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on 25 August 2015
I love the Spiderwick Chronicles film and although I haven't had the chance to read this yet, I am really excited to read them, not just for me but with my children
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2004
'The Seeing Stone' is the second book in the Spiderwick Chronicles - continuing from where Book 1 - 'The Field Guide,' left off.
Once again, the three Grace children (Jared, Simon and Mallory) are in danger from the inhabitants of the faerie world. Jared has befriended Thimbletack, their house-boggart - but he warns Jared that unless he hands over Arther Spiderwick's mysterious book, his family are in mortal danger. Jared refuses, and moments later Simon is dragged away by invisible goblins - which can only be seen by mortals through a magical 'Seeing Stone.' Jared and his sister, fencing expert Mallory, set off to rescue their brother - but they are in for a few surprises along the way - including a troll, a friendly hobgoblin and a gigantic griffin.
For those unfamiliar with the series, these 5 little books are a real retro-style treat to the eyes. The quality of the binding is considerable, the stories charming - and the illustrations superlative. If only more children's books were illustrated to this high standard! Each story is divided into seven chapters making it ideal for a week of bedtime stories. The writing style is easily accessible to the young, yet will appeal to all ages. The words have a clarity and simplicity that will not overtax the young reader whilst using an intersting enough vocbulary to appeal to older readers too.
This book is the second in a series of five. The stories revolve around the magical inhabitants of the faerie world - but these faeries are not the twee Enid Blyton variety - neither are they the like the feisty gun-toting elves of the Artemis Fowl books. They are strange, magical, and decidedly dangerous. The Spiderwick story continues with: Book 3 - 'Lucinda's Secret.
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According to Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, the text of this story was left for them by three mystery kids.

And after spending the first book introducing the world of strange fey creatures, the second book in the Spiderwick Chronicles deals with the first clash with them. "The Seeing Stone" throws our three juvenile heroes into the midst of grotesque and eerie creatures, and despite the book's tiny size, it's a solid little fantasy story.

After a rotten day at school, Jared's day actually manages to get worse -- he sees Simon being captured by an invisible force and dragged into the woods. According to Thimbletack, he was kidnapped by goblins -- and now if Mallory and Jared want to save him, they have to use the "lens of stone" to find him (sort of a multi-lensed viewing monocle that lets you see faerie creatures). And Jared is desperate enough to take it.

But the lens only allows them to SEE the goblins -- fighting them is a much harder problem, and they only have a short time before the monsters try to EAT Simon. With only the lens and a few small weapons, they venture off into the forest... but there are dangers other than the goblins in the woods nearby, and even if they find him, how can they avoid being captured as well?

A wounded griffin, a sludgy lake troll, grotesque toadlike goblins and little leaf-winged grass-haired sprites -- Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi certainly up the amount of supernatural goings-on in "The Seeing Stone." And given a late development that allows the kids to see the stranger side of the world, these aren't going to be the last fey creature they encounter in this series.

And Black and DiTerlizzi's shared writing style brings this seemingly simple tale to exquisite, creepy life ("Hairless cat-like ears stuck up from their heads, and their teeth were pieces of shattered glass and small jagged rocks"). Though the storyline is pretty simple, the writing weaves a web of subtle, eerie strangeness around the seemingly ordinary circumstances, and makes it almost believable that evil goblins might be in the woods near your home.

And Tony DiTerlizzi's artwork is simply perfect for the story that he and Black are telling. Lots of intricate pen-and-ink drawings, depicting the pretty ethereal nature sprites, the weird multilensed "seeing stone," the drippy long-nosed troll, and spiky trees hung with cages. The highlights are an old newspaper clipping about a boy gone missing -- it seems to be important, though not yet clear.

Simon basically serves as a damsel in this book, but Jared's intense attachment to his twin is shown by him almost throttling Thimbletack to get the lens, and Mallory gets to kick goblin butt with her fencing sword. What's more, the kids' involvement in the world of the fey becomes more concrete when they gain a brand-new pet. Wonder how their mom will react.

