Straw into Gold

by Gary D. Schmidt

What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, who are secretly plotting against the king. Another pursuer, the greedy King’s Grip, reveals a strange story of a little man who once spun straw into gold of incredible beauty for the queen but then disappeared with her firstborn son. Tousle realizes that the man he calls Da is the strange little man and, even more amazing, that he himself may be the lost prince. Or could it be Innes, who although cruelly blinded can hear the music of the dawn?

This skillful blend of fantasy and adventure reveals what might have happened before the queen makes her third and last guess and the story of Rumpelstiltskin—as we know it—ends.

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780547532011
  • ISBN-10: 0547532016
  • Pages: 176
  • Publication Date: 04/20/2009

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About the Book
About the Author
Reviews
  • About the Book

    What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, who are secretly plotting against the king. Another pursuer, the greedy King’s Grip, reveals a strange story of a little man who once spun straw into gold of incredible beauty for the queen but then disappeared with her firstborn son. Tousle realizes that the man he calls Da is the strange little man and, even more amazing, that he himself may be the lost prince. Or could it be Innes, who although cruelly blinded can hear the music of the dawn?

    This skillful blend of fantasy and adventure reveals what might have happened before the queen makes her third and last guess and the story of Rumpelstiltskin—as we know it—ends.

  • About the Author
  • Excerpts
  • Reviews
    Richly drawn characters and evocative language enhance a novel that's tightly constructed and emotionally resonant. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    What would have happened if the queen failed to guess Rumpelstiltskin's name and the odd little man had taken her child? Why did he want the young prince? Was his motivation selfish, or could he have been preotecting the child from life-threatening danger? Imaginative answers to these questions skillfully blossom into a fantasy-flavored quest. . . .A good book to recommend to fans of Lloyd Alexander, Diane Wynne Jones and J.R.R. Tolkein.

    School Library Journal

    In this touching, dark story Schmidt extends the tale of Rumpelstiltskin to explore what might have happened if the queen had not guessed Rumpelstiltskin's name correctly. "What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold?" So begins a suspenseful quest that adds surprising twists and turns to the traditional fairy tale. Booklist, ALA

    What if Rumpelstiltskin's motives were noble?

    Answering that question, this novel spins the story of a blind boy who unexpectedly inherits a kingdom, a weakling who becomes strong, a common queen who becomes regal, and a kind orphan who tells their tale. Evil lords and peasants abound, with enough magic to glue together these scattered pieces.

    Horn Book Guide

    Schmidt does a fine job of weaving the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin into something fresh, diverse, and lovely.

    VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

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