Posts Tagged ‘tony diterlizzi’

Rowling, J.K.  (1998).  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  New York, NY: Scholastic.ALA Notable Children’s BookInterest Level: 5-8Reading Level: 5.3Genre: FantasySubjects: Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Wizards, Witches, Schools, England, Fantasy, Friends, Death, Teachers, MagicHarry Potter:1 – The Sorcerer’s Stone2 – The Chamber of Secrets3 – The Prisoner of Azkaban4 – The Goblet of Fire5 – The Order of the Phoenix6 – The Half-Blood Prince7 – The Deathly Hallows

Rowling, J.K. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York, NY: Scholastic.
ALA Notable Children’s Book
Interest Level: 5-8
Reading Level: 5.3
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Wizards, Witches, Schools, England, Fantasy, Friends, Death, Teachers, Magic
Harry Potter:
1 – The Sorcerer’s Stone
2 – The Chamber of Secrets
3 – The Prisoner of Azkaban
4 – The Goblet of Fire
5 – The Order of the Phoenix
6 – The Half-Blood Prince
7 – The Deathly Hallows

“Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” – Ron

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first book in a series about an 11-year-old boy wizard named Harry Potter. His world contains people unaware about magic called Muggles and a hidden society of magic. As an infant, Harry was left with his mother’s sister and her family, Harry grows up not knowing about magic, the world of his parents, and is treated horribly by his relatives. He is teased by his cousin Dudley, called names by his Aunt Petunia, and is forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs by his Uncle Vernon. Yet, all is about to change as Harry receives an invitation on his eleventh birthday to attend Hogwarts, a famous school of magic, and the remainder of the book covers the attendance of his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

From the start of his journey, Harry is continually amazed by the new and unusual things he sees and learns, particularly the fact that he is a natural flying on a broom. Even more, as he continues to meet these magical people, he discovers new friends and family he never had. As part of his new world, Harry has to deal with its evil elements. There are those who hate the non-magical Muggles. One of the most notorious and recent was Lord Voldemort, the wizard who murdered Harry’s parents and tried to kill Harry as an infant. In fact, this led to Harry being famous in the magical world, where he is known as “The Boy who Lived”, and, Lord Voldemort has not been heard of since the murder of Harry’s parents.

During the first school year, Harry Potter is curious about an item being hidden at Hogwarts, the Sorcerer’s Stone. Along with his new best friends, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, they discover the location of the Sorcerer’s Stone with additional hints slipped by the school’s keeper of grounds, Hagrid. It is here that Harry battles an ally of Lord Voldemort, Professor Quirrell and even has a confrontation with the evil wizard himself. Lord Voldemort as everyone anticipated was dead has actually living off of the essence of unicorn blood. And as the first book (first year of school at Hogwarts) concludes, Harry has cemented wonderful relationships with friends and mentors (the headmaster Professor Dumbledore and the head of the Gryffindor House, Professor McGonagall), and is already excited for his second term (book two: The Chamber of Secrets).

The Harry Potter series, beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone contains as much magic capturing the interest of the readers as magic within Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling has created a set of characters that you want to follow on their journey, as you cheer for them, laugh along with them, share in their wonder and magical lessons, and even experience their fright. J.K Rowling created characters in which readers of any age will easily be able to identify with whether they are Muggles or magical folk, and the settings are described in fluid detail that imagining such places comes with ease. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone also created into a film that helped popularize the series even further. Most fans of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone most likely will/have enjoyed reading Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan, The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the newer series The Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann, Children of the Red King by Jenny Nimmo, and Books of Beginning by John Stephens.


Geringer, L., & Joyce, W. (2011). Nicholas St. North and the battle of the Nightmare King. New York, NY: Atheneum Book for Young Readers.
Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 5.9
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Good and evil, adventure and adventurers, Nightmares, Wizards, Heroes, Moon, Sana Claus
Guardians of Childhood:
1 – Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King
2 – E. Aster Bunnymud and the Warrior Eggs at Earth’s Core!
3 – Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies
4 – The Sandman and the War of Dreams (release: September 2013)

Santa was a bandit?

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King is the first chapter book of William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood. Though this book is intended for middle-age readers, it truly is a book to be enjoyed by all ages. It is an exploration of childhood mythology by combining folklore and traditions. The Guardians of Childhood books all take place on earth and before the characters become the famous myths we know them as today. This is creative blend of fantasy, science fiction… particularly steampunk…you’ll have to read to see how that fits in to the story, and fairytales.

