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The Nixie's Song: Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles    by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black order for
Nixie's Song
by Tony DiTerlizzi
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black introduce new players - eleven-year-old Nicholas Vargas and his stepsister Laurie - to their faerie world in a Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series that opens with The Nixie's Song in Mangrove Hollow, Florida. (Nick also has an athletic big brother named Julian, but he only has a minor role in this first episode.)

The book begins, 'After his mother died, Nicholas Vargas stopped bothering', and goes on to show how his new stepsister, and their joint discovery of the faerie world, light a fire under him to make him start bothering again. At first, Nick is definitely not a happy camper. His developer father has re-married Laurie's mother Charlene, and he's had to give up his bedroom to 'the biggest, weirdest loser he'd ever met. She bothered everyone.'

Laurie, who's always wanted a brother, inveigles Nick into going for a walk with her and he finds a four-leaf clover. Later he spies a body outside and the two of them save a nixie by returning her to her lake (Nick getting into trouble with his father in the process). In return, Taloa saves them by singing to a giant and keeping it occupied. But she can't get rid of it - that's up to them, so they head to a book signing to meet the Spiderwick authors.

The latter aren't very helpful, but one of their characters is. With his expert help, Nick and Laurie hatch a plan and cleverly execute it ... removing one giant problem, but revealing in the process that there are plenty more to occupy them in future episodes. The Nixie's Song offers fresh faerie fun for Spiderwick fans.

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