by Lauren Oliver
a intermediate adventure with an eerie twist
The first thing I noticed when I opened The Spindlers was the dedication: To Patrick, of course – And to my sister, who has rescued me many times from the dark, and for whom I would gladly go Below. Hmm… I thought as I began to read… “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.”
A few sentences later I read: The fake-Patrick picked up his spoon and gave Liza a look that chilled her to her very center. Then the fake-Patrick began to eat his cereal, methodically, slowly, fishing all the alphabet letters out of his Alpha-Bits one by one and lining them up along the rim of his bowl. … I-H-A-T-E-Y-O-U.
Patrick was somehow both there, and totally gone. Because of this, their parents see no reason to notice. They are caught up with the search for missing reading glasses and the endless cycle of working hard and worrying about paying bills on time. If Patrick is to be saved, it is totally up to Liza. She knew there were worlds beyond and below. She’d heard the stories, and though she hadn’t been sure they were true, she wondered now that Patrick was gone. Had his soul been stolen by the Spindlers. Though he was a pain, he was her brother. He was her friend and it seemed to Liza that she must try to find and save him if at all possible. And so she went looking. She discovered more than she had ever dreamed of and she had the courage to go Below. That is how she met Mirabella, the mascaraed rat, learned of the lumer-lumpen, discovered the seeds of hope and found the truths that come to you in your dreams.
Liza is off on a challenging quest in a land that is totally unique and far from kind – and yet it is just down the stairs and a bit below from where you are reading right now. Will you dare to go? Will your courage hold ? Once you’ve made your decision you’ll have a great tale to tell…if you return.