Meet Santa before he was Santa Claus. As a treasure hunting sword yielding Russian bandit, that with a change of heart becomes the apprentice of the last surviving Atlantian wizard, Ombric Shalazar. The two with the orphaned mysterious elfin girl Katherine, along with many exciting companions, such as the Lunar Lama Monks, armed Himalayan Yetis, a fighting Oak Tree, a domesticated bear, moon beams, and a spectral boy named Nightlight all ban together with the protector of dreams Tsar Lunar (aka Man in the Moon) to fight his evil arch nemesis, the nightmare lord Pitch and his fearlings that are determined to terrorize all the children of earth.

If you want to try an entirely new series and enjoyed the highly engaging fast paced plot of The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Toni DiTerilizi, as well as the descriptive language, frequent illustrations, and a fun, outlandish, and whimsical storyline, then you will enjoy the adventures found in Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, and the other Guardians of Childhood books, E. Aster Bunnymud and the Warrior Eggs at Earth’s Core!,and Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, and the upcoming release (September 2013) of The Sandman and the War of Dreams. Also, don’t miss The Rise of the Guardians, a heartwarming major motion picture released in theaters November 21, 2012.

Black, H., & DiTerlizzi, T. (2004). The Spiderwick chronicles [multi-volume set]. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 5.3
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Fairies, Goblins, Ghouls and ogres, Brothers and sisters, Single-parent families, Great-aunts, Magic, Action and Adventure, Supernatural, Fantasy
The Spiderwick Chronicles:
1 – The Field Guide
2 – The Seeing Stone
3 – Lucinda’s Secret
4 – The Ironwood Tree
5 – The Wrath of Mulgarath

Follow the Grace siblings as they journey the invisible and perilous world of faeries.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is a series of children’s books, often considered a Harry Potter series for younger or reluctant readers co-created by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. They chronicle the adventures of the Grace children, twins Simon and Jared and their older sister Mallory, after they move into Spiderwick Estate and discover a world of faeries that they never knew existed. Interestingly enough, The Spiderwick Chronicles is based off of a mysterious letter from three fans that gave Holly Black and Tony DiTerilizzi an account similar to that of the book series.

The first book in the Spiderwick Chronicles, The Field Guide, set in Maine centers around three siblings who have recently moved to the old rickety house owned by the great-great-uncle Arthur Spiderwick. The Grace children have moved with their mother after their parents separated. The nine-year-old twins Jared and Simon are complete opposites. Jared has a habit of getting and finding his way into trouble while Simon loves his studies. Their feisty fencing older sister (thirteen-years-old) attempts to be more responsible than her age and be the “perfect daughter”. In their new home, none of which the family is pleased to be living at, the three siblings discover a secret library and Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, and discover a world of fairies that they never believe existed. In addition, they meet Thimbletack after he causes much mischief that Jared had been blamed for (i.e. tying Malory’s hair to her bed), a brownie (a type of fairy) that has quite a temper if he doesn’t get his way and also not given honey needed to calm him down.

In the second book of the series, The Seeing Stone, in which Thimbletack’s advice is ignored and Simon is abducted by invisible goblins once he steps outside the protective magical barrier around the house. To aid Jared find his brother, Thimbletack offers Jared an object giving him “the sight”. The seeing stone, created by Arthur Spiderwick is a hallow disk shaped stone that when one looks through it they can see the many fairy splendors (beautiful and frightening). Together, Jared and Mallory find Simon hostage in a goblin camp. When they befriend a Hogsquel, a hobgoblin, he offers them “the sight” permanently without the need of the stone (spits in their eyes) in exchange for his freedom. As Jared, Mallory, Simon, and Hogsquel escape, lead the goblins to their deaths when they encounter a bridge troll, and rescue and nurse an injured griffin back at their home within the safety of the magical barrier.

In the third installment of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Lucinda’s Secret, the Grace children choose to visit their great-aunt Lucinda, living in a psychiatric hospital from all her nonsensical talk of fairies and other magical beings. They wish to learn more about the faerie world, the creatures, and her father, Arthur Spiderwick who authored the Field Guide that changed their ordinary lives. Great-aunt Lucinda tells how her father disappeared when she was still very young and has his whereabouts have never been discovered. As the Grace Children meet forest elves that inform the Grace children he was punished for not giving them the Field Guide which in the wrong hands such as Mulgarath could learn how to rule the world of faeries was punished and held captive in a place in which time is forever frozen. The elves proceed to kidnap Simon who they believe to be Jared until the Field Guide is finally given over to them.

