Monday, January 2, 2012
The Spiderwick Chronicles Book Review
This week I'm going to be reviewing a book series I read as a child in elementary school, The Spiderwick Chronicles. I look back at the series and I'm amazed at how well I grasped it as a young child. It's a complex idea written in a great way that appeals to kids and adults. Here is the synopsis from the back of each book of the series:
The Field Guide: When the three Grace children -- Mallory, Jared, and Simon -- and their mom move into Aunt Lucinda's old house, readers know there's magic afoot. The kids uncover a nest of assembled junk, and on a visit to the secret library via the dumbwaiter, Jared finds a note describing "my secret to all mankind." After a few mysterious pranks that get blamed on Jared, the boy finally digs up the real prize: Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You. Fortunately enough, the kids meet one of the critters listed in the guide -- a brownie named Thimbletack -- who makes it all "real" and helps provide the book's suspenseful conclusion: "'Throw the book away, toss it in a fire. If you do not heed, you will draw their ire.'"
The Seeing Stone: A thrilling follow-up to DiTerlizzi and Black's first Spiderwick Chronicles book, The Seeing Stone has Jared and Mallory rescuing Simon from a band of goblins. When the young boy is kidnapped, Thimbletack leads Jared to a stone that allows him to have "the sight," or the ability to see magical creatures. Soon, the brother and sister are outfoxing a hungry troll, working with a helpful goblin named Hogsqueal to thwart the other goblins, and taking care of a wounded griffin.
Lucinda's Secret: Fresh from near-fatal goblin and troll attacks in the previous book (The Seeing Stone, the children are torn over whether to hang onto their long-lost great-great-uncle's book or to turn it over to the menacing faeries. Thimbletack--the house brownie who's transmogrified into an angry "boggart"--has lost his patience with the kids, and he starts subjecting Jared to increasingly nasty pranks. Hoping that Lucinda might know something about Uncle Arthur's fate (or at least have some advice on how to fend off the faeries), the three children talk their mom into a trip to the asylum for a visit--but there they learn their situation might be even more dangerous than they imagined. (And, as readers of the series know, the kids already thought they were in hot water.)
The Ironwood Tree: At school, someone is running around pretending to be Jared, and it's not Simon. To make matters even worse, now Mallory has disappeared and something foul in the water is killing off all the plants and animals for miles around. Clues point to the old abandoned quarry, just outside of town. Dwarves have taken over an abandoned mine there. And the faerie world's abuzz with the news that a creature with plans to rule the world has offered them a gift to join with him -- he's given them a queen...
The Wrath of Mulgarath: The Final Battle
My first impression of these books was good, because the cover was great, the summary was interesting, and they had a picture on every other page haha. I read the first couple books in a day, and as a third/fourth grader that was pretty good. I liked the books alright, but each book wasn't really like a book, it was more like a part of a book, they should've just combined the five to make one great book. I give this series 2/5 stars now, but as a kid I would probably give it 5/5. The story was very magical, and it puts you into a new world with many new creatures. It opened up the world of fantasy to me, and I'm thankful for that. I would definitely recommend it to kids in elementary school/ beginning middle school kids as well. Adults might like it as well, just not as much as the kids of course. This series is also a movie, that combines all five books of course, and I liked the movie, and thought the characters perfectly. There were some differences between the books and the movie, nothing really big though. The one thing I didn't like about the movie was them leaving out the dwarves, elves, the unicorn, and the phooka. I would judge each book differently, that's why I had to judge the series as a whole. :D