These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.
--Gilbert Highet

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8 stars

The Spiderwick Chronicles

AR: 4.2
Lexile: 600
RC: 4.1
by Holly Black     Illus. by Tony DiTerlizzi
Normal Length Novel
Genre: Book Field Guide
Seeing Stone<

Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace have just moved in to their great-uncle's old, run-down Victorian house. While their, they discover his secret hidden library and stumble upon his Field Guide, which has information about faeries. The children learn that faeries really do exist, and, unfortunately for them, the faeries find out that the children have this book. The faeries believe the book has information that is potentially harmful to the faerie world and so they do everything they can to try to take it from the children.

I really liked this "series". I call it a series only because it is sold as a series, but I would consider it one story that happened to be released in 5 books. You really can't read just one book alone, there isn't a real plot in any one of the books to be considered a story. However, that doesn't mean that they are bad books. In fact, they are very fun to read. There's not a lot of description in the prose, but the illustrations are great. The layout of the book, with full-page illustrations and character frames surrounded by text, make it a very fast read, and, believe me, you will want to read these fast! The action starts right away and does not stop until the very end. I usually like books to have a little more character development. The little bits and pieces about the Grace father leaving the family and how it affected the kids, especially Jared, were teasing and ultimately unsatisfying. But, I do realize that putting a lot of emotion into a book that is essentially a "popcorn movie" would have slowed it down too much. I highly recommend this "series", but make sure you read the whole thing!

(Last modified:04/06/2008)


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