- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (Oct. 2 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061978081
- ISBN-13: 978-0061978081
- ASIN: 0061978086
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,147,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Spindlers Hardcover – Oct 2 2012
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“Richly detailed, at times poetic, ultimately moving; a book to be puzzled over, enjoyed and, ideally, read aloud.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“This imaginative fantasy emphasizes individual initiative and the power of hope and friendship. With strong, self-reliant female characters and well-defined action, this is a strong addition to fantasy collections.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Oliver’s magical, mesmerizing quest affirms the saving power of story, friendship, and love.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Oliver’s fluid, poetic prose elevates this tale above the genre, often imparting weight to the simplest sentences....this is sure to win over middle-grade readers.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“Lauren Oliver will again sweep up younger readers with her dark and illuminating tale...The novel pulses with great adventure and plenty of heart.” (Shelf Awareness (starred review))
Praise for Liesl & Po: “Classic fairy tale elements weave throughout this spirited, old-fashioned adventure. Invigorating and hopeful, this novel testifies to the power of friendship and generosity to conquer greed and depression.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Praise for Liesl & Po: “With her third book, Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall; Delirium) creates another highly original world, this one for middle-grade readers. Oliver introduces orphans Liesl and Will, a touch of magic, some delectable coincidences, and friendship that stretches from the Living Side to the Other Side.” (Shelf Awareness)
Praise for Liesl & Po: “Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver brings much-needed magic to an increasingly neglected age group. It’s books like this, with its classic quest plot, intertwined with lyrical metaphysics, that can set a child up for life.” (The Sunday Telegraph)
Praise for Before I Fall: “Oliver’s debut novel is raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful....readers will love Samantha best as she hurtles toward an end as brave as it is heartbreaking.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
Praise for Before I Fall: “Samantha’s attempts to save her life and right the wrongs she has caused are precisely what will draw readers into this complex story and keep them turning pages until Sam succeeds in living her last day the right way.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
From the Back Cover
One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.
When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.
She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.
To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests—or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.
From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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So you can probably guess what happens at the beginning of "The Spindlers," Lauren Oliver's second novel for younger (read: not teenage-romance-seeking) readers. It's a clever, fast-paced little fantasy story with echoes of Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" and the classic "Alice in Wonderland, with a darker edge to the whimsy.
One morning, Liza wakes up and discovers that her brother Patrick is no longer her brother -- his soul has been stolen by the Spindlers during the night. How does she know? He's BEHAVING. Her parents obviously won't believe her story, so it's up to Liza to set out on a quest to regain his soul -- to venture Below, through a passageway that takes her deep underground.
She meets and befriends Mirabelle, an oddball rat who wishes to be human, and soon discovers that Below is a pretty scary place, with many bizarre creatures like troglods, moles, nids, lumpen and... of course, the Spindlers themselves. But when she finally finds the grotesque spiderlike monsters, she may be fighting for her life as well as her brother's soul.
Without feeling derivative, "The Spindlers" reminds me of a bunch of other stories -- mostly "Coraline" (for the girl-on-an-adventure and some of the darker moments), "Alice in Wonderland" (the strange down-the-rabbit-hole atmosphere) and the movie "Labyrinth" (for the girl trying to rescue an annoying but beloved baby brother).
And considering that Oliver is best known for her dystopian teen romances, "Spindlers" really shows the versatility of her writing. There's a clever, springy quality to her prose, with wry little descriptions and clever ideas (the troglods trade colors as currency). It's a simple story, and a few of the plot twists feel a bit obvious.
There is one thing that bothered me, though: we never find out what happened to one of the main characters at the end of the story. But then, the way is left open for a potential sequel.
Liza is a plucky, never-say-die heroine who is easy to like, especially since she's such a protective older sister to Patrick -- he annoys her sometimes, but she loves him fiercely. And Mirabella is simply adorable: she's a rat with self-esteem issues because people detest "dirty rats" and hit them with brooms, so she tries to be as human as possible with wigs and hats.
"The Spindlers" is a charming, dark little story that shows Lauren Oliver's writing talents beautifully. Recommended for rat-lovers, but not arachnophobes.
I liked the way Lauren shaped Liza. She was a fearless, smart and highly independent character. The best part is, the end was open enough if Lauren chose to write some more, she could. (I hope she does.) It was something at the end that had my hopes going for more, but I can't share it with you. You have to read it.
Kids 8-12 will love this book. Best part is, some parents, like me, will love this story too. It is a great teaching of not giving up, being brave, and always listening to the good not the bad.
A little gem of a book, and one I am happy is in my collection.
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