I just finished the fifth and final book in The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Yes, I’m reading kids’ books now
As many of you know, I’ve really gotten into reading kids books—especially fantasy. After my heart operation in Aug ’23, I needed ways to pass the time without stress, during the initial recovery. I had recently begun going to my local library myself, but then I started bringing the kids along on Saturday mornings.
Since they spent most of their time in the kids section, I did too, and ended up finding a bunch of very interesting-looking series. The one that first caught my eye was The Strangeworlds Travel Agency (a review for another day). But I digress…
What is The Spiderwick Chronicles?
It’s a series of five books co-authored by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black and published in 2003-2004 by Simon & Schuster. The books are aimed at youth and pre-teens, but I was captivated at the age of 42. The books, in order, are:
- The Field Guide
- The Seeing Stone
- Lucinda’s Secret
- The Ironwood Tree
- The Wrath of Mulgarath
They’re so short that I read each of them in one or two sittings. But make no mistake—their elegance makes up for their brevity. I had been trying to get my kids into reading ‘chapter books’ more, and I thought this series would be a perfect way to do so, because these books are also filled with amazing ink illustrations by Tony.
My Little Review
I instantly adored this series, if you can’t tell. Is it as expansive as Harry Potter? No. Is it as epic as The Lord of The Rings? No. But it’s something small and special in its own right—a cozy cuddle with the kids by the fire, or a weekend binge at the café. It never stalls or confuses. The illustrations really add to the story. The characters (mainly the Grace children, but the rest too) are well-developed and relatable.
The story centers around the Grace children—Jared, Simon & Mallory. I’m not going to give you a synopsis because it wouldn’t be good. (Check the Goodreads). Suffice it to say these kids move into a dead relative’s old house in the woods and discover a fantastic and dangerous faerie world. They have a real mission throughout the story.
Personally, I like that the kids felt truly relatable… with real kid issues that easily brought me back to my childhood. It renewed my empathy for my own kids and what they might be struggling with at home, at school, and internally. If you like fantasy books, and are open to feeling like a kid again, then you should read this series.