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The Snow Spider (Magician Trilogy #1) Hardcover – September 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For the first time in five years, Gwyn's mother marks his birthday with a party in their Welsh farmhouse. His father is unable to celebrate, for he sees it as the anniversary of the night when Gwyn's sister, Bethan, mysteriously disappeared. A convergence of events brings about changes: Gwyn learns that he is a wizard; his grandmother gives him a collection of apparently useless but soon-to-be magical objects; and a waif of a girl joins the family for a time. Nimmo weaves elements of Welsh folklore into a story that combines magical elements with a realistic modern setting. For a somewhat younger audience than Nimmo's Charlie Bone series, the Magician Trilogy promises a child-size adventure story with likable characters that are deftly, succinctly portrayed. Offer this accessible fantasy, the first in the Magician Trilogy, to the many young readers requesting books that are "at least 100 pages" (but preferably not much more). Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

PW Starred
Nimmo (the Charlie Bone novels) launches the Magician Trilogy with this enchanting tale, first released in England in 1986. On his ninth birthday, Gwyn's delightfully eccentric grandmother gives him five gifts: a piece of seaweed, a tin whistle, a metal brooch, a small, broken horse and the yellow scarf that his older sister had been wearing the day she mysteriously disappeared four years earlier. His grandmother instructs him to "give them to the wind" to discover if he is a magician, like his ancestors. The boy first releases the brooch, hoping that the wind will bring him something "to fill the emptiness" that descended on his home when his sister vanished. The brooch turns into a glowing white spider, who weaves intricate webs. One of the webs contains the image of a girl who strongly resembles his sister–except she is "fragile and so silver-pale that she might have been made of gossamer." When the girl in the web temporarily materializes, she brings a peace to Gwyn's family that has long been missing. Nimmo demonstrates how unique gifts can set a child apart; Gwyn's magic causes a rift between him and his best friend and brings the class bully's wrath upon him. Swiftly paced and cleverly plotted, Nimmo's novel fluidly fuses fantasy, suspense and drama. Ages 8-12. (Sept
Booklist
For the first time in five years, Gwyn's mother marks his birthday with a party in their Welsh farmhouse. His father is unable to celebrate, for he sees it as the anniversary of the night when Gwyn's sister Bethan's mysteriously disappeared. A convergence of events brings about changes: Gwyn learns that is a wizard; his grandmother gives him collection of apparently useless but soon-to-be magical objects; and a waif of a girl joins their family for a time. Nimmo weaves elements of Welsh folklore into a story that combines magical elements with a realistic modern setting. For a somewhat younger audience than Nimmo's Charlie Bone series, the Magician Trilogy promises a child-sized adventure story with likable characters that are deftly, succinctly portrayed. Offer this accessible fantasy to the many young readers requesting books that are “at least 100 pages” (but preferably not much more). –Carolyn Phelan


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439846757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439846752
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book I have chosen to read is The Snow Spider, by Jenny Nimmo. I guess I would have to summarize this story by saying the main theme of this book is about a boy named Gwyn who sets out on a journey to find his sister who everyone thinks has died. He also discovers special abilities he has as a magician. Ultimately, a special snow spider will help Gwyn with both of these issues.

I really liked this book for a couple of reasons. The more I read this book the more I actually felt like I was a character in the story. The author was very descriptive when telling this story. You could actually picture yourself or the characters in this book and the adventures they had throughout the book. I was very interested in the main conflict of this story because setting out to find a loved one would be something that would be very important to me. I was interested to see how Gwyn would find his sister.

I think Jenny Nimmo had a very neat type of writing style. I could always see each characters personalities come out in the words they spoke. I think you could even imagine what type of voice they had, whether it was a loud voice, soft voice, deep voice or high pitched voice. You could actually feel what they were feeling when they talked.

I really enjoyed this book very much. When rating this book on a scale of 1 to 10, I think I would rate this book a 9. It was one of very few books that actually kept my attention throughout each chapter. I would definitely recommend this book to other kids who enjoy adventure, mystery, and like fantasy and using their imagination.

