Hello, today I’m going to be reviewing Holly Black’s Spiderwick Chronicles.
The novels are written by Holly Black, and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi.
The Field Guide by: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black: The first novel in the Spiderwick Chronicles. Mallory, and her younger twin brothers Jared and Simon have just moved into a new house after their father has left them. Doing what children do best, they go and explore the house; using the dumbwaiter they find a mysterious library where they displace a few things causing whatever lives there to be angry. They find a book that tells them all about faeries and other mythical creatures, which they take as stories, until both Mallory and Simon are attacked by the creatures. It’s an imaginable world of ghouls that go bump in the night. This first novel sets up everything nicely; the reader gets to meet the three main characters and their traits, this helps the reader get a sense of whom these characters are. The characters are also very relatable to children, and to those of us who aren’t children anymore, can still relate to back when they were children. The plot was set up just right; the author eases the reader into what is going to happen, and just when you’re really hooked, the novel ends keeping you locked in for the second novel. The pace of the novel was really well done, nothing felt rushed; the author took her time in telling the story, which can be hard to do with children’s novels since you have a limited amount of time to tell the story. Overall, this novel was told very well, and the illustrations were also very well done; painting the reader a picture of what some of the creatures look like, and of course our main characters.
The Seeing Stone by: Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi: The second novel in the Spiderwick Chronicles. The Grace children are back for another adventure; this time Simon is taken by goblins while trying to find his cat, Tibbs. Now it’s up to Jared to save his twin. With the help of their older sister, Mallory they end up going through the forest to find him. Only with the Sight can the children see the goblins. Using the seeing stone, this gives Jared the Sight and helps them to navigate through the goblins and save Simon. But of course everything is not all right, the goblins aren’t done, but until the next novel the reader will find out what’s in store next for the characters. This novel had quite a bit of action, which made for a very adventurous, and fun read. The mysteries surrounding their house, and the mythical creatures are all starting to come undone. As the novels continue to grow, the reader becomes more engaged, wanting to know what the goblins want with the children. Overall, this novel had mystery, adventure, and mythical creatures to engage young readers, and entrance them.
Lucinda’s Secret by: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black: The third novel in the Spiderwick Chronicles. The three Grace kids think it’s time to see Aunt Lucinda to see if she can shed any light on their situation at her house. She tells them it isn’t safe there, and that they mustn’t stay there. She also mentions her father, Arthur Spiderwick, and how one day he just left his family. This gets the children thinking, and once the field guide goes missing they begin their mission for the guide, and for their great-uncle. The novel was full of adventure, mysteries, and the mystical land of faeries, goblins, elves and bogarts. The more the reader reads, the more interesting it gets. In this third novel, the reader gets a sense of how each novel is set up, and they are set up well. Black does a great job of making sure the reader doesn’t see what’s coming, and that all plotlines come as a bit of a surprise. The creatures that are used in this story give it some fear, and the illustrations really help to pull the story along. Overall, it’s a great addition to the chronicle; this novel really leads suspense for the next novel.
The Ironwood Tree by: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black: The fourth novel in the Spiderwick Chronicles. Mallory is kidnapped, and Jared finds a copy of himself, an evil copy. Because of “not-Jared”, the real Jared gets in trouble. But it isn’t long before they have to help rescue Mallory from the ironwood tree where everything is mechanical, even the dogs that are after them. All of this is ploy so the goblins can get the field guide. This novel was probably the most exciting yet. Every page had an adventure, and suspense. The reader didn’t know what was going to happen, if Mallory was going to be okay, if the twins could rescue her, if they were going to get out alive. The illustrations, like in the past novels were really well done; it helped the reader follow along, and it gave a visual interpretation to help the imagination. The writing, and the plot were just really well done in this novel. Nothing was boring, and there were no dry spots; it was complete action, all the time. Overall, it was great; hopefully the last novel can top this one.
The Wrath of Mulgarth by: Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black: The fifth, and final novel in the Spiderwick Chronicles. The series has come to an end, and it’s going out with a bang. Mulgarth, a high and mighty ogre who wants to take over the world, has captured the Grace children’s mother. It’s up to Jared, Simon, and Mallory to set things right once and for all. Through obstacle after obstacle, the children must face to reach Mulgarth’s lair. On their way they run into their great-great-uncle, Arthur Spiderwick, the owner of the field guide who started this all, and who hasn’t aged a day since he went missing, years and years ago. Although he isn’t much help, the children help him in return, reuniting him with his daughter, Aunt Lucinda. This novel took the reader through loops and adventures that the previous novels only scratched the surface to. It was great to read about how everything came to a resolution. The novel took its time to get to the resolution, and that made for perfect storytelling. Nothing felt rushed, and all of the characters got the ending they deserved. Overall, this was a great tale about goblins, elves, ogres, and all sorts of other mythical creatures. The author really let the reader be immersed in the world, which made for a thrilling read.