Monday, September 17, 2012

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger.  For other participants, see my sidebar or Shannon's links.


The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver (coming October 2 from Harper, for ages 8 to 12)

Source: advanced reading copy from publisher

Synopsis (from the publisher):  When Liza's younger brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: the spindlers -- evil, spiderlike beings -- have gotten to him and stolen his soul. And she is certain that she is the only one who can save him.

Why I liked it: This would make a terrific read-aloud!  Short chapters with cliffhanger endings, imaginative worldbuilding, a brave heroine, lots of action, and a heart's desire: what more could you want?  There were moments that made me gasp, and quite a few that made me smile. This book could easily take its place alongside Gregor the Overlander, James and the Giant Peach, and even The Wizard of Oz.  It introduces human-size talking animals inhabiting another world Below. And most of the book is a challenging hero's journey to save Patrick and get his soul back home. Liza is accompanied on the journey by a human-size rat named Mirabella, who agrees to be her guide.  So with two strong female characters, this is a must-read for girls.

Please be aware that some of the creatures Liza encounters might be a tad scary for younger readers.

What middle grade novels have you read that involve a hero's quest, or humans interacting with talking animals?

17 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read this. I have an ARC waiting to be read. And Gregor the Overlander is a great book too. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie! Glad you have an arc of it.

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  2. Oh! I didn't know Lauren had a new book coming out! MMGM is wonderful, I tell you. :-)

    I will be looking for this one. Thanks, Joanne.

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    1. Yes, it is!

      I hope you get a chance to read this, Barbara.

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  3. Oh! I want to read this one! I absolutely loved her last middle-grade. Is it the beginning of a series?

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    1. Hi Myrna! It didn't feel like a series beginning to me. It's a satisfying standalone. But you never know with authors and editors...

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  4. I had no idea she had another book coming out. The premise sounds fantastic. I WANT IT!!!

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    1. Ah, you're making me feel guilty for holding on to my arc, Akoss!! Hope you can get your hands on one.

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  5. Very excited about another Lauren Oliver book! Thanks for the heads up.

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  6. This is a popular book this week! :) Sounds intriguing! The last book I read with humans and animals was Mrs. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire. Very interesting book!

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    1. Ah, I've seen that book but never picked it up to try it. I didn't realize it had both humans and animals. Thanks, Jennifer!

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  7. I have not read any of her books... and truthfully don't read a lot with animals in them. I like contemporary mostly. But... my kids would probably enjoy this, and maybe I should broaden my horizons myself!

    I have read parts of Stewart Little with the kids. And I read Alice in Wonderland to them 3 years ago - they loved it!

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    1. Hi Julie! I don't usually care that much for books with talking animals, but I did love this and Gregor the Overlander (and James and the Giant Peach). Oh, and Stuart Little was my favorite book when I was about 7! Hope you do give this a try with your kids. It's perfect for reading aloud.

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  8. I didn't know she had another MG coming out! It sounds fascinating. I don't usually tend toward talking animals, but there are several that I've liked, so I'd give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I'm always looking for a new read aloud. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing! :)

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