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Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black – The Field Guide

April 10, 2008

46. The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black (2003)
The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1

Length: 128 pages

Genre: Childrens; Fantasy

Started: 10 April 2008
Finished: 10 April 2008, about half an hour later.

Summary: Nine-year-old Jared Grace, his twin brother Simon, and his thirteen-year-old sister Mallory have to relocate to their great-aunt Lucinda’s creepy old house after their parents’ divorce. A very old book that Jared finds in the attic and the constant scuffling inside the walls suggests to them that they might not be the only inhabitants of the house, however… and whatever else is there isn’t particularly friendly.

Review: I’m a couple of decades past the target audience for this series, but I was still charmed by the first book. The characters are believeable, the world is complex, and the story is delightfully creepy: I got sucked in far enough during the half-hour it took me to read this that I started jumping at random house noises – who knows what potentially malicious critters are all around me that I can’t see? The illustrations are also lovely (and plentiful), and not only capture but help create the mood perfectly. My only issue was that it felt like the first chapter or two of a longer book and ended just as I wanted more – fortunately, I’ve got the next book on hand. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I imagine young kids who are fans of authors like Lemony Snicket would get a kick out of this series as well; as an adult, it was a quick but charming read, and there are plenty of worse ways to spend half an hour.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

First Line: If someone had asked Jared Grace what jobs his brother and sister would have when they grew up, he would have had no trouble replying.

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