5 out of 5 Stars!
So, I admit, actually saw this first as a movie first a couple years ago and my sister-in-law mentioned that it might be a good comp book/movie for when I’m looking to query my current work in progress. I figured I want to read the books first to see how they compared to the movie.
It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: “We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone.” Little could they imagine the remarkable adventure that awaited them as they followed Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace and a strange old book into a world filled with elves, goblins, dwarves, trolls, and a fantastical menagerie of other creatures. The oddest part is in entering that world, they didn’t leave this one!
Yes, this is a children’s book. Yes, I am a fully grown adult woman with a husband and a full-time job and a mortgage. Yes, I absolutely loved these books!
In this collection, we follow Jared, his twin brother Simon, and older sister Mallory, who have been forced to move to an old dilapidated house after their parents’ divorce. But everything isn’t as it seems within their new home. Small items start disappearing, and when the children begin investigating the mystery, they discover a whole new world of creatures living just out of sight.
These books spoke directly to my inner child, giving life to my imagination with dragons, ogres, fairies, and an entire world of magical creatures. Even though the books are written for children ages seven and up, the writing style was phenomenal, painting fantastical creations and horrible monsters with equal clarity and color. The action scenes were fun and engaging and I was eager to solve each new mystery right alongside our characters.
Despite the fantastical elements in the books, the characters and situations are relatable and very realistic. The family has been torn apart by divorce, forced to move to a new home and unfamiliar school. Jared, Simon, and Mallory each deal with these changes in their own unique ways, ranging from violent outbursts to collecting secret pets (one of which happens to be a griffon). Although the books are written for children, there are some instances of minor violence and swearing (the word “crap” is used a few times).
Honestly, the only thing that disappointed me about this collection is the fact that I listened to the audio book version, so I wasn’t able to see all of the amazing illustrations that accompany the story. But that’s my own fault. Each book in the collection was also very short, but together as the series of five books, it makes for a great overall story.
I give the Spiderwick Chronicles five out of five stars. I would recommend it for readers of all ages who are looking to add a little magic to their lives 🙂