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The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles #1)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  36,067 ratings  ·  1,802 reviews
When the three Grace children -- Mallory, Jared, and Simon -- and their mom move into Aunt Lucinda's old house, readers know there's magic afoot. The kids uncover a nest of assembled junk, and on a visit to the secret library via the dumbwaiter, Jared finds a note describing "my secret to all mankind." After a few mysterious pranks that get blamed on Jared, the boy finally ...more
Hardcover, 114 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2003)
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Danielle Swift I am a 4th grade teacher and I have this series in my library. It's written at exactly a 4th grade level and my students love to read it. I have a…moreI am a 4th grade teacher and I have this series in my library. It's written at exactly a 4th grade level and my students love to read it. I have a pair of students who have read all the way to book 4 so far. The plot isn't scary and is full of lots of magic that they enjoy. Both boys and girls seem to enjoy the series equally. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel
Everything about the packaging and promotion of this book is delightful...the title, the mysterious notes obscuring the back cover synopses, the inclusion of a letter from the three children protagonists to the author. All of that is very nice, but after reading the first installment, I can't help but feel a little robbed.

First of all, and forgive me for this, I can't help comparing the books to a more cleverly written and altogether smarter series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Eve
...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Fairies are DANGEROUS. And they don't want you to know about them. I love that this book takes the question of fairies and brownies and pixies seriously, it gives this story its power. I love the setting: the rambling old house out in the country, the secret room, the shadowy feeling that something is watching...
And I love the format of this series, with the uneven edges to the pages, the small size of the books. They just feel cool.
This is the first book of the series, and it starts off strong
...more
Jennifer
Dec 15, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lemony Snicket Fans
Shelves: 2005, ya, fantasy, adventure
The First book in a series of Five.

The story is about the Grace Children: Mallory who is 13 and the 9 year-old twins Jared and Simon. When their father leaves the family, mom and the kids move into the Spiderwick estate - a large crumbling mansion that they inherited from their “crazy” Aunt. The house is big enough for Mallory to practice her fencing, Simon to keep his stray animals he loves and for Jared to ....well... mostly just be pissed off. He isn’t handling the whole abandonment thing re
...more
Heidi Elmore
Sep 24, 2007 Heidi Elmore rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children and fanciful people :)
I love this book. It is a childrens book and I read it in one day, but it was a great escape. I have a feeling the other ones in this series will be good as well.

Something to look for in the book: between some of the paragraphs there are little black figures of different fairies and they create an optical illusion - as you read and concentrate on one line, when you switch to another line, or look around the room or whatnot, it looks like there are little farie outlines. This had to have been in
...more
Gretchen
As I said in an earlier comment, I love the size and feel of this small book. That may sound an odd comment, but I am a book lover of the real deal books, not electronic ones. I love books you can hold in your hands, feel and smell the paper, books you can caress. It's just such a lovely size; I could hold it in one hand whilst I read. Even the fonts captured me. This is the sort of book that I would have cherished as a young girl, collecting all of the series and placing them in a special spot ...more
Karen Syed
Mar 10, 2008 Karen Syed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves fantasy
Recommended to Karen by: Amazon.com
Shelves: kids
Since the book is very short I truly expected to find the typical kid's fantasy, I was disappointed. I mean it is a kid's fantasy, but it is so much more. Take a few words, sprinkle in some charm, and add numerous awesome illustrations and you have an excellent book. Getting to know the Grace kids in "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is going to be so much more than an adventure.

If I had to pick one element of "The Field Guide" I don't think I could. The kids are kids, with problems and personalities
...more
Stefan Yates
I wasn't too sure what I was getting into when I started this book and I must say that I was much more than pleasantly surprised. The story centers on a mother and her three children, a set of twins and their older sister, who have just moved into the old dilapidated house that has been in the family for years. Very soon after moving in, strange occurrences begin to happen and the children dedicate themselves to solving the mystery.

This is a well written introduction to the series and the style
...more
Pepper
This is the first chapter book I have started to read with my six year old son. He truly enjoys the story and with the help of the descriptions the authors give, he is learning to "imagine" the story in his head. The beautiful illustrations scattered throughout the book help to keep him interested as well. My eight year old nephew also loves reading this series on his own.
I feel it is a wonderful story. The first book sets the stage and gives lots of background information. The length of the boo
...more
Jess
Aug 31, 2008 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids looking for a fun set of chapter books
Recommended to Jess by: fantasy class reading
Shelves: fantasy, juniors, z_08
Along with their recently divorced and broke mom, twins Jared (9) and Simon and sister Mallory (13) move into a decrepit Victorian house that holds all sorts of mysteries and creatures.

