Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze" by Elizabeth Enright

My seven-year-old son, Sam, loves this book.  And by 'loves' I mean he's read it probably six or seven times through since we first got it from the library.  We just keep renewing it so he can read it again.  But I'd never read this book before.  I know I read a couple of the others in the Melendy Quartet when I was a kid, namely The Four-Story Mistake and The Saturdays.  But I definitely never read this, which is a shame, because I would have loved it so much.  Perhaps the library system simply didn't have it.

Since Sam loves this series so much, I decided to read one of the books myself.  I asked him which one he thought I should read, and he said this one.  I liked it so well, I plan to read the other three books too, as I have the time.  They are enchanting.

Spiderweb for Two is about two siblings, Oliver and Miranda "Randy" Melendy, who spend many months following little clues on a treasure hunt.  Their older siblings have all gone away to school, and at the beginning of the book, Randy and Oliver think they're going to have a terrible year because they're the only ones left at home.  Randy thinks Oliver is childish, and Oliver thinks Randy is boring.  Over the course of the book, thanks to having to work together to solve riddles and find more clues, they grow to truly like and appreciate each other, which was my favorite aspect of the whole book.

First Line:  Randy was certain that this was going to be the worst winter of her life.

Particularly Good Bits:

The truth was that the young Melendys were acquiring a taste for old cemeteries.  There was something very peaceful, they thought, about the quiet places; the tilted stones patched with lichens, standing in a bee-humming tangle of myrtle and wild asters (p. 48).

Oliver slept late and no one woke him as it was Sunday.  He came down at nine fifteen, hungry as a wolf, and indulged in a waffle orgy (p. 111).

"When you were what?" said Father, setting down his coffee cup.  "I wonder if everyone's children act like this;  I always thought children just lived normal lives:  eating, playing baseball, reading books... not taking waterfalls apart and mislaying their parent's mail." (p. 137)

The children sat on the floor, breathing steamily, utterly absorbed in these different distant people who had been themselves (p. 146).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G for good, clean fun.

This is my 17th book read and reviewed for the Classics Club, and my 18th book for the I Love Library Books challenge, which means I've completed that challenge too!


  1. This sounds like so much fun! I had never heard of that series!

    1. It's very enjoyable -- you would get a kick out of it, I think!


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