A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce is more than just a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It feels like real people with believable problems in a real setting and time period.
Here’s a brief introduction: Charlotte’s father dies, and she struggles to keep the family’s woolen mill running. The family is in debt; the mill is cursed. Her mother’s uncle turns up to take them away “from all this” but she and her sister refuse. If the mill dies, so does the village. A stranger, Jack Spinner, shows up and Charlotte accepts his offer of help. But what will be the cost?
A Curse as Dark as Gold (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008) has already won awards: Smithsonian 2008 Notable Children’s Book; ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 2009; William C. Morris YA Debut Award, 2009; CCBC Blue Ribbon. Congrats to this debut author! (Who is also a very nice person.)