Fun, good characters, and excellent illustrations.

I glanced at some of the comments here and plenty of people seem to be finding fault with the fact that the book is short. Well, it's a chapter book; it ought to be short. I'm not a fan of books whose endings are little more than a set up for the next book (it's ch
...more
Rickella Griffiths
The Spiderwick chronicle is a series of adventure books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. I first heard about these chronicles whilst teaching a year 4 class, we read the first book in the series (The field guide) as part of an on going project in literacy. The children were thoroughly intrigued by the mysterious, creepy plot, which captivated their minds and provided a great stimulus for their work on imaginary settings. The story involved thirteen-year-old Mallory and her nine-year-old twin ...more
Jonathan Guzman
The Field Guide is a funny book. The story took place in an old style Victorian house. In the book it was described as many shacks stacked on top of each other. The point of view for this story is from a third person prospective. The characters for this book is a young boy named Jared Grace who is kind of a trouble maker since his dad left. His identical twin brother Simon Grace who loves animals. And his sister Mallory Grace who loves fencing. The Grace family moves in an old creepy house beca ...more
Pranta Ghosh Dastider
The Book started and the book ended.

A very little book I would say, and for very ignorant audience, the story ends before it could start! Almost nothing happen in the book and that made me sad.

The story is about three siblings and how they discovered the magic/faeries in their world. But even the discovery itself was too insignificant!

Many things happened too simply, and felt like that a few things were on writers mind and she didn't explain. Perhaps more of explanations and detailed story li
...more
Cheyenne Cumber
In this book a family of four moves from their home to a relative’s house, but what they do not see is a secret world. The entire book is based on the three Grace children trying to uncover the secret of the little creatures that roam around there new home.Their search brings them to a secret library, in an upstairs room. In this room there is “The Field Guide”, which has a diagram of all the creatures in the house. Even though all the efforts of a certain brownie go unnoticed and the children o ...more
Amanda (BookMuffins)
I've been meaning to read more stories by Holly Black, especially after my meh feelings for White Cat. And the start of the Spiderwick Chronicles really disproved my budding dislike for Holly Black's writing. It was such a fun, quick read! The illustrations were fantastic, the writing was great and the story itself was really intriguing and eerie. I even found myself feeling scared at times. It was very enjoyable and I think it may have gotten me out of a reading slump. I would really like to co ...more
Maria
I read this book with my son as part of his summer reading, and I asked him to describe the book for my review. He responded that this is a book that is difficult to describe. He liked the mystery, and really enjoyed how the whimsical illustrations supported elements of the narrative. He also said that this book would be perfect for fourth and fifth graders.

I have read many reviews in which readers have complained that this book is very short, and part of a series of five books that feel more l
...more
Morgane G
The Graces are a relatively average family. Jared and Simon, the youngest kids, are twins, and their older sister Mallory is a champion fencer. Their mom supports them, and they’re a typical one parent family. However, when they’re uprooted from their New York apartment and thrown into a countryside estate, things begin to go a bit haywire. Although Jared, the main character of the book, is not familiar with the sounds of the countryside, he knows that the scuttling he hears in the walls at nig ...more
Amber Harrison
I first read The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide a couple of years ago. My mum had bought it for my brother to try and encourage him to read but I don’t think he ever did read it. Even though the book was probably for a much younger audience than me, I enjoyed it. I just reread it as I’m attempting to read through all my books and deciding which to keep and which to get rid of. I think I’m going to keep this as I do still enjoy it and feel that it’s the sort of book that I could pass down ...more
Anne
Gorgeous illustrations help carry the shortcomings in the storytelling. There are other wittier, more engaging series out there about 3 children left to problem-solve on their own in a spooky old house, but Spiderwick is perfect for the pre-Lemony Snickett crowd.

This particular installment is touted as a "field guide" but it's really not much more than an introduction to the Grace children, the Spiderwick world, and the mysteries they'll be unraveling next. It felt like the authors broke a long
...more
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
The Spiderwick Chronicles: Book One - The Field Guide. / Holly Black. / 2003.

Genre: Juvenile Fantasy Fiction.

Format: Book - print. 144 pages.

