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The Nixie's Song (Beyond the Spiderwick…

The Nixie's Song (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1) (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Holly Black (Author)

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1,1862312,886 (3.56)9
Eleven-year-old Nicholas Vargas only thinks his life has been turned upside down after his developer father remarries and moves his new wife and daughter into the soon-to-be completed Mangrove Hollow. But an "expedition" to a nearby lake turns up a little nixie with a giant problem--the huge, lumbering, fire-breathing variety --and it's up to Nick, his stepsister Laurie, and his big brother, Julian (plus a familiar face from the original Spiderwick Chronicles) to figure out the best way to stop a host of rampaging giants before all of Florida goes up in smoke.--From publisher's description.… (more)
Title:The Nixie's Song (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1)
Authors:Holly Black (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2009), 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Nixie's Song by Holly Black (2007)


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English (22)  Swedish (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Nick is NOT pleased about his new stepsister, or the fact that Laurie's arrival means he has to share a room with his older brother, Julian. But when Laurie and Nick discover a parched nixie in their Florida development, Nick's problems get a lot bigger. They're able to get the nixie back to the water, but they discover that her sisters are dead - and there's a giant on the loose. Luckily, the authors of Laurie's field guide to fairies are doing a book signing nearby - hopefully they'll have the answers Nick and Laurie need, before it's too late. ( )
  JennyArch | Sep 4, 2021 |
This is the first of three books in the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series. (Is it redundant to say series if you're already talking about chronicles?)

First of all, let me say that I adore the first Spiderwick Chronicles. I love the creatures, the realistic portrayal of siblings (despite some of the language), the design, everything. And I think that Arthur's Spiderwick's Guide to the Fantastical World Around You is exquisite. I even bought the calendar. Twice.

So you might think that I would be overjoyed at the prospect of more Spiderwick novels. However, one of my biggest criticisms of the children's publishing industry at this time is the complete and utter lack of restraint. Any commercially successful book must have a sequel, whether or not there is any more story left. And if I learned only one thing from Cathie Mercier, it's to ask if there's really more to tell, or if I just want more. I wasn't convinced that there was really more story to tell, so I was a bit trepidatious.

Having said all that, I enjoyed The Nixie's Song, but it's definitely more of the same. We have an unlikely hero who is feeling misunderstood and marginalized with the changes that are happening in his family. He is introduced to the faerie world and, although Nick is more doubtful than Jared was, he will probably end up saving the world from some mean creature. And he will probably learn to love his new stepmother and stepsister in the process, and he might even have a nice moment with his dad when they learn to appreciate each other again. I hope I'm wrong. I hope it's more imaginative than that.

What I loved about this book is that Laurie has a copy of Arthur Spiderwick's Guide and she and Nick go to a book-signing where they meet Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black and ask them for help. It reminds me of the movie Ocean's Twelve, in which Julia Roberts plays a character who impersonates Julia Roberts. Cracks me up every time I think of it. I love meta-stories. ( )
1 vote amandabock | Dec 10, 2019 |
My Spiderwick-loving heart was delighted to discover that Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi had teamed up again for another small series set in the Spiderwick world. This trilogy begins with a new family, different from the Grace children in character and personality, but similar in messed up family dynamics. The third person narrator focuses on Nicholas's perspective. He and his older brother Jules and his father have dealt with the death of Nick's mom, but now Nick's dad is moving on; in fact, he has remarried, and Nick is not too happy about having a new stepmother and stepsister. Especially since Laurie, his sister, is his age and completely unlike him. Nick likes to play video games and Laurie is into fairies. He likes his old room and Laurie has taken it. Worst of all, she seems excited about the new marriage, and Nick just wishes that it had never happened.

His dad wants Nick to play nice, though, so he has to join her on her fairy hunt through their new housing development that his dad is building. Laurie owns the Spiderwick Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, and is using information from the book to search for clues to any fairy presence. When Nick finds a four leaf clover (which Laurie told him will give him the Sight) he decides to keep it a secret. He skips out on Laurie because her antics become too far-fetched for him to handle, but later that night, when he sees a body on the lawn, he worries that Laurie may have been hurt in his absence. He dashes outside, only to discover that the body is not Laurie's, and is not even human. It's a water nixie. For help. he has to enlist the only person who has any knowledge about this crazy stuff: his stepsister. Suddenly they are bound together in their secret knowledge. After rescuing Taloa, the water nixie, she entreats them to find her missing sisters. Nick wants to refuse, but that becomes difficult when Taloa summons a wakened giant with her singing. Now Nick and Laurie have no choice but to agree to help Taloa, along with dealing the giant sitting in their backyard.

Once again, Black does a fantastic job of melding together fairy adventures with family problems that are real issues for many children in today's society. The result is tension that impacts not only the plot of the novel, but the characters themselves. I was just as eager to see how Nick and Laurie would resolve some of the issues in their relationship as I was to see how they would fix their giant situation. Also, the family background makes the children more likable, because we can relate to them, we can see where their flaws are coming from, we know that they are good people dealing with some bad history, and we want them to grow past it. I like stories where people rebuild a family structure after life has shattered what they once had; I like the hope and the love that is integral to that process. Since this is the first in a trilogy, I know I'll have to wait until the conclusion of all three books to see significant changes in the family dynamics, but the story rightly starts with Nick and Laurie's relationship, as these two are at the core of the action.

And the action is wonderful, too. The integration of fairy world into a new housing development in Florida is just fun. The author does a good job of making me believe that kids could really find these kind of creatures. The giant looks like a hill to anyone else, and the nixies hide in ponds and lakes and streams, and their songs sound like the chorus of outdoor animals. That is, to people without the sight. Once Nick and Laurie find the secret, their world is transformed. Lucky for the reader, we get the sight along with them, thanks to DiTerlizzi's beautiful drawings that liberally accompany the story. His artwork is fantastic. I am probably using too many positive superlatives, but they are indicators of how much I like this book, and all the Spiderwick entries. I saw on DiTerlizzi's website that he and Holly Black are too busy with other projects to consider any new collaborations, and that makes me sad, because I would be ecstatic to see more stories set in the Spiderwick world. Other children could buy the Field Guide and find fairies, all over the place. The possibilities for ideas are abundant! I hope some day the writers have just as much a desire to create more books as I have to read them. ( )
1 vote nmhale | Jan 22, 2013 |
I didn't like this book as much as the first five in the series, but it's still an enjoyable read. The characters are interesting enough, and the plot is still fun and exciting. Just dark enough to be "scary" for kids (and not boring for adults). There is a cameo by Jared and Simon, sadly Jared seems to have become the jerk everyone thought he was in the first five books. I'll finish the series, but I hope the next two are better. ( )
  ladonna37 | Feb 25, 2012 |
I really disliked how Jared was portrayed in this book. Immensely. ( )
  MissClark | Jan 19, 2012 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Black, Hollyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
DiTerlizzi, TonyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Abreu, CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berganz, FabienneTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brauner, AnneÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lempinen, Ulla(KÄÄnt.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, AndrewNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiberg, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After his mother died, Nicholas Vargas stopped bothering.
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Eleven-year-old Nicholas Vargas only thinks his life has been turned upside down after his developer father remarries and moves his new wife and daughter into the soon-to-be completed Mangrove Hollow. But an "expedition" to a nearby lake turns up a little nixie with a giant problem--the huge, lumbering, fire-breathing variety --and it's up to Nick, his stepsister Laurie, and his big brother, Julian (plus a familiar face from the original Spiderwick Chronicles) to figure out the best way to stop a host of rampaging giants before all of Florida goes up in smoke.--From publisher's description.

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