The Spindlers

( 10 )

Overview

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 strange monsters and...

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The Spindlers

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Overview

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 strange monsters and terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she must pass a series of deadly tests—or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Shelf Awareness
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.”
The Sunday Telegraph
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.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (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.”
Shelf Awareness (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.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"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."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“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)
“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)
“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.”
The New York Times Book Review
In the tradition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Coraline, The Spindlers is a frightening and fantastical heroine's quest. It offers terrifying and delightful creatures, daunting tasks and plenty of magic—as well as an explanation for where all those missing glasses, baseballs and homework assignments wind up after disappearing…The humor and writing is playful and clever in all the right ways…
—Chelsey Philpot
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
At breakfast one morning, Liza Elston discovers that her younger brother, Patrick, is missing. Although he is physically present, Patrick's fun-loving soul is missing. The parents are consumed with other matters that they do not notice the changes in Patrick's behavior. Liza believes that the spindlers took Patrick's spirit and left an imposter that resembles her brother. Their former babysitter warned them about the dangers of the spindlers. Liza must rise to the occasion and rescue her brother's soul. Liza heads down to the basement to the strange underground world where she meets a human-sized, talking rat named Mirabella. Together, the pair travels to locate queen of the spindlers to get Patrick's soul before the feast when the spider-like creatures consume the souls. Liza faces challenges and dangers that threaten the capture of her own soul. The illustrations are limited to small drawings of the characters at the beginning of each chapter. The plot moves quickly through the different tasks that Liza must resolve much like protagonists in other tales. Liza's journey has danger she must avoid, she works against time, and she must solve the queen's puzzles to reach Patrick's soul. Readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure may enjoy the Liza's quest to rescue her brother. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
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, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Liza must venture Below to rescue her little brother's soul, stolen by evil, power-hungry spider people called spindlers, in this refreshingly creepy, intricately woven tale. A concealed hole in the wall behind a narrow bookcase in her family's basement is her entry, and amid loud scratching noises, Liza trips, falling down into the darkness Below. Mirabella, a giant rat who wears newspaper for a skirt, becomes her trusted guide to the spindlers' nests, which Liza must reach before the Feast of the Souls. But things are never what they seem in Oliver's vividly imagined world....An arduous, dangerous and fantastical journey ensues. As in the author's first terrific book for middle-grade readers, Liesl & Po (2011), there is a smorgasbord of literary references, including strong echoes of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is laced with humor and engaging wordplay, as well as riddles and death-defying tests and enchantments. Wholly original creatures populate the tale, some reassuring and wise, like the nocturni and lumer-lumpen, others wonderfully macabre (and ferocious), like the queen of the spindlers and the shape-shifting scawgs. In the course of her episodic quest, Liza discovers she is resourceful and brave; she sees things differently than before. Richly detailed, at times poetic, ultimately moving; a book to be puzzled over, enjoyed and, ideally, read aloud. (Final illustrations not seen.) (Fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061978098
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 390,240
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver is the author of the young adult novels Before I Fall and Panic, as well as the Delirium trilogy—Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem—which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are New York Times and international bestsellers. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, the latter of which was an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. A graduate of the University of Chicago and New York University's MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    Deliciously creepy classic in the making!

    I loved this book! Deliciously creepy, The Spindlers reminded me of the classic novel Coraline. It has just enough "scary" to propel kids through the pages but isn't too horrifying to cause nightmares. As an older sister, I really connected to Liza. I LOVE the relationship between her and her little brother. Beautiful writing, lovely characters, a thrilling plot...what more could you want? Can't recommend highly enough!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Great!

    Loved it the boy reminds me on my smaller brother and the old baby sitter teminds me of my older sisster! You can somehow relate to these charecters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Love this book !

    I love this book ! And i recomend this for anyone whos looking for a good book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm in love with Lauren Oliver's writing all over again. Before

    I'm in love with Lauren Oliver's writing all over again. Before I Fall and Delirium showed us that she can write emotional, heartwrenching novels. I haven't read Liesl & Po yet (where have I been?), but Spindlers has shown me that she can write magical fantasies that will capture the heart and inner child of middle-grade readers everywhere.

    As I've mentioned in some past reviews, I'm an older sister myself, and I can easily relate to Liza. Yes, siblings get in fights, but they're your best friends. Half the time, they do the opposite of what you ask them to do, but they're also the ones who understand you best and truly care about you. This is the case with Liza. She remembers the annoying habits of her brother Patrick, but all faults are forgiven when she realizes that her brother's soul has been stolen by Spindlers. Without thought for herself and in spite her her fears, she decides to rescue him.

    This book reminded me of Gregor the Overlander, which is also about an older sibling who goes "Below" to save a younger sibling. However, Spindlers is more magical and seems to be targeting a slightly younger audience. I love the portraits of the various characters that show up at the beginning of each chapter and only wish that the pictures were larger. The drawings are gorgeous and the world so magical that I wish there were more illustrations accompanying the text. On the bright side though, this also means that we get to imagine the world ourselves.

    I love middle-grade fantasies for the fantastical worlds they bring to younger readers. Inside, I'm still a bit of a kid and get excited whenever I find an especially extraordinary fantasy book. While I may also enjoy darker, more mature works for young adults and the occasional adult paranormal/urban fantasy read, there's something about the innocent magic of middle-grade fantasies that calls out to me.

    Spindlers captures that essential element.

    This book is about sibling relationships, friendship, and taking courage in oneself. As I've also mentioned before, Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors. I am looking forward to seeing more new works from her, young adult and middle grade alike and whatever else she comes up with!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Spindlers

    This was a really good book. Starting out it set you right in the action portion and in each chapter you learned about a new mythical creature. Liza discovers her brother soul has been taken my the spindlers. In order to save him she needs to journey alone to the land below. She meets a fancy rat who guides her to the spindler queens nest. Packed with adventure and unique creatures there is never a dull moment. I only rated it a four because I personally am not fond of flashbacks when the story back tracks to explain.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Best book!

    My friend lent me this book ans it is the best! Go Lydie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    This is a sweet book!

    Spindlers is a great read. When Liza's ( the main carachter) little brother has a sudden change in personality, she knows exatly what happened. Little Patrick's soul has been stolen by Spindlers, spidery humanoids that steal souls for food. Join her in her magical mission, with a giant makeup wearing rat for her guide, through the second world called Below. Humous, creepy cool and loving, this book is sure to steal you're soul.
    P.S. If you read this book and liked it, I would reccomend you read The School for Good and Evil, a book for $2.99 and by the samr author of Spindlers.
    - Total Book Lover!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Great book.

    I would reccomend this book for ages 9 and 10. It is a very fast read but it is still good. It is very magical and fictional.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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