Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DeTerlizzi

What a delightful little series! I'm a huge fan of Holly Black, and as usual she didn't disappoint, with a thrilling tale of true-to-life (and -legend) faeries and children. I was delighted that they took a classic story, unhappy kids moving into a strange new house, and--well, didn't exactly turn it on its head, but created an engaging and original tale. The protagonist, Jared Grace, is a well-drawn and very sympathetic little boy whose parents' divorce has led to anger issues as well as a move to a house owned by his Great-Aunt Lucinda, where hides a very special book. His twin brother Simon and their older sister Mallory are also unique and fun characters, and the interactions between the siblings are quite believable--they squabble a lot, but when it's important (and when they have to hide things from their mother) they stick together. The story is also populated by faeries of all types and sizes--a brownie, some goblins (and one hobgoblin, thank you very much), a griffin, a phooka, elves, and more. I was happily surprised by some of the story's twists and gleefully predicted others. I really look forward to the movie. Of course, it will be lacking Tony DeTerlizzi's delightful illustrations, but I'm sure it will be wonderful anyway.

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