The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide Book 1 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Last week I listened to this book with my children. We had been looking for a new book or series to start and I saw this on the rack at the library. It really grabbed them right from the beginning and captured all of us. I really like how each chapter begins with, "In Which...". To listen to the book on cd or read the book aloud each of the ones we've read so far has taken about an hour which is a good length of time for my children, not too short and not too long. I know that there are parents and teachers who aren't fans of series, but I like that with this one they make a new discovery and add to their knowledge of fairies but the book isn't crammed full of too much. Each new book lets us discover more and get further into the story without overwhelming them with too many details. Each time we reach the end of one they start begging me to start the next one.
In book one twins Jared and Simon and their sister Mallory move to an old, run down home that belongs to their great-aunt from their apartment in the city. Their father has left the family and Jared especially is carrying around a lot of anger about that. They discover a brownie or boggart living in the walls of the house, as well as a guide book from their great-great-uncle that details many more magical creatures and beings. The illustrations really add to the story and are done quite well. Along with a table of contents for the chapters there is a list of full page illustrations at the front of the book. The world created in the book feels very real and authentic and is fun to read!