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This Week's Graphic Novels in the Classroom Recommendation: Rapunzel's Revenge

After delving into the Graphic Classics world with Edgar Allan Poe, we started exploring more graphic novels as a group. Next up: Rapunzel's Revenge by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, and Nathan Hale. Students in grades 5-8 will love this spunky main character and unique take on Rapunzel.

This graphic novel takes a new approach to the classic tale of Rapunzel. As young Rapunzel grows up, she becomes more and more curious about what lays beyond the wall. She asks her mother (or whom she believes to be her mother) about the world past the wall, but her mother only says to leave it alone. One day Rapunzel goes exploring on her own and discovers her real mother. As punishment, the evil witch who has raised Rapunzel all these years sends her off to a tower (aka tree). From there Rapunzel manages an escape and has to learn the hard way how to fend for herself in the real world. This book is geared for grades 5 and up. It has a 500 Lexile score, making it an easier read even for a graphic novel. It's a great way to introduce both fairy tales, the Wild West, and Tall Tales as it combines all three into one magnificent novel.

I used this with my 7th grade students to help them understand how to read graphic novels. We explored the basics to following the panels (start at the top left and work to the right before moving down). There were some great examples of panels that were larger so students had to explain to me what order they should go in. The story itself was fun and the students again begged to read more, even after the bell rang. It is not a challenging text, but the students thoroughly enjoyed reading it and looked forward to the last 10 minutes of class each day when we would gather around to read together. If you're looking for a fun, relatively easy graphic novel for grades 5-8, this is it!