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The Spindlers Hardcover – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061978086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061978081
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-Patrick has always been a sweet, lovable child, but one morning Liza notices that her younger brother seems remote and somehow empty. Their parents are too preoccupied to notice, but Liza remembers eerie stories her beloved babysitter used to tell. She realizes that this not-Patrick is a changeling. Her real brother has been taken by the spindlers-spiderlike creatures that haunt the world below. These evil beings gather their power from the souls of those they steal, while the counterfeits they leave behind spawn more spindlers to prey on the human sphere. When Liza resolves to brave the danger and retrieve Patrick's soul, she meets Mirabella, a talking rat who claims to know the way to the spindler queen's nesting place. Together, they set off on their quest. The underground realm is filled with unusual residents-some amusing, some quietly beautiful, and some truly terrifying. Mirabella seems friendly and helpful, but the rat's cheerful demeanor hides a shocking secret. Ultimately, Liza and Mirabella must face their own tests of courage and sacrifice with not only Patrick's fate, but all of Below at stake. This imaginative fantasy emphasizes individual initiative and the power of hope and friendship. Below is a fully realized alternate world with echoes of both classic literature and mythology. This is particularly notable in its variety of inhabitants. Although the creatures are Oliver's own creations, such beings as the winged, dream-bearing nocturni and the shape-shifting, cannibalistic scawgs have the feel of true folklore. With strong, self-reliant female characters and well-defined action, this is a strong addition to fantasy collections.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“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))

Praise for Delirium:“In [Oliver’s] dystopian America, love has been outlawed as the life-threatening source of all discord. Lena’s gradual awakening is set against a convincing backdrop of totalitarian horror. The abrupt ending leaves enough unanswered questions to set breathless readers up for volume two of this trilogy.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

Praise for Delirium:“Strong characters, a vivid portrait of the lives of teens in a repressive society, and nagging questions that can be applied to our world today make this book especially compelling and discussable.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

More About the Author

Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren's first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#31 in Books > Teens
#31 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Heroine Liza's brother is taken by the Spindlers and she makes the journey to the underworld to save him.
Kara Lynn Russell
Lauren Oliver uses wonderful imagery, imaginative creatures, and excellent character development throughout "The Spindlers."
delicateflower152
I love Lauren Oliver's young adult novels, and her middle grade/children's book, The Spindlers, is just as fantastic!
Jen @ A Book and a Latte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine Baggenstos on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm sad to say I was a tad disappointed by The Spindlers, but I think that's completely due to the fact that I idolize Miss Oliver. It really was a cute, quick adventure. That's another thing: it took me a little over two days to finish when it really should've taken me a couple hours. Not the book's fault, of course, but it didn't exactly add to my enjoyment.

I found the writing to be a bit off at times. It was rather whimsical and childish in the way of repeating and odd grammar choices, but that doesn't really mean it's bad. In fact, I often like that kind of writing in my middle grade, but I think I wasn't in the right mood for it this time around.

I rather appreciated Liza's commitment to finding Patrick. She didn't once think "well Patrick can be a bit annoying at times..." or "maybe I'd like being an only child..." She traveled through dangerous situation after dangerous situation to save her admittedly annoying brother. I also quite liked the fact that she went Below scared out of her wits. She didn't go charging in all brave and awesome (which is cool in its own right, of course) but instead kept pushing on again and again despite her fears.

I definitely have to hand it to Oliver on her crazy world-building, though. The world Below is crazy and wonderful and awesome. I mean, we have creatures that protect us and give us dreams; troglods who are kind of like gnomes but steal little trinkets from homes like socks and glasses; glowworms who act as lighting for the underground world; and of course, the creepy and disturbing Spindlers themselves. I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin it, but I'm definitely left wondering where Oliver comes up with these things!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Bumble Girl on October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is my first Lauren Oliver read, and I honestly don't know why I have waited so long to read one of her books! She has created a magical and unique world called Below where dark and creepy things live and come Above to take things that they need. Now, don't let dark and creepy deter you and make you believe that everything Below is bad, looks can be deceiving. Give things a chance, take a closer look and then decide if it's good or bad... The Spindlers was inspired by Maurice Sendak's book called, Outside Over There, a creepy children's book about a little girl who has to go find her baby brother who was stolen by goblins. Definitely not your typical bedtime story - and neither is The Spindlers.

One day, Liza wakes up and instantly notices that something is not right with her little brother, Patrick. And she instantly knows what has happened to him - it's the work of a Spindler. A "spindler" is a large spider that has human hands. They come Above (our world), steal people's souls and bring them down Below (there world is under ours) for their Queen. There is no time to hesitate, Liza knows what she must do. As much as a bother little brothers can be, she is the only one who knows what has happened and must go Below and get Patrick's soul back before it's too late.
As soon as Liza goes Below, I felt like I was right next to her and was able to picture every single detail that Oliver laid out for us!
We quickly meet Mirabella, an eccentric rat who volunteers to guide and help Liza get to the spindlers nest. Now don't judge, not all rats are dirty and scandalous!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christina (A Reader of Fictions) on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Lauren Oliver debuted in 2010 with Before I Fall, and The Spindlers is her fifth published work, not counting novellas. Her sixth, Requiem, the conclusion to the Delirium trilogy comes out early next year. Simply put, she has blasted into popularity, prolific and talented, to become one of the most loved and admired YA/MG authors. Of the three books of hers I've read, The Spindlers was my least favorite, but still contained some of the wonderful bits that make Oliver's work such a joy to devour.

In The Spindlers, Lauren Oliver tackles a pretty standard fairy tale plot: the child whose sibling has been replaced with a changeling and the resulting quest bent on rescue. Liza wakes up to find her brother not himself. He looks the same and he has a lot of the same behaviors, but he is both too nice (perfect table manners and politeness) and too mean (spelling out 'I HATE YOU' to his sister in his alphabet cereal). Liza immediately knows what has happened to him: the Spindlers, spider creatures, have taken his soul, and, should it not be replaced soon, the shell of his body will turn into dust.

As is common in middle grade books, only Liza can save her brother from this tragic fate. Her parents refuse to believe her assertions that something is wrong with Patrick and tell her to grow up, now too old for stories. Unwilling to allow her brother to die, Liza determines to go look for him herself, so she goes down to the basement and into the crawl space. Once there, she falls into a deep hole.

It turns out the crawl space in her house connects to the Below, a world populated by the magical creatures her favorite babysitter, Anna, always told her about. She immediately gains a companion in the form of Mirabella, a rat who imitates humans.
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