The Spindlers

The Spindlers

3.56 (2,703 ratings by Goodreads)
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One day when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, sweet-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 got 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 well as strange monsters and 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 more

Product details

  • 8+
  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 136 x 218 x 24mm | 381.02g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 144472312X
  • 9781444723120
  • 361,578

Review quote

'The Spindlers is an intensely imagined mini-epic. Young Liza has to journey through a fantasy underworld to reclaim the soul of her brother Patrick. Accompanied by a rat wearing a wig, she sees off various outlandish creatures before a final show-down with the utterly villainous Spindler Queen.' Independent 'In the tradition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Coraline, The Spindlers is a frightening and fantastical heroine's quest. It offers terrifying and delightful creatures, daunting tasks and plenty of magic ... The humour and writing is playful and clever in all the right ways' New York Times 'Oliver's magical, mesmerizing quest affirms the saving power of story, friendship, and love.' Publishers Weekly on THE SPINDLERS 'The Spindlers is fun and exciting, and definitely a little creepy - but not too scary for the age range. It's as beautiful and enchanting as we've come to expect from Oliver's middle grade writing, but with a darker edge... The Spindlers is a fantastic story that will spark children's imaginations and take them on a spine-tingling ride of excitement!' 'This fun, creepy story is full of mystery and adventure that will appeal to young readers' Press Association on THE SPINDLERS 'It is a story that has deep roots in a variety of different kinds of children's fiction, and borrows ideas from many which helps to make it a wonderful journey through a magical and absurd underground landscape... I found it a creative and imaginative story about the magic of stories and childhood and the importance of letting children play and dream. I think Lauren Oliver is a master storyteller and I can't wait to read her YA fiction next!' 'This imaginative fantasy emphasizes individual initiative and the power of hope and friendship. Below is a fully realized alternate world with echoes of both classic literature and mythology. This is particularly notable in its variety of inhabitants. Although the creatures are Oliver's own creations, such beings as the winged, dream-bearing nocturni and the shape-shifting, cannibalistic scawgs have the feel of true folklore. With strong, self-reliant female characters and well-defined action, this is a strong addition to fantasy collections.' School Library Journal on THE SPINDLERS 'Lauren Oliver has a genuine talent for writing beautifully and poetically... It's always vivid, colourful, and empathic. It makes you feel something and stays with you long after you've closed the book. The Spindlers is no different... an immensely magical novel with love and hope at its heart, the story of an intelligent young heroine, yet it's not all bunnies and rainbows - how about Troglods and Scwags instead?' An absolute delight ... The story is packed with mystery, murder, adventure, humour and magic, but above all it is a beautiful evocation of loss, tempered by the gradual blossoming of friendship, trust and hope. Although aimed at younger readers, the lightness of touch and the tenderness of the message could make grown men weep. Daily Mail on LIESL & PO A gorgeous story - timeless and magical. Rebecca Stead, Newbery winner for When You Reach Me on LIESL & PO Invigorating and hopeful, this novel testifies to the power of friendship and generosity to conquer greed and depression. Publishers Weekly on LIESL & PO 'Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver brings much-needed magic to an increasingly neglected age group ... there are some exquisitely drawn characters ... it's books like this, with its classic quest plot, intertwined with lyrical metaphysics, that can set a child up for life.' Sunday Telegraph on LIESL & PO 'Oliver offers a richly developed world with a mythology that positions Liza and her unyielding loyalty to her brother with the wise, ethereal good guys as they battle the Spindlers for both Patrick's soul and for Below itself... Liza's journey plays out much like any good quest tale, with seemingly insurmountable obstacles overcome, self-pity vanquished, and the bad guys duly outdone. Oliver's fluid, poetic prose elevates this tale above the genre, often imparting weight to the simplest sentences.' Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 'A delightful and compassionate read' 'Lauren Oliver has created a whole new mythology in this story, and this is no mean feat. She has created a variety of unique and wonderful creatures ... I think the thing that makes this book a good book, and not an okay book, is Lauren Oliver's writing. She is the master of beautiful, succinct, text' www.bookswritingtea.wordpress.comshow more

About Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her achingly beautiful first novel, BEFORE I FALL. She followed that up with DELIRIUM and then PANDEMONIUM - the first two books in her compellingly addictive trilogy. The eagerly anticipated final book in the Delirium trilogy, REQUIEM, will publish in Spring 2013. She is also the author of two novels for young readers, LIESL & PO and THE SPINDLERS, delightful, scary and magical novels that are certain to become modern classics of children's writing. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Find more information at, or connect with Lauren on Twitter ( and on Facebook ( more

Rating details

2,703 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 22% (582)
4 31% (827)
3 33% (902)
2 12% (314)
1 3% (78)

Our customer reviews

This is my first Lauren Oliver read, and I honestly don't know why I have waited so long to read one of her books! She has created a magical and unique world called Below where dark and creepy things live and come Above to take things that they need. Now, don't let dark and creepy deter you and make you believe that everything Below is bad, looks can be deceiving. Give things a chance, take a closer look and then decide if it's good or bad... The Spindlers was inspired by Maurice Sendak's book called, Outside Over There, a creepy children's book about a little girl who has to go find her baby brother who was stolen by goblins. Definitely not your typical bedtime story - and neither is The Spindlers. One day, Liza wakes up and instantly notices that something is not right with her little brother, Patrick. And she instantly knows what has happened to him - it's the work of a Spindler. A "spindler" is a large spider that has human hands. They come Above (our world), steal people's souls and bring them down Below (there world is under ours) for their Queen. There is no time to hesitate, Liza knows what she must do. As much as a bother little brothers can be, she is the only one who knows what has happened and must go Below and get Patrick's soul back before it's too late. As soon as Liza goes Below, I felt like I was right next to her and was able to picture every single detail that Oliver laid out for us! We quickly meet Mirabella, an eccentric rat who volunteers to guide and help Liza get to the spindlers nest. Now don't judge, not all rats are dirty and scandalous! And Liza's determination, stubbornness, bravery and most of all, her outpouring love for her family - even after her parents ignore her and constantly dismiss her "imagination" - she is an inspirational, motivating and memorable character. If you are a lover of all things from Alice in Wonderland, the dark and magical things from Coraline and the trials and tribulations of Harry Potter - then this is definitely a must have book to add to your shelf!show more
by Margie C
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