Great Reads brings you book reviews on teen books that parents will love from such great young adult authors as Garth Nix, Clare Dunkle, DJ Machale, Stephanie Meyer and many more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Spiderwick Chronicles: Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

Admittedly, the main reason I picked up these books is because I saw the movie trailer and it looked like a good movie. I had seen them in the store, and was certainly intrigued, but they're a little young (even for me) so I waited. But, when I spotted them at the library, I thought I'd give them a shot.

The books are written for ages 7 and up (though I can't imagine a 7 year old being able to read them quickly or without a lot of help), and each are around 100 smaller sized pages. I was able to read one in about an hour. I've only gotten through the first three, but they are really quite enjoyable. Even at 100 pages (which would probably be more like 60 regular pages without the illustrations and if they were normal sized), not a lot happens but they're definitely interesting enough to keep you reading.

For those unfamiliar with the series, it revolves around three siblings, identical twins Jared and Simon, and their older sister, Mallory. After their father leaves, their mother takes them to go live in Aunt Lucy's dilapidated house (thought Aunt Lucy herself is residing in an institution). Jared's been in a bit of trouble and his mom is worried about him, but hopes the change of scenery will do them all good. By accident/fate/what have you, the siblings stumble onto a secret room, where Jared discovers the Field Guide- a book that tells about the other world around us- the only where Fairies, Elves, brownies, boggarts and goblins exist. Opening and reading the field guide exposes the children to dangers and adventures they never could have imagined. Seems the book is a hot commodity and the children aren't the only ones who want it, though it is hard to tell who can be trusted, if anyone or anything for that matter, at all.

I've included the trailer for the movie here (notice it stars Freddie Highmore, because there can't be a kids movie-- or Brit movie for that matter-- without him in it- He's got to be the hardest working kid in the movie business right now- how is he NOT in Harry Potter!?). I encourage you to pick up the books and if you've got kids ages 6 and up, I think it'll be a great read aloud book (I'm planning to start the first with our six year old). The chapters are the perfect length. I can't wait to get the last two.

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