After the departure of their father, the Grace family— Mrs. Grace, thirteen year old Mallory, and nine year old twins Simon and Jared— move from their New York City apartment to their loony Aunt’s run down Victorian house in the country.
As soon as they move in, Jared starts to notice strange things. Then he and his siblings find some weird squirrel nest in the walls of the house, only to discover with the help of his great uncle’s book “Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You” it’s the belongings of a brownie turned boggart.
In this fun and quirky adventure, the Grace kids quickly learn that they’re not alone in the world.
In the second book, Simon is kidnapped by goblins and Mallory and Jared have to figure out how to save their brother.
The story continues its steady pace while the kids explore more land and meet some sprites, a troll, and a hobgoblin.
The Grace children survived their encounter with the goblins and meet their Aunt Lucinda. Is she really crazy, or does it have something to do with the faeries? And what happened with their Uncle Arthur?
In this one the kids meet some elves who want their uncle’s book destroyed.
Mallory disappears after her fencing match, and the twins find out she’s been taken by dwarves living in the abandoned mine in the quarry.
This was probably my favourite book in the series. So much happens, and the dwarf world is really fascinating!
Mulgarath, the evil ogre who is trying to take over the world, has taken the Grace children’s mom. With the help of the friends they’ve met along the way, the kids have to save their mother and defeat Mulgarath once and for all.
This book was action packed, and wrapped up the series neatly.
My non-spoiler thoughts on the series overall…
I’m a huge fan of Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, and I was told this series inspired it, so I’ve been wanting to read it for a long while. Other than kids discovering there is a magical world and having to defeat a bad guy, they are two completely different stories.
I really enjoyed myself while reading this series. Each book is around 100 pages, and they’re super quick and easy to read. My one complaint is that these books read like one book that was broken up into smaller parts. So if you want to start this series, be sure to have the others available, because there are cliffhanger endings.
The story focuses on all three children equally, but for me Jared is the main character since he finds the field guild and does most of the rescuing. Mallory is into fencing, Simon likes books and animals, Jared is the trouble maker “problem child”. When the story first starts, their mom blames Jared for all the weird stuff going on in the house because he’s upset about their father abandoning them, and gets into fights at school.
I know having your spouse leave is a huge struggle, especially with three kids, but their mother wasn’t there for them AT ALL. If she was, it was completely behind the scenes. The books were pretty shallow on family life and personal matters, but I really would have liked to see her sit down and have a discussion with the kids so there would be a message in there for younger readers whose parents are going through a divorce.
If you’re interested in purchasing this series, I highly recommend The Completely Fantastical Edition because there’s 100 or so extra pages with artwork and short stories.