THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver
Kirkus Star

THE SPINDLERS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Liza must venture Below to rescue her little brother's soul, stolen by evil, power-hungry spider people called spindlers, in this refreshingly creepy, intricately woven tale. 

A concealed hole in the wall behind a narrow bookcase in her family's basement is her entry, and amid loud scratching noises, Liza trips, falling down into the darkness Below. Mirabella, a giant rat who wears newspaper for a skirt, becomes her trusted guide to the spindlers' nests, which Liza must reach before the Feast of the Souls. But things are never what they seem in Oliver's vividly imagined world....An arduous, dangerous and fantastical journey ensues. As in the author's first terrific book for middle-grade readers, Liesl & Po (2011), there is a smorgasbord of literary references, including strong echoes of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It is laced with humor and engaging wordplay, as well as riddles and death-defying tests and enchantments. Wholly original creatures populate the tale, some reassuring and wise, like the nocturni and lumer-lumpen, others wonderfully macabre (and ferocious), like the queen of the spindlers and the shape-shifting scawgs. In the course of her episodic quest, Liza discovers she is resourceful and brave; she sees things differently than before.

Richly detailed, at times poetic, ultimately moving; a book to be puzzled over, enjoyed and, ideally, read aloud. (Final illustrations not seen.) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-197808-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012




BEA 2012: BOOKS FOR MIDDLE GRADERS:

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ChildrenNATIVE DEFENDERS OF THE ENVIRONMENT by Vincent Schilling
by Vincent Schilling
ChildrenROCK OF IVANORE by Laurisa White Reyes
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ChildrenPEACE, LOVE AND CUPCAKES by Sheryl Berk
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ChildrenTHE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver
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ChildrenTHE ADVENTURES OF ACHILLES by Hugh Lupton
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Kirkus Interview
Lauren Oliver
author of ROOMS
September 29, 2014

Lauren Oliver is known for her best-selling young adult novels (including the Delirium trilogy) but her new novel Rooms is her first written for adults. We ask her about making the transition, finding new readers, and writing a ghost story. Rooms actually has two story lines that nicely collide: First, a ghost story in which the ghosts can’t leave the house but don’t know why. Second, an estranged family story in which the ex-husband dies, leaving his alcoholic ex-wife, angry daughter and disaffected teen son to clean out their former home, not knowing that it's haunted. We go ghost-hunting with Lauren Oliver this week at Kirkus TV. View video >

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