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Book Description

October 2, 2012 8 and up3 and up

One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.
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 who 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.

About the Author
Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her first novel, the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. She followed that up with Delirium, the first book in her New York Times bestselling trilogy, which continued with Pandemonium. Oliver is also the author of Liesl & Po, a book for middle-grade readers, which received three starred reviews and was described as "a gorgeous story—timeless and magical" by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York.



Liza's baby sitter, Anna, has told her tales about the Spindlers, spider-like creatures that live below and steal the souls of unsuspecting children which they feast on.  She knows the telltale signs, such as not acting normal, which in her little brother's case means brushing his teeth without complaint, going to bed without an argument and just generally behaving.  So when these things start happening, she knows without a doubt that Patrick's soul has been stolen.  Much like Alice in Wonderland, Liza discovers a passageway that sends her Below into the land of under-dwellers.  

There she meets Mirabelle, a rat, who helps Liza make her way to the Spindler's nest and save her brother's soul.  There are challenges to the journey and you wonder whether Liza has it in her to save her brother.  This page turning adventure would be a pleasure to read out loud and reminded me a bit of The Tale of Despereaux and Spiderwick Chronicles  .   I really enjoyed Liza and her imagination.  There are also lots of wonderful characters involved and this would be a wonderful gift for a youngster just starting chapter books.


  1. This sounds like a great book. I love animal characters and the idea sounds really intriguing! Great review :D

  2. This sounds great, thanks for the review.

  3. So agree with your review. I really enjoyed this too. The world building was fantastic.

  4. Sounds like an intriguing story.

  5. Sounds kind of like a new version of the movie Labyrinth!


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