After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they’ve just moved into, Jared; his twin brother, Simon; and their older sister, Mallory, discover that there’s a magical and often capricious world existing parallel to our own — the world of faerie (amazon.com).
After reading all five of the Spiderwick books I have decided that the best way to review them is together. This is because the individual books are not really complete; only after finishing all five books does the story actually end.
I actually found a fantastic edition of this series, which is referred to as the Completely Fantastical Edition, and I find that this is the best way to read the series. I understand that the target audience is younger children so the books are divided up into small segments so the children are not overwhelmed by such a huge novel as the one I read. Upon finishing each individual book children will have a sense of accomplishment and will look forward to reading the next book. However, for older readers I suggest this larger volume because it makes the story much more cohesive.
This is officially one of my favorite children’s series and I would have love to have read this when I was younger. It would have been even better! Basically, three siblings, Jared, Simon, and Mallory discover a rather interesting book in a secret room of their house and upon inspection they reveal it to be about creatures they thought never existed. Soon after finding the book they were proven wrong. An ogre wants to get a hold of the book and the children go through a lot to keep it safe. Much awesomeness ensues.
The story is interesting, mysterious, and engaging, and after the first book has a decent number of action and nail-biting scenes. Although, written for younger readers some children may not be able to handle some of the content. There are references to parents being divorced, dead pets, fighting and actually breaking someone’s nose, as well life and death situations, goblins eating cats, and some mildly scary monsters. It’s a great and entertaining series, but may not be for younger children who are easily scared.
Jared and Simon are twin brothers, but are quite different from each other. Jared always gets into trouble or is blamed for things he didn’t actually do. Simon is smart and has a complete obsession with animals. I think he has every pet a boy could possibly have. Their older sister, Mallory, loves fencing, which I thought was pretty interesting because you don’t hear much about this sport. The children are very believable and well-developed characters and they all have their sibling difficulties. I believe that children will be able to connect with at least one of the main characters.
Other characters in the book include Goblins, hobgoblins, boggarts, ogres, dragons, and many other faerie creatures. Children will love them all! I thought that all the creatures were well described and each group had their own personalities; they were very distinctive. The accompanying illustrations made them all the better!
The books are rather easy to read with only a few challenging words and are rather short when on their own. Just the right amount of detail is provided throughout each book. The stories flow smoothly, easily transition between one another and the it is really brought to life with some amazing illustrations.
This is an awesome, must read series for children who love fantasy or even a way to get children to want to read! Many adults will enjoy the story too. I recommend getting the Fantastical Edition of the book so you can read the story as it should be read, but if you prefer the smaller books, then I suggest buying all five right away because after reading one you will want to immediately start the next.
My rating: 5/5 stars!
*photo provided by goodreads.com