By Lauren Oliver
New York: Harper, 2012.
Grades: 5 and Up
Harry Potter fans are always looking for the next exciting fantasy and The Spindlers, may just fit that bill! It is a short, fast paced novel that will surely hold the attention of young fantasy readers.
Liza wakes up one morning to find out that her adorable; yet annoying little brother is empty. He is missing all that spunk and mischief–he is missing his soul. Liza knows that the Spindlers, the creatures from below have taken his soul. She tries to tell their parents but they are just—too stressed and too busy to even listen to Liza.
Liza knows that only she can help Patrick so she ventures down to the basesment into the underworld, where the fantasy begins and reality ends. It is the place where, that one sock from wash goes or that misplaced car key–never to be seen again. She knows that she is in for quite an adventure when she first meets Mirabella, a very large, make-up wearing, humanly dressed rat!
This young girl quickly finds out that there is much danger that lies ahead with the nasty spindlers, awful troglods and despicable nids. Her adventure takes a further dive when she is betrayed and lied to–but don’t despair Liza also has a ‘guardian angel’ of sorts. Liza finds that she must rely on herself and her wits if she is to save Patrick’s precious soul from the Spindlers.
I thought this was a delightful fantasy for younger readers (although one 5th grader thought it was too scary to read). I love the “riddles” and the “tests” and so will the kids!
Author Website and Book Trailer: Lauren Oliver