Overall, I think this was a really good book. I think that if kids like stories like Harry Potter, then they would enjoy reading this book too. This was a story that really opened up my imagination and even made me interested in reading more books in the future. Again, I really liked this book and I think you will to.

Book reviewed by Emily
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Format: Hardcover
The Snow Spider is the first book in a new Trilogy (The Magician's Trilogy, no less) by Jenny Nimmo and I have to say, it's a delightful read. I was pleased to see a mix of fantasy and Welsh folklore/mythology...not exactly something you see everyday in kid's fiction and it makes for an interesting read! In this first book of the trilogy we are introduced to a group of characters that I suspect will be with us for the entire series. The main character is Gwyn a young man celebrating his tenth birthday as the story begins. We also have his Nain (grandmother) a kind of kooky but loveable woman who initiates Gwyn into his destiny; Mr. & Mrs. Griffiths his parents; Bethan, Gwyn's sister who has been missing for four years; Alun Loyd (and the entire Loyd family) his best friend; and Erlys the pale girl who plays an interesting part in the whole story.

As Snow Spider starts out Gwyn has been given five rather unusual birthday presents (A scarf, a brooch, a broken wooden horse, a whistle, and a bit of seaweed)...items which initially seem like the silly gifts of a grandma whose maybe gone a little dotty, but which ultimately serve as his entrance into a whole new world. As it turns out, Nain is right, Gwyn IS descended from a long line of magicians and it is through these gifts that he can reclaim this birth right.

It all starts with the offering of the broach, which brings him the mysterious spider Airanwen, a very special spider indeed. There are elements to Snow Spider that seem common with most children's fantasy stories...
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Format: Hardcover
Jenny Nimmo does several things very well, but what she does best (in this reviewer's humble opinion) is create believable and unique "systems of magic" for her books. That just might be the most difficult task for an author trying to write fantasy, because thousands of fantasy books have been written, and virtually every conceivable method that could be construed as magic seems to have been used.

Until this book, I was only familiar with the Charlie Bone series, and was always impressed with the unique talents, and how those talents were "deployed", so to speak, so to step back to such an early point in her career and see her starting out with such originality is all the more impressive.

The Snow Spider picked up steam as it moved toward an exciting climax, and as the dust settled and everyone started to go their separate ways, there was an overpowering sense that this was leading to something much greater than itself.

The first chapter of the second book in The Magician Trilogy is included at the end, and it was as if the doors to the world she created (yes, this is being told in our real world, but think Harry Potter - that's also a created fantasy world that's told in our world) blew open. There is no question that there is more here than meets the eye.
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A Kid's Review on April 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo is an exciting and courageous book I would recommend this to our age or an older age group because of the variety of words and sentances. In the beginning of this book you would find out that Gwyn's grandmother (called Nain) tells Gwyn about his ancestors who where magicians.

Then for his 9th birthday she gives him 5 gifts and tells him that if he gives them to the wind and gets something in return then he is a magician. Well it turns out that he is a magician. He gets a couple of cool things back like a snow spider who can spin silver picture webs. And a pipe so he can hear the the the sounds to the picture. He uses his power to do some really cool things! However you cant have a book without running into some problems right? Well in this book a couple of things happen like for example his spider Arianwen gets thrown into the sink because his mom doesn't like spiders so he has to use his powers to get her back.

One of the gifts is a broken horse, Nain tells Gwyn that he shouldn't give the horse to the wind but when he went to the mountain the wind took it from his hands and it released it to be a demand horse. Read the book to see if his powers can overcome the demand or if Gwyn will let his ancestors down!

The book takes place mostly near Gwyn's house. He goes up to the mountains a couple of times to let things go to the wind. He also goes to school, he goes to the Lloyds house, and he goes to his nains house. He says that nains house is like a library it is full of so many books. Gwyn however lives on a farm with cows and sheep. There aren't a lot of characters in this book but the main character would have to be Gwyn he is a 9 year old who is looking for adventure.
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