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What is Your Destiny?

By Oliver Perry, Read to Them Staff


Is it connected to your name? Does it have anything to do with magic? Is it unchangeable, no matter how hard you try? Your current title, Rump by Liesl Shurtliff, deals with so many of these big questions. Rump struggles with all three, and now that we’re halfway through our story, a lot of these questions are starting to get to him. It’s easy to relate to Rump. I know I wonder about the importance of my name, and my destiny, all the time. As we approach the end of our third week, I wanted to talk with you all a little bit about what to make of all these big, important life questions.


Rump’s incomplete name is the source of a lot his problems within the book. Without knowing all of it, he feels as though he won’t know his destiny, and that scares him. But what does your name really say about your path in life? Take your name for example. Do you like your name? Do you think it’s unique? There is a lot of information out there you can look up about your name. However, what Rump tries to tell us is that we give meaning to our own names.

For example, my name, Oliver, means ‘olive tree’. I know that extending an olive branch represents peace. With what I know about myself, and my name, I have created my own meaning for the name Oliver. What I’m reminded of every time someone says "Hey, Oliver!" is how important it is to be kind to everyone. I try to treat others with respect, creating my own peace.

So, What is Your Destiny?

Well, I think Liesl Shurtliff would tell you that it’s up to you to find it! Rump isn’t supposed to have magic powers, or go on a journey across the Kingdom, or even become a hero. As he puts it, “My destiny really stinks.” However, in the end, it doesn’t stink so much. He accomplishes some incredible things throughout the book. We can guess that Shurtliff wants us to know that neither our names, nor other things we’re born with, can write our destiny for us. Instead, we write our own. Through our actions, and the content of our character, we unknowingly write our own destiny, with every day, and every step. Being a good person, being kind to others; these are the things that make our destiny brighter, happier, and easier to achieve.

Do You Believe in Magic?

So we know that we can define our own names, and we can write our own destiny, but where does magic come in? Do you believe in magic? What do you think of when you imagine magic? Is it turning a bit of fluff into a mouse? Is it making things disappear? Or is it making things levitate, or even controlling fire? Whatever you think of when you think of magic, I sure think it’s real. I think Liesl Shurtliff thinks so too.

Although we might not be able to transform objects or turn the light switch off with our minds, I think we all have a little magic inside of us. And I think it ties in with everything we talked about. Isn’t it a magical idea, being able to write your own destiny and define your own name? I think so.

Rump has a lot of magic going on. Sure, he can spin gold, and that’s pretty cool. But I think what makes Rump really magical, is something else. He wants to save Opal, he makes a lot of friends along the way, and he stands up to evil. What makes him magical, to me, is the content of his character, and how he treats others. That is something we can all do. And so, in that way, we can all be magic, if we just treat each other with a little kindness.

Stay magical by being kind, and you’ll find your destiny in no time.

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