255. The Deadlies: Felix Takes the Stage Kathryn Lasky

Felix Takes the Stage by Kathryn Lasky. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. (US) - (Canada)
The Deadlies, #1

Pages: 142
Ages: 7+
Finished: Nov. 21, 2008
First Published: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: children, humour, animal fantasy
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

For Felix, the best part of the night came when the concert had ended.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading:   I enjoy the author's books and animal fantasy.

This is a cute, funny book filled with lots of interesting information  on brown recluse spiders and spiders in general.  The Deadlies, a family of brown recluse spiders minus a dad, live in the basement of a philharmonic hall.  The mother is very strict that the kids keep themselves hidden as their venomous nature scares humans so much that even the sight of them will bring in the dreaded E-Men to exterminate them all; something the mother has lived through in the past.  But Felix is different from the others, he loves the music and has an artistic bent.  He finds himself pulled towards the stage at night when the conductor is working there alone at night but of course the dreaded thing finally happens one night and he is seen.  Within hours the exterminators arrive and the Deadlies are on the run to find a new home.  They temporarily find shelter next door at an old antiques store but head off to the Boston Public Library where the mother lived with her own mother before she passed away.

A fun, exciting story that any animal fantasy fan will be sure to enjoy.  Written for a younger crowd than Lasky usually writes for, the story is more humour and adventure based with little fantasy other than the world in which spiders can talk.  They have themselves a great sidekick in Fatty the Cat, the theatre's backstage cat who is the children's godspider and accompanies them on their journey.  A silly, fun story that doesn't resort to any gross spider facts but instead opens up an entertaining world of spider facts that will fascinate boys and girls alike.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series: Spiders on the Case.


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