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The Nixie's Song [Audio]
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About the Author

Holly Black spent her early years in a decaying Victorian mansion where her mother fed her a steady diet of ghost stories and faerie tales. An avid collector of rare folklore volumes, spooky dolls, and crazy hats, she lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, with her husband, Theo. Together with illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, she is the creator of the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles series of children's books. For more information, visit www.blackholly.com. Mary Botham Howitt was born in 1799 in Coleford, England. Originally published in 1829, Mary's best-known work 'The Spider and the Fly' has been enjoyed by generations of readers and has become an age old classical cautionary tale. Mary Howitt died in Rome in 1888. Tony DiTerlizzi's unique and unusal artstyle is the perfect complement to Howitt's classic tale. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York.

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Gr 3-6-Nick Vargas, still trying to "not be a bother" to his dad after the death of his mother, is coming to terms with his father's remarriage to Charlene and adoption of her daughter, Laurie, who is fascinated by fairies. They live in a Florida housing development that Nick's dad is building on the edge of a forest. Laurie is constantly bothering Nick with stories of the fairy world and even has her own copy of Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You. While reluctantly giving Laurie a tour of the area, Nick accidentally acquires the Sight and later sees what turns out to be an injured nixie (water sprite) on their lawn. They help get her back to water and later promise to help find her lost sisters, more of an adventure than Nick or Laurie ever anticipated. Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's first title (S & S, 2007) in this new series carries on even more darkly the drama and adventure of human/fairy interaction as experienced in the "Spiderwick Chronicles." Some of the main characters from that series appear briefly in this tale, but Nixie's Song can stand on its own. Andrew McCarthy's narration is adequate but not animated. The sound effects are not memorable, and the music transitions between chapters are too long and loud. Despite a hurried plot, underdeveloped characters and setting, and some unnecessary problematic language, the story will interest those familiar with the original series as well as Harry Potter fans.-Jill Q. Altman, Saluda Primary School, SC Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Spiderwick creators Black and DiTerlizzi reopen the book on their popular faerie setting with this slim but entertaining meta-story, kicking off the spin-off series, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles. Nick Vargas is in a serious funk after the death of his mother, and it's only made worse when his father remarries and he ends up with a new sister, Laurie (who "seemed to be proud to be the lamest person alive"). Laurie is obsessed with faeries, thanks to her well-worn copy of Black and DiTerlizzi's Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You. Nick doesn't believe they are real, of course, until he picks up a four-leaf clover-and spies a wounded nixie in his yard. The new siblings help the nixie, Taloa, back to the water, and promise to help her find her missing sisters. In their search they find the bodies of three nixies-and a fire-breathing dirt giant that appears to be responsible both for the nixies' deaths and the destruction of a large section of the woods. Stumped about how to defeat the giant, they head to a book signing where they meet Black and DiTerlizzi (who turn out to be utterly unhelpful). In a fortunate twist, however, they meet Jared and Simon, the original series' protagonists, who prove more than willing to help. The illustrations are as charming as always, and the text zips along; Black manages to carefully balance the terror of having a dirt giant threaten your house and the equally horrible prospect of having to share a bedroom with a girl. Ages 7-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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