The Seeing Stone: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Seeing Stone: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Scarier, more action-packed than first book in fairy saga.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Seeing Stone: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, is an exciting book with a rough edge that might trouble kids prone to nightmares. Book 1 in the series is tamer. 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. But older elementary-aged children, especially reluctant readers, are going to be big fans.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008
Really not all that good. Kind of boring, actually.
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... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjcchell April 20, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written byCaesar_12219 April 9, 2008
It's all right I guess. The storytelling is decent, and the plot isn't bad, but it really doesn't break any new ground in the fantasy area. It... Continue reading

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 SEEING STONE, 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 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, but the children don't do this themselves. Although The Seeing Stone 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Seeing Stone compares to the first book, The Field Guide. Why do you think the books in a series often get darker and more violent with each installment?

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

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and magic

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