Title: The Spindlers
Publication: October 2, 2012
Rating: 4 out 5
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
Heartwarming and magical story about sibling love.
Some little girls would love the opportunity to get rid of little pesky brothers that drive them insane but not Liza, she loves her brother Patrick. Sitting across from her with the words, I HATE YOU! floating in his bowl scares her and she senses something is not right. This thing is not her wild, crazy and fun-loving sibling but an empty cavern occupied by none other than tiny spindler eggs waiting to hatch inside poor Patrick's body. Liza, knowing exactly what she must to do, goes into the basement, broom in hand and finds herself Below. A place where missing things are prizes traded for random goods and colors are quire popular. She partners with an unexpected guide, a rat named Mirabella, who promises to show her the way to the nest of the spindlers. Liza discovers that nothing worthwhile comes easy nor is life fair but she finds the strength she has within and hope in the smallest of places.
I found myself thinking about the movie the Labyrinth as I was reading this. Liza is adorable and I liked her tenacity to succeed in her quest to recover her brother's soul, no matter what happens. I loved how the story taught lessons but not in an overly obvious way(well to a child, maybe). The writing translates seamlessly from the page, which makes it easy to visualize the world that the author has created. My favorite part in the book would have to be the verbal banter between Mirabella and Liza throughout their journey in the Below world. Overall, cute read that shows how great it is seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Oliver has created a vividly colorful world with entertaining characters that I think children will love.