Today’s pick: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
From the Publisher: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 that 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.
From author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.
I thought The Spindlers was creepy – a book I know would’ve both scared and hooked my daughter when she was younger. It reminded me a lot of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, since Liza went underground and met a number of fantastical creatures on her way to rescue her brother (including a three-headed dog, which reminded me of the Harry Potter books). I liked Liza’s strong devotion to her brother, and the idea that she could tell something about him wasn’t right, when the adults couldn’t.From a writer’s perspective, I’d study the way the author carefully chose words and phrases to create powerful and vivid images. The writing style was definitely stood out for me.
“She drew her mouth into a thin white line, and this reminded Liza of many things, none of them pleasant: of ruled notepaper, on which she was expected to write boring things at school; of rulers and long marches through endless hallways, and walls everywhere she looked.”
“Thousands of shadows were swooping and flirting through the air above their heads, until the court was dark with them.”
Other info:Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in a house “full of art and towers and towers of books.” As a child, her parents, who were both literature professors, encouraged her to draw, paint, dance and write stories.
On her website, she gives this advice for writers: “First of all—write! Then write, write, write, and write some more. Also, read as much as you can.”The book’s website has a video about the story behind The Spindlers.
Other books written by this author include:Liesel and Po (MG)
Before I Fall (YA)
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was dreamed up by the incredible Shannon Messenger. Visit her blog for an up-to-date list of all the bloggers who are participating and posting about middle grade books today!