Jared Grace is a young boy who is having a hard time adjusting to the recent announcement by his mom and dad that they are getting a divorce. His mother has moved Jared, his twin brother Simon and teenage sister Mallory to an old dilapidated house. The owner of the house, elderly Aunt Lucinda, currently resides in a mental institution.
After Jared and his siblings find a strange nest-like area in the walls of the old rickety kitchen, strange things begin happening around the house. When Mallory’s hair is knotted to her headboard overnight, Jared is the likely suspect and has to face his mother’s disappointment for something he didn’t do. After a little detective work, Jared finds that there is a bogart in the house, and he is not too happy that the kids had disturbed his nest. Jared also finds Arthur Spiderwicks Field Guide, a book filled with information about goblins, trolls, dragons, griffins, bogarts and other fantasy creatures.
Enter the world of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I decided to read this series to my daughter Leah in anticipation of the movie, which was released in theaters on Valentine’s Day.
The story is divided into five separate books, with a total of 672 pages.
It’s hard to say who enjoyed this series more – myself or Leah. Interspersed with wonderful drawings throughout, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fun, fantasy filled romp and a great series.
A word of warning though -my five year old does not scare easily. She is thick skinned by nature and reading about things like cat-roasting goblins, trolls and dragons barely fazes her. Having said that, I certainly don’t think that this series is good for more sensitive children. It is suggested for the 9 – 12 age group, so be sure to take that into consideration. Also, the movie (which was very loosely based on the book and therefore not half as good) was really over-the-top with extremely scary imagery of Mulgarath, the villain from the book. Even I was taken aback by how unnecessarily scary the last twenty minutes of the movie was.
After the movie was finished and I asked Leah how she liked it, she said ”it wasn’t anything like the book Mom. I liked reading it so much more.” Spoken like a true reader.