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Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black – The Ironwood Tree

April 12, 2008

49. The Ironwood Tree by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black (2004)
The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4

Length: 108 pages

Genre: Childrens; Fantasy

Started: 12 April 2008
Finished: 12 April 2008

Summary: Jared Grace keeps getting in trouble at school, even though it’s not his fault, but he has no time to worry about a tiny little thing like expulsion now… his older sister Mallory has just been kidnapped by the Dwarves, who are demanding the book as ransom, and Jared and Simon must go deep underground to rescue her – and save themselves.

Review: The action and adventure is just as good as in the previous installments, but I felt like a lot of the mysteries and hints that were brought up in the third book were ignored here in favor of more chase scenes. I also liked the bits of emotional pathos that were dropped in between Jared and his mother, but they, too quickly fell by the wayside. This late in the game (relatively speaking) I wanted a little bit more explanation and depth and a little less solid action-suspense, but there is a bit of a grading curve, seeing as how it’s written for 8-year-olds. It’s still a fun read, but this one left me wondering if the final book is really going to be able to wrap up all of the little thread-lets we’ve been given so far. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Not quite as good as the previous three, but the enjoyment-to-time-investment factor is still high enough to make it a good read.

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First Line: The engine of the station wagon was already running.

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