The Ironwood Tree is the fourth book in the Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory goes missing after a fencing contest. Simon and Jarred while searching for Mallory in an abandoned quarry end up being taken prisoners by dwarves by the orders of the evil Mulgarath. Mallory is eventually found in an abandoned quarry sleeping in a glass-coffin. All three children manage to escape along with freeing yet another creature, a Knocker, who tells them that they must listen to the stones to exit the quarry or be trapped for eternity. As they escape they are able to stop and watch Mulgarath, the hideous ogre wanting to rule not only the faerie world but all realms (human too). Mulgarath is the epitome of all evil as he has the dwarves killed by goblins working for him under the assumption that this is their punishment for failing to retrieve the Field Guide from Jared when in actuality, Mulgarath has had the Field Guide all along. The Grace children now knowing the Field Guide is in the possession of the worst of all beings are faced with horror knowing that Mulgarath not only has a goblin army, but also is in procession of all the iron weapons forged by the dwarves.

The Grace children’s’ journey concludes in the fifth and final book, The Wrath of Mulgarath. After returning home (Spiderwick Estate) after the events at the abandoned quarry, their home is destroyed, their mother is missing, and the hobgoblin, Hogsquel who saw it all occur informs Jared, Simon, and Mallory that it was the goblins that destroyed their home and captured their mother to the palace of the ogre Mulgarath. Mulgarath’s palace, resembling a garbage dump successfully battle the goblins and and finally discover Mulgarath’s plans who has already learned from the Field Guide how to make young dragon rapidly mature. With his envisioned army of dragons, Mulgarath believes it possible for him to conquer the earth. The griffin they rescued in the first book, later named Byron kills the mother dragon as Simon kills the younger ones. As they venture into the palace, they find their mother and discover that the man that appears to be their father is actually Mulgarath in disguise. They inform Mulgarath how they have decimated the dragons and foiled his plans for world domination and as he transforms into a swallow in attempt to escape but is thankfully is eaten by Hogsqueal. One the battle is all done, and the Grace children along with their mother return back home, they are met by Arthur Spiderwick who is reunited with his daughter Lucinda and all is safe for both the faerie and human worlds.

The Spiderwick Chronicles has appealing character, age appropriate suspense, a fast action-packed pace, magical wonder, creativity, as well as plenty of humor. For those that love the world of Spiderwick Chronicles, they will enjoy reading as the Spiderwick saga continues in Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, The Nixie’s Song, A Giant Problem, and the final book, The Wyrm King. Other enjoyable books belonging to the Spiderwick universe includes Arthur Spiderwick’s Notebook for Fantastical Observations, Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, The Spiderwick Chronicles: Care and Feeding of Sprites, and The Chronicles of Spiderwick: A Grand Tour of the Enchanted World, Navigated by Thimbletack. Most readers, young or old that enjoyed the Harry Potter series will enjoy these short, very detailed, amusing, and beautifully illustrated books. And, of course, Nickelodeon produced a major motion picture based on the first five books. Though the movie was entertaining many unnecessary changes were made as it was converted from text to film.

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DiTerlizzi, T. (2008). Kenny & the dragon. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Lelvel: 5.4
Genre: Fantasy
Subjects: Fairytales and legends, Dragons, Books and reading, knights and knighthood, farm life, theater, rabbits, family, friendship

A rabbit, dragon, and a badger all friends?

After Kenny Rabbit learns that there’s a dragon in Roundbrook village and reads up on dragons from the books he obtains from his friend George the bookstore owner, he ventures out to see the beast armed with kitchen pots and utensils and the King’s Bestiary to meet the dragon. Instantly Kenny and the dragon Grahame become best friends. When townspeople discover the dragon, and insist on destroying it, the king, who calls on his most famous knight George for help, who must come out of retirement, to slay the vicious beast. Kenny has to figure out a way to save his new friend Grahame. Distraught Kenny shares his knowledge of the dragon with his friend George in hope for help, and Kenny is utterly surprised when he learns that George is a dragon-slaying knight. Still, Kenny introduces George to Grahame and the two instantly become friends since Grahame and George share a love for history and reading. In attempt to keep the dragon, but not entirely disobey the king, George, Kenny, Grahame, and Kenny’s parents help device a fun and creative publicly viewable fake slaying.

Kenny Rabbit struggles with fitting in, loves books, studying, is brave, inquisitive, and makes peculiar friends. The adults in the story such as Kenny’s parents and George the book keeper/dragon-slaying knight display wisdom and intelligence beyond that of books. The brilliant and gentle dragon Grahame, loves conversations, likes poetry, music and crème brûlée and wouldn’t even hurt a fly.

Kenny & the Dragon is a delightful, descriptive, and creatively new tale of St. George the Dragon. It is a lovely story about compromise, trust, friendship, and loyalty told with wonderfully gorgeous illustrations drawn by DiTerlizzi.