Evocative of Alice in Wonderland , this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope. Perfect for fans of the author's other middle grade novels: Liesl & Po and the Curiosity House series.Read more...
Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope. Perfect for fans of the author's other middle grade novels: Liesl & Po and the Curiosity House series.
Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers--evil, spiderlike beings--came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.
Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.
- ISBN-13: 9780061978081
- ISBN-10: 0061978086
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publish Date: October 2012
- Page Count: 246
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-09-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Liza knows the spiderlike Spindlers have stolen the soul of her brother, Patrick, when he spells “I H-A-T-E Y-O-U” in his Alpha-Bits cereal one morning. “And they had left this thing, this not-younger-brother, in its place.” Liza’s harried parents reprimand her for making up stories, so she ventures into the damp basement, crawls through the hole behind the bookcase, and falls into the world “Below” to save her brother. There, a gaudily dressed, loquacious rat, Mirabella, agrees to lead Liza to the Spindlers’ nests. Along the way, Mirabella introduces Liza to troglods, who sell lost human objects; the lumer-lumpen (glowworms); nocturni, who guard human souls; and other strange, frightening creatures. The terrain changes in dreamlike fashion as Liza travels through market, forest, palace, mountain, and more, making discoveries both terrible and hopeful. Themes of fairness, loyalty, betrayal, and redemption play out in Liza and Mirabella’s relationship, and throughout the underworld cosmos. Oliver’s (Liesl & Po) magical, mesmerizing quest affirms the saving power of story, friendship, and love. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Oct.)
Down the spindler hole
He looked the same: the same space alien pajamas, the same holey socks, the same way of descending the stairs on his rump. But Liza knows this boy in front of her at breakfast is not her brother Patrick. He’s too quiet, too polite, and his eyes are strangely vacant.
Liza knows what has happened: the spindlers. The spiderlike creatures have stolen her brother’s soul and taken it to their underground lairs, leaving his body to crumble to dust and release thousands of new spindlers to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans. Liza’s a willful girl, so she sets off through a hole in the basement wall and, like a famous soul sister named Alice, falls into a strange new wonderland of a world. Teaming up with a rat named Mirabella, Liza meets troglods, nids, the Lumer-Lumpen, the lovely nocturni and the awful scawgs.
Readers will be right there with Liza on her odyssey, who proves her strength and resourcefulness at every turn in the fascinating world below. Oliver has crafted a thoroughly engaging, fast-paced novel that will remind fans of Suzanne Collins’ Gregor the Overlander (2004). Besides an exciting story full of terrible and marvelous creatures, this is an ode to the power of stories and the attachments to home. Young readers will be as caught up in the story Oliver spins as souls are trapped in the spindler queen’s web.