SEVEN SPIDERS SPINNING by Gregory Maguire

SEVEN SPIDERS SPINNING

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A lighthearted fantasy that, while easily read, is as intricately structured as a spider's web. The arachnids in question are hatched just in time to be preserved in ice as the Ice Age clamps down; in a series of happenstances succinctly summarized in a preface, they make their way from Russia to 20th- century Vermont, where their sudden appearance after accidentally thawing precipitates a heart attack on the part of the truck driver who's taking them to researchers at Harvard University. The first fellow creatures the escaped spiders see are seven schoolgirls, the Tattletales: ``Each spider picked out a girl to be its mother.'' But the devotion inspired by this imprinting soon curdles into hate as, one by one, the spiders seek out their loved ones in the local school and come to dire demises--luckily, since (though only the reader knows this until the end) the spiders have a deadly bite. Meanwhile, nice teacher Miss Earth tries to get the Tattletales and their male rivals, the Copycats, to cooperate in a class Halloween skit; there's a comic romance between the hospitalized truck driver and Nurse Lark, despite curmudgeonly Head Nurse Crisp; and obnoxious TV muckraker Meg Snoople prowls in a helicopter, trying to incite trouble so that she can report it. In a grand finale, the penultimate spider bites the beloved Miss Earth, who is saved, in the best classic tradition, with the help of all (including the insistent Snoople), by an ingenious and perfectly childlike cure. A fast, delightfully entertaining romp. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-68965-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1994




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