by Donna Jo Napoli, Richard Tchen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I checked this book out after reading Bound by Napoli. This is an excellent retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Because it's meant for younger readers, it was a quick read, but the story offers lots to discuss and think about. I really enjoyed this book and plan to buy several of Napoli's books. ( )
  SMBrick | Feb 25, 2018 |
I found this retelling of the Rumplestiltskin story to be very affecting and sort of sweet- but not squeaky clean sweet, which was lovely. I liked having the backstory of all the characters filled in. Napoli's version of those stories was believable in a fairy-tale context. I read an Advance Uncorrected Proof, so I am assuming that the errors in spelling were fixed by the time the final version was published.

If you like fairy tales with a small bit of sex and violence added, you might want to pick this one up. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
A retelling of a fairytale but I don't like saying which one as that is part of the fun of reading the book - trying to work out which fairytale it is. Donna Jo Napoli is such a skilled writer filling in so much detail in these tales and making what were flat characters in the fairytale, real people. ( )
  cathsbooks | Jul 1, 2010 |
Themes: fairy tales, Rapunzel, spinning, family
Setting: small medieval town

I've heard recommendations of this retelling of Rapunzel. I usually like fairy tale retellings, but this one was a disappointment. It started off promising enough, but sort of lost steam and I never really got involved in the story. Saskia is the miller's daughter - or is she? When the miller becomes a drunk, she is forced to take care of her own future. She digs out her mother's spinning wheel and goes to work. So far, so good, but once we get to the castle, I didn't feel much of a connection to Saskia anymore. The spinner, though, was an interesting character. Too bad I hated the ending. It made me sad. 2 stars ( )
  cmbohn | Jun 11, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donna Jo Napoliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tchen, Richardmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Late afternoon heat strokes the young man's belly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014131110X, Mass Market Paperback)

Fairy tales touch something deep within us, and Donna Jo Napoli is a master at bringing those primal feelings to light. Her retellings of ancient tales such as The Magic Circle (based on "Hansel and Gretel"), Zel (based on "Rapunzel"), and Crazy Jack (based on "Jack and the Beanstalk") flesh out the age-old stories in unexpected ways, imbuing them with psychological resonance for contemporary teens. One of the marks of Napoli's skill is that her stories draw us into the characters' predicaments long before we figure out their original source in folklore. In Spinners, she and coauthor Richard Tchen weave a tale of a young tailor who cripples himself while spinning gold thread on a magic wheel to win his beloved's hand. Spurned for his ugliness, he watches her marry the miller and die giving birth to the child he knows is his own. The girl grows up to become a master spinner, but only when the cruel young king commands her to spin straw into gold do we begin to sense a creeping familiarity. When a deformed man demands her firstborn child as a return for spinning the gold, we are almost sure. But not until the very last, when to save her baby the young mother must guess her unknown father's secret name, do we, like her, know that this is Rumpelstiltskin, of whom we've heard tell long ago. In Napoli's story-spinning hands, however, Rumpelstiltskin is not a spiteful dwarf but a lonely outcast yearning for the love of his grandchild; rather than a hand- wringing victim, the young queen shows herself to be a strong and resourceful survivor given to imaginative solutions. (Ages 12 to 16) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:48 -0400)

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Elaborates on the events recounted in the fairy tale, "Rumpelstiltskin," in which a strange little man helps a miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child.

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