Saturday, January 21, 2017

TGBC Outlier!: Grounded by Megan Morrison

This is an upcoming book group title, so I am jumping ahead in the bookshelf a bit. And since it's a fairy tale that I covered in my fairy tale adaptation project, I'm gonna throw a little bit of that analysis in here, too!

Title: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
Author: Megan Morrison
Status: New read

How did I acquire it?
Bought this one at a Scholastic Book Fair.

How long have I owned it without reading it?
A good two years or so?

I really like the fairy tale world that Morrison has created, and I love that there will be multiple books in this series. The fairy tale adaptation genre has a new author, folks, and I am very excited!

The land of Tyme is split up into 12 fairy tale lands (took me WAY too long to figure out that was a throwback to Andrew Lang's fairy tale collections. BAD fairy tale expert. BAD.)

This book is Rapunzel's story, and it opens in a really disorienting way. Which works, because Rapunzel is a quintessential innocent, so the witch has been erasing her memories her whole life, and we as the reader are experiencing the story and the world with her. Our understanding grows and expands as hers does. It's handled really well, and the way that innocence underlines the whole story is beautifully done. I really enjoyed this world.

Let's bring back my fairy tale adaptation criteria!

Type of adaptation? Retelling, combined with Jack and the Beanstalk (popular choice), as well as a whole host of other fairy tale possibilities. But really Jack and the Beanstalk.

What am I looking for in an adaptation?

Explanation for the parents’ behavior? Yes. Dad was a coward and Mom didn't know. Rapunzel was then swept off before anyone else from her family could follow or find her.

Exploration of Rapunzel’s childhood with Mother Gothel? Definitely. It's creepy and unsettling, but it is there and richly developed.

Explain the unexplained elements. How did Rapunzel’s hair grow long enough to hoist a full grown woman up a presumably tall tower? Magic. The witch has the power to grant anything Rapunzel wishes for, and she manipulated Rapunzel into wishing for super long hair. How was Rapunzel able to stand having her head used as a ladder? She had a special wheel that took the pressure off her skull. Why did her tears heal the prince’s eyes? Wasn't really part of this story.

Wrap up the loose ends. What happened to Rapunzel’s parents? They died, but Rapunzel's grandmother is still alive. What happened to Mother Gothel? MY FAVORITE PART OF THIS ADAPTATION, but I won't spoil it. Go read it. Did the prince live in the wilderness with Rapunzel, or did he return to his kingdom to rule? The prince here is basically Jack, and this part of the story was reworked. What about the kids, folks? No kids, no pregnancy.

Really really well done. And since I need to tackle a Teen Lit Rocks book next, and the sequel is sitting right there among my Teen Lit Rocks books, I'm gonna go spend some more time in this world!

Status after reading: This one's a keeper. ... Why do I feel like I'm going to be much more inclined to keep the fairy tale retellings? Oh, right. Because I'm me.

In the project: 417
Tackled so far: 9
Still unread: 92
Giving away: 4

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