The Seeing Stone: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2



Scarier and more action-packed than the first book.

What parents need to know

Educational value

May be an especially good choice for reluctant readers who will appreciate the high adventure and quick pace.

Positive messages

Fast-paced adventure story in which siblings work together in dark, magical world.

Positive role models

When Simon is kidnapped by invisible goblins, his twin brother Jared and older sister Mallory set out to rescue him.

Violence & scariness

A goblin's arm is bitten off, and a cat is roasted and eaten, neither described. Simon's life is in danger, the children are threatened by a troll and the goblins.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this exciting book has a rough edge that might trouble kids prone to nightmares. The first book in the series is tamer. Though this installment might be scary for younger children (among other things a cat is roasted and eaten, and a goblin's arm is bitten off by the griffin, though none of this is described), older elementary-aged children, especially reluctant readers, are going to be big fans.

What's the story?

"You kept the book despite my advice. Sooner or later there'll be a price." The price comes quickly in the second book in The Spiderwick Chronicles. Simon is kidnapped by invisible goblins. His twin brother Jared and older sister Mallory set out to rescue him, armed with rapiers from Mallory's fencing class and a stone monocle that lets the wearer see the invisible. With the monocle, the faerie world, which so far they have mostly only read about in Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, comes to life, and it's no fairyland. Into the darkening woods Jared and Mallory go, encountering sprites and a troll along the way. But rescuing Simon is only the beginning of their adventures, as they discover the goblins holding many creatures prisoner, including a dying griffin and a hobgoblin with a fondness for cats ("and not just 'cause they're tasty, which they are, no mistake.").

Is it any good?


If the first book in the series (The Field Guide) was mostly introduction, this one jumps right into the action -- and there's an edge to it that the first book only hinted at.

Here Simon is in danger of being eaten by goblins, and the only way to rescue him is to kill his abductors, though the children don't do this themselves. Though the story is more exciting than the first book, it offers some of the same pleasures: a short, easy-to-read fantasy adventure in an old-fashioned edition filled with illustrations and printed on soft, unevenly cut paper.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this book compares to the first one. Books often get darker and more violent with each installment in the series -- why do you think that is?

  • Some pretty gross stuff happens in this book, like the cat that gets eaten. Is reading about violence different than seeing it in a movie or experiencing it in a video game?

Book details

Authors:Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black
Illustrators:Holly Black, Tony DiTerlizzi
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:July 13, 2003
Number of pages:108
Read aloud:7
Read alone:8

This review of The Seeing Stone: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2 was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bynadnerb April 9, 2008

Super series!

My son is now 9 and began reading the Spiderwick Chronicles when they were first published. He has now read all five. They are good independent reading for him - exciting, fantastic, about boys his own age - but much shorter than Harry Potter (which he also loves but can't read independently yet). Jared is a good character with realistic flaws. He is very angry about his parents' divorce, and he acts out at school, but he finds ways to be successful and discovers himself in the process. These books are also on tape - at least one is read by Mark Hamill, which thrilled my Star Wars fan. We listened after we read them.
Parent of a 8 and 8 year old Written byEzri_B April 9, 2008

Only after book one

You can't jump into this book without having read the first of the series. you won't understand it clearly. Great imagry, stunning drawings. A favorite in our house.
Teen, 14 years old Written byjcchell April 20, 2009


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