Titles: The Seeing Stone (#2), Lucinda’s Secret (#3), The Ironwood Tree (#4), The Wrath of Mulgarath (#5)

Authors: Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

Published: May 2013 – Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Paperback – 125 to 158 pages each

Hello Hello! How are you today?

I’m finally posting my review of the other books in The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi! I read the first book a few months ago with Noly for #Faefebruary, the 6th round of the Hype-A-Thon Readathon, but we never got around to finishing the series off. In April we decided to have the theme #AprilCatchUp and we ended up finishing the series thanks to some late-night impromptu reading sessions together. We really love the books we pick for this readathon, but sometimes we give ourselves a little too much work, thankfully, these books are very fast and really fun to read!

I reviewed the first book in the series, The Field Guide, on my blog last month I think, I’m not going to talk about it again here, but if you want to read my full review, you can find it here.

I’m obviously not going to go over each book in turn, I am adding each blurb, but don’t worry, they are not really the type of book that you can spoil yourself easily with, and if you have seen the movie and think you know what is going to happen, think again, these books surprised me at every turn. Keep reading for my thoughts on the last 4 books in this series!

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

THE SEEING STONE – BOOK 2

We said no still you looked, now instead, someone gets cooked. The Grace kids are just beginning to get used to Aunt Lucinda’s strange old mansion when Simon suddenly disappears. Jared and his sister have to rely on the help of a mischievous house boggart, a nasty bridge troll, and a loud-mouthed hobgoblin to get him back.

LUCINDA’S SECRET – BOOK 3

Let the story of my niece and nephews be a warning. The more you know, the more danger you’re in. And trust me, you don’t want to meddle with the Little People. — S.S.

THE IRONWOOD TREE – BOOK 4

First a pack of vile, smelly goblins snatch Simon. Then a band of elves try to entrap Jared. Why is the entire faerie world so eager to get their hands on Spiderwick’s Guide? And will the Grace kids be left alone, now that the Guide has mysteriously disappeared? Don’t count on it.

At school, someone is running around pretending to be Jared, and it’s not Simon. To make matters even worse, now Mallory has disappeared and something foul in the water is killing off all the plants and animals for miles around. Clues point to the old abandoned quarry, just outside of town. Dwarves have taken over an abandoned mine there. And the faerie world’s abuzz with the news that a creature with plans to rule the world has offered them a gift to join with him — he’s given them a queen…

THE WRATH OF MULGARATH – BOOK 5

Bruised and battered, Jared, Simon, and Mallory return home to find the mansion ransacked and learn that Mulgarath has made off with both the Spiderwick Guide and their mother! With only the help of Thimbletack, Hogsqueal, and Byron, the Grace kids have to defeat Mulgarath and his goblin army. But before they can face Mulgarath, they’ll have to rescue Arthur Spiderwick from Lorengorm and the elves.

MY REVIEW

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi is a 5-book Middle Grade series in which we follow the Grace children, Simon and Jared the twins, and Mallory their older sister when they and their mother move into their great aunt Lucinda’s old house and discover a very strange book. The book turns out to be Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide about all the magical creatures living on and around the Spiderwick estate. In book one, Jared and his siblings discover the house and some secrets hidden inside.

Each book is separated by a few days or weeks and the events only follow each other directly in the last two books. I don’t think you can really spoil yourself with these books even if you’ve seen the movie, because only the events of book 1 and book 5 occur in the screen adaptation.

SETTING

Once again, we are on the Spiderwick estate, but in each of these books, the Grace children visit a different place, either near the house, near the school, near the home where Lucinda lives or in Mulgarath’s dominion. I really appreciated how each book was set in a different place, be it the house, the gardens, or other new places that we don’t get to see in the film.

Even in the first book, I thought the authors did a great job of describing the setting and making it easy enough for children to understand and really enjoy reading about, but it’s the type of setting and descriptions that even adults can love and get swept away by.

CHARACTERS

I’m not going to go over all the characters that I mentioned in my review of book 1, but I will say that each character in this book grows so much from book 1 to book 5 and it is so heartwarming. One of the reasons I love to read Middle Grade books is that you often see the characters go from being children with curiosity to teenagers or adults with knowledge and independence and I think it’s a really important life lesson to teach them.

In the first two books of the series, the siblings were a bit nasty to each other and often had to be bribed into helping one another, but from book 3, you can really see a strong bond between Mallory, Jared, and Simon and it’s so sweet to see them start to care, protect and look out for each other.

I also really loved all the magical creatures, be it Thimbletack, the elves, the Phooka (is that what it’s called?), the griffin and I think that this is a really great book to initiate children into the world of the fae without it being too complicated or twisted. Thimbletack’s rhymes to help the children on their mission were really great too!

What I enjoyed the most about the character development of these books was how Jared came to understand that it’s okay to be angry, to be sad, to not be okay, and thanks to his siblings and others’ help on their journey, I think Jared really grew up and became much more of a person. He developed a really strong personality through each book and was able to lift a lot of anger and uncertainty from his shoulders.

THEMES

Magical creatures are a very important part of these books. I feel like in each book we meet a new magical creature, this was something I really appreciated because it took away a lot of the info-dumping that can come with this type of story.

Throughout the books, the siblings work through their anger, they grow up, they bond, and I think this is one of the most important messages in the story. I really liked to see them develop and become themselves. Family comes into these books a lot, and especially the duty you have towards your family, but more in a protection-way.

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

Both Noly and I read these books insanely quickly. There are fast-paced, beautifully written, have lovely illustrations, and are just very wholesome and easy to read. Overall, I adored these books, individually and the series as a whole, and I can only recommend them thoroughly. I gave each book 4 stars and I would recommend them to everyone.

If you are looking for a great Middle Grade read with strong characters who grow and develop over time, magical creatures, and sibling bonds, either for yourself or for your children, you should pick these books up because they are brilliant!

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post! See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Amazon USWaterstonesBarnes and Noble

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23 Comments

  1. I totally missed out on this book series when I was in middle school, since I didn’t do a lot of reading back then. Sometimes I debate on going back to read those but haven’t since I’m so used to reading 700+ page books at this point that anything else just seems short.

    Loved your review!
    ♥ Mae

    1. AHAH! I totally get that! It was nice reading something super short for once actually and I missed a lot of books when I was younger too! Thank you hun! 🙂

  2. I remember loving these books when I was 10/11. They were the first books I read with fae, that weren’t cute Disney Tinkerbell like characters, and started off my love for books about fae. This review made me feel very nostalgic and I’m thinking I might reread the series 😅
    Great review Ellie!

    1. I love how these books are more twisted but not scary or nasty you know? It’s a nice introduction to some more darker creatures! Aww thank you!! You should definitely do that, I might reread it every so often too! 🙂

    1. OMG yes absolutely! The good thing about this book is that it’s gender-friendly and it shows both boys and girls being “heroes”, and it’s just lovely! I think he would like it! I love the covers too, they are the new 10-year edition ones I believe!

  3. I loved this review! Talking about the Spiderwick Chronicles brings back so many memories! I remember loving the movie too when I was a kid lol

    1. Aww thank you so much!! I saw the movie only last year but I really enjoyed it and I would never have found out they were books if not!

  4. I didn’t know Holly Black had a Middle Grade series! I really love her writing style and The Wicked King was one of my favorite reads for 2019. These books are so short and the plot is so intriguing I might give them a try when I feel like reading a MG book!

    1. I read The Cruel Prince at the start of the year and really need to continue the series! I’m sure you’ll love them, they are so great! 🥰

  5. I had heard of the Spiderwick Chronicles but I never knew what they were about. They sound interesting! Nice review!

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