Plot summary:
"When the Grace children go to stay at their Great Aunt Lucinda's worn Victorian house, they discover a field guide to fairies and other creatures and begin to have some unusual experiences" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
adventure, brother and sister relationships, moving, new h
...more
Nathan
The first entry to the Spiderwick Chronicles is a short book with very little story at all. To be blunt, there is very little in the way of character development and a whole lot in the way of excessive descriptive padding. Each of the character's has quirks that make them unique and identifiable, except for Jared, the protagonist, who has very little that makes him special. Both his mother and sister are needlessly rude and easily dislikable characters who should probably be hauled off by child ...more
Harold Ogle
Another young adult book from the library I read recently; this one was much more obviously written as a part of a series than most others, as practically nothing happens in the book. In screenwriting terms, this book contains the setup and possibly plot point one, though I contend that the inciting incident occurs before the book begins. For those who don't write screenplays, this means that the book establishes the main protagonist characters - antisocial and distant Jared, his twin brother Si ...more
Christian
Todo comienza cuando los tres hermanos Mallory, Simon y Jared Grace se mudan junto con su madre recién divorciada a la vieja mansión de su tia abuela Lucinda. Al llegar todos los problemas recaen en Jared, de personalidad aventurera y problemático, culpándolo de todos los desastres producidos, sin saber que realmente son causados por seres de un mundo fantástico.

Es un cuento corto que hace méritos al género. Sin entrar en complicaciones, propone un contexto familiar de los protagonistas para, de
...more
★ ßurçακ ★
Ben ingilizce okudum ama Türkçe versiyon ekleyeyim :)

Grace ailesi (Simon ve Jared ikiz.. ablaları Mallory ve anneleri) büyük teyzeleri Lucinda'nın evine yerleşirler. Ama evde tuhaf olaylar olmaktadır. Duvarlardan sesler gelmektedir. Ve çeşitli yaramaz işler yapılmaktadır. Bu olayları Jared'in yaptığı eşek şakaları zannetselerde gizli odayı keşfetmeleri ve Jared'ın aklanmak için olayaın peşine düşmesiyle Jared bir kitap bulur. Bu kitap Arthur Spiderwick tarafından yazılmıştır. Ve kitap periler ve
...more
April Helms
The three stars is tentative. I was intrigued about this series after watching the trailer for the upcoming movie. Well, it's obvious the movie combines more than one book, because the first book looks like it covers about 10-15 minutes of the movie. Maybe. It was...ok. Very imaginative. One advantage with the format (which reminds me of Stephen King's The Green Mile) is that more reluctant readers won't be overwhelmed with these chronicles. This book was just over 100 pages, with a lot of illus ...more
Kate
I saw the movie first and enjoyed it, and so far the first book in the series is very similar.

After their father leaves, the Graces move into the crumbling old home of a relative. Mallory is 13 and loves to fence. Simon and Jared are 9 year old twins. Simon loves to read and take care of animals. Jared seems to spend most of his time being angry and getting into fights. The children discover a nest, that they first believe belongs to an animal, but as soon as they get rid of it strange things s
...more
Tyler
This book was a good short read for me as a teenager, and I liked the style of the writing a lot at the time. After reading it again years later, I have found that it still captures that fun and exciting feel that it originally had for me.

In the end though it does feel a little bit rushed and maybe too short to develop enough plot to feel like a wholesome read. If I compared this to a series like 'The Lightning Thief', there would be no question on which I would recommend because Rick Riordan ha
...more
Jennifer
I was all excited because of everyone's enthusiasm over this series but I was seriously let down by this first book. The packaging is amazing, the cover makes you want to pick up the book and the back of the book's brief words and threats are just enough to send chills down your spine and thrill to your heart. When you open the book, the pictures and the realistic letters are fun and nice for kids and adults alike. These books are definately aimed for the middle school audience but can be read b ...more
Ethanliciouss_
"A book in the attic. It's about faeries, real faeries. Look, they're ugly." In the book the spiderwick chronicles, the field guide three children name Mallory, Simon, Jared and their mother move into their aunt Lucinda's house. The three children find a nest full of junk in their kitchen wall and think something is living in it. After they discover the nest bad things have been happening to them. Throughout the story the kids found out about a secret library and a book about faeries. They found ...more
Julie Decker
Mallory and her younger twin brothers Jared and Simon move into a mansion that's clearly a fix-up, and there's some pretty odd stuff floating around--including a "field guide" to the faerie realm that appears to be homemade and based on personal experience. Jared is the curious one of the siblings, and he's determined to figure out these clues to finding the faerie world that's tantalizingly close but separated by perception. He's got the time and energy for a project like this, even though his ...more
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Why did they never make a sequel to the movie? 10 58 Jun 20, 2014 12:36PM  
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Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Gl ...more
More about Holly Black...
Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3) White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #2) The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #5)

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