Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 1, The Field Guide
DiTerlizzi, T. & Black, H. The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book 1, The Field Guide. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
After their parent's recent divorce the Grace children, Mallory, Jared, and Simon, all move with their mom from their apartment in New York to a decrepit Victorian house belonging to their great-aunt, Lucinda. The Grace children immediately sense that there is more to this house than they can see. The scratching noise in the walls prompt them to break open part of the wall where they find an interesting little nest full of newspaper clippings and cockroaches strung up on a string. Mallory destroys the nest, thinking whatever it was that was making it will have to leave. But, destroying its home only makes this little creature angry and strikes vengeance on the Grace children. A note Jared finds in a secret room in the house leads him to discover Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You and the children learn that there is a lot more to this house and their world than they had ever realized.
This is a wonderfully imaginative book. It is rather short and a quick read, good for younger tweens. Plus, it's a series that leaves the reader with a great hook at the end of the first book, which will inspire young readers to pick up the next book in the series. The illustrations are awesome and add a lot to the book. The Grace children each have their own unique interests, and bond together in their quest to discover what is scurrying around in their house. The authors show the struggle of kids from a recently divorced family, as they are forced to leave the comfort of their home and make major changes in their lives. I look forward to reading more of the Grace children's adventures.
Ages 7 - 12
divorce, siblings, faeries
Book 1 of The Spiderwick Chronicles
Jared Grace: 9 years-old; twins with Simon; brother to Mallory; parents recently divorce; he is having some trouble with his parent's divorce; he finds the Field Guide
Simon Grace: 9 years-old; twins with Jared; brother to Mallory; obsessed with animals; has creatures in jars all over the room he shares with Jared
Mallory Grace: 13 years-old; sister to Simon and Jared; loves fencing; destroys the nest in the wall; has her hair tied to her bed while she sleeps
Arthur Spiderwick: the father to Lucinda, the Grace children's great-aunt; made the Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You Jared finds
Lucinda Spiderwick: the Grace children's great-aunt; is in a home after going crazy talking about faeries; the Grace children go to live in her old Victorian home
After moving to a old Victorian home, the Grace children begin to feel that they are not alone in their new home. The discovery of a peculiar nest in the wall and an interesting book open their eyes to things beyond their imagination.