Rating: High Three
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of the MAGIC THIEF, 13 TREASURES, and THE LAND OF STORIES.
Synopsis (from Amazon):
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
Rump's character was a little weak, although I did enjoy his wit and how he seemed to always put others before himself. Red was actually my favorite character, and I felt like she could have been a bigger character in the story (maybe a companion on Rump's journey?) Other than that, the miller was awesome, Opal was awesome, King Barf was awesome, and every other characters I failed to mention were also great. I loved the setting of this story and thought the idea of "your name is your destiny" was very interesting. There were also some great twists that kept the reader on their toes. I felt myself skipping over some parts (like when Rump was mindlessly wandering around) but overall, although a bit disappointing in some aspects, a good (just good) read.
[one thing I have to mention: the writing did bug me here. But this doesn't mean it will for every young reader - I know it would for my brother, but honestly we're both kinda critical of dumbed down writing. This book wasn't particularly for me, but I can see a lot of people liking it.]