Title: The Spindlers
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
AR Levels: TBA
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13438677-the-spindlers
In a nutshell: Spiders. Why did it have to be spiders? Well...spindlers actually (I couldn't resist the Indiana Jones joke.), but basically they are giant soul-stealing spiders who have kidnapped Liza's little brother Patrick's soul and left their eggs in his body like a shell. Liza must go Below and brave the dangers there in order to save him before it's too late.
I'd recommend it for grades: 4 to 6
I'd recommend it to: fans of The Hobbit (it has a very Tolkien-like feel to it) or kids who enjoy a good fantastical journey novel
What I liked most about this book: This book is just the right blend of the spooky, quirky, and funny. Liza is a courageous and spunky girl whom you like from the first chapter, and her companion is a complex yet hilarious rat named Mirabella. Mirabella is my new favorite rat in children's literature (sorry, Templeton). She wears a messy wig, crazy makeup, and a newspaper skirt, and she's longing to be loved. There's more to her than meets the eye for sure, but that's all I'll say. I'm sure you will love her as much as I do.
Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): Have you ever wondered where all your missing socks go? Well, they probably go to the troglod market where gnome-like creatures called troglods sell odds and ends stolen from the human world for colored pieces of paper. It's a wondrously funny scene when Liza and Mirabella visit the troglod market.
Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 3 stars
*Side note: If you like this one, you will love Lauren Oliver's other middle grade novel, Liesl and Po, about a girl and a ghost who set out to solve the mystery of her father's death and to save a troubled boy. Check it out on Goodreads here, and maybe one day I'll review it too. :) If you're a bit older, check out her books for teens too. They're all incredible, but Delirium is my favorite. Here's a link to all her books on Goodreads. She's one of my favorite new-ish authors.