The second chapter of the Spiderwick Chronicles, "The Seeing Stone," expands the eerie fey world into the more everyday one, and adds in some very nasty little creatures. It's sure to only get worse.
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on 29 November 2003
This book is really good actually. But it seems to me that this is one fifth of what could have been an excellent book had it been sold as one book and not dissected into five mini-stories that really aren't adequate as books on their own. This is a pity because the ideas are relatively original and would have been more worth the money and entertaining had they been sandwiched together in one book.
Other than that an interesting book, especially for children of about 6-11 years old, and the pictures are very good, and illustrate the story perfectly.
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on 30 October 2003
This is the continuing story about the 3 Grace children, Mallory, Simon and Jared, who, with their Mother, have moved into a new house full of surprises. The house belongs to their Great Uncle Arthur and Great Aunt Lucinda Spiderwick but there are other THINGS living with them in the house. In the first book Jared had found a Field Guide with all of the creatures described in it. In this story we meet a Troll and a Hobgoblin. Also, Mallory and Jared search for their brother Simon who disappears while looking for their lost cat Tibs.
The book is less scary than the first book, but is still very good.
By Alasdair
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on 11 December 2003
The Seeing Stone is the follow up to Spiderwick 1: The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.
The first one was good but this time they have out done themselves. The book continues the story of the Grace children. (Jared, Simon and Mallory) They are troubled kids who have seen fairies. But natturally no one belives them.
DiTerlizzi and Black use some great vocabulary to tell the story.
But there is only one problem with it (and it's pre-decessor) it is to short.
But i still say that The Seeing Stone is one of the best books I have ever read.
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on 22 December 2003
Well, I have read all the 3 books which are out now and the best is the 2nd. Its abseloutely genious. The characters are very good. I definetly recommend this to 'Fantasy' book lovers. But if you have never read the Spiderwick Chronicles before I recommend reading the first of the chronicles: - 'The Field Guide' But The Seeing Stone is superb.
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on 30 June 2015
As with the previous instalment, this book is simply beautiful. It is presented so nicely and contains gorgeous illustrations and so looks great as part of any fantasy collection, for adults or children.

The story this time around is a little darker, with monsters that are more threatening and some animal cruelty that may upset sensitive readers, but it does help to build the growing impression that the fey are not to be trifled with and present a genuine threat to the creature. Yet the whimsy of the first book is still there. The Goblins are really unique and imaginative and Hogsqueal has a lot of personality for a bit character and this helps to make the story very memorable.

I also love the way that the authors write children. Although they can be very brave, especially while protecting each other, they still behave like kids. They can be surley and bossy and make very rash decisions. For me, this helped them feel like real kids (much more so than the Baudelaires of Lemony Snicket, which for some reason I keep wanting to compair these stories to).

I still really can't see why this story has been split into five (other than to line the author's pockets) but I'm still really enjoying it and can't wait to see where it goes next!
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2005
The author really knows how to write creepy stories. It makes you want to sleep with one eye open. There is nothing cutesy like Harry Potter and or ridiculously dumb like the "So You Want to Be a Wizard" series. This is more in the vein of Lemony Snicket. It just squeezes into the realm of possibilities. However it takes an evil mind to write these chronicles. One good advantage is that they are short and to the point enough to holds your attention and them be over before you realized what happened.

By now you are familiar with Mallory, Jared and his young twin brother, Simon. We also know about the discovery of The Field Guide. After the introduction of Brownie named Thimbletack we also need to reevaluate the statements of Aunt Lucinda.

The cat is missing. Naturally the siblings ignore Thimbletack's warning about The Field Guide. Yep, tasty Simon has been kidnapped by unseen goblins. Now his brother and sister must save him before he becomes Goblin Chow. To do this they must first obtain "The Seeing Stone."
Will they save Simon?
What creatures will they encounter?
Why is Mallory all wet?
What is that aroma of roasting ...?
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It's been a couple of weeks, and the Grace family is settling into their new home. Then the new cat that Simon has adopted disappears. Simon insists on looking for it, only to disappear himself. Jared watches as Simon is attacked by something that Jared can't see. Quickly getting their sister Mallory, Jared searches for a way to see what is happening. Can he find his brother and fight off the mystery attackers?

While I felt the first book got off to a slow start, this one didn't have that problem. The plot starts quickly and never slows down. The characters are a bit more developed here as well, although there is very little time to truly develop them. Once again, the book is short, but since it is a serialized story, that's not a problem. And the detailed illustrations add much to the book.

You could start here if you really wanted to, although the background of the first book would give you the most information. Either way, you'll enjoy the adventures of the Grace children.
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