Reviewed for Middle School, 2008

Rapunzel

For some middle schoolers, reading can go from a joy to a chore in a flash. That's why it's important to keep so-called "reluctant readers" turning pages, no matter if they're reading classics or comics. Fortunately for parents, Newbery Award-winning author Shannon Hale has come up with the perfect solution: an intelligent and original story featuring a butt-kicking heroine, wrapped up in an easily digestible graphic novel format. Remember long-haired Rapunzel, waiting to be rescued by the prince? In this version, she escapes on her own and uses her long hair as a lasso to keep enemies on their toes. With an evil witch, a southwestern cowboys and Indians setting, and a dash of romance thrown into the mix, this is a page-turner that's sure to engage even the most reluctant reader. (Bloomsbury, $18.99)