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"A human boy is like a snake. His promises are easy to break," Thimbletack. —The Seeing Stone
The Seeing Stone
The Spiderwick Chronicles #2
by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
The mysterious field guide that their long-lost great-great-uncle Arthur Spiderwick wrote is wreaking havoc on the Grace children’s lives. In an attempt to get the book, goblins kidnap Simon and his cat. It’s up to Jared and Mallory to track down the goblins, save Simon, and make it out of the woods alive. Can Jared and Mallory save Simon before it’s too late?
Full of suspense, The Seeing Stone is more intense than the first story in the series. At the beginning of the story, the goblins are invisible to the Grace children. The fact that invisible goblins are able to kidnap Simon, put him in a cage, and may possibly want to eat him may scare younger readers. Despite the danger, Jared and Mallory learn to work together as they search for their brother. They use creative problem-solving skills to rescue Simon.
In The Field Guide, Jared is angry and only concerned about himself, but in the second book, he shows growth and proves that he is more than a troublemaker. The children learn that they must trust and rely on each other in order to defeat the goblins. Readers will relate to the realistic siblings’ relationship and the children’s struggle to get along. Although the mother cares about her children, she clearly struggles in her new role as a single parent.
Even though the children realize danger still lurks outside their home, they choose to lie to their mother because they do not think she will believe that goblins, trolls, fairies, and other creatures exist. As the children learn more about the mythical world around them, they meet Hogsqueal, a hobgoblin, who has a hilarious vocabulary and proves that not every creature is evil. When readers finish The Seeing Stone, they will want to pick up the next book in the series. The fast-paced story will end all too quickly, so you will want to have Lucinda’s Secret waiting on the shelf.
- Goblins kidnap Simon and his cat; then the goblins attack Jared and Mallory. When a goblin grabs Jared by his shirt, “he went down on his stomach in the grass. . .” Mallory tries to help Jared and “he saw Mallory’s arm jerk and heard her cry out. Red lines appeared where nails scraped her.” Mallory is able to chase the goblins off when she hits them with her rapier. The attack scene takes place over six pages but is not told in gory detail.
- A troll tries to grab Mallory, but he is burned by sunlight and she is able to escape.
- The goblins attack a wounded griffin. When the goblins circle the griffin, “the animal couldn’t seem to raise itself very far off the ground, but it could snap at the goblins if they got too close. Then the creature’s hawk beak connected, scissoring off the goblin arm.” Simon and his siblings save the griffin.
- When the goblins chase after the children, they make a deal with the troll to lead the goblins to him. The troll hides in the river, and when the goblins enter, “the troll grabbed them all, shaking and biting and dragging them down to his watery lair.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- A hobgoblin calls Jared a host of creative names. A few names he uses include candy butt, dribble-puss, and jinglebrains.
- A brownie lives in the Grace house. When Jared grabs the brownie, “the little brownie squirmed in his grasp, abruptly changing shape into a lizard, a rat that bit Jared’s hand, then a slippery eel that flailed wetly.”
- The Grace children encounter goblins, who eat small creatures such as cats. The goblins “are born without teeth and so find substitutes, such as the fangs of animals, sharp rocks, and pieces of glass.”
- The Grace children put hobgoblin spit in their eyes so they will have “the Sight.”
- A hobgoblin uses children’s teeth instead of glass and other items. When Jared asks if he steals children’s teeth, the hobgoblin replies, “Come on, Dumbellina, tell me you don’t believe in the tooth fairy!”