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The Star-spun Web

Written by Sinead O'Hart

Books of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

LoveReading View on The Star-spun Web

Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | February 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019

With a fabulous heroine at its heart and propelled by a fast-paced adventure in not just one world but others too, The Star-Spun Web is a spell-binding fantasy adventure. As a little baby, Tess de Sousa is left on a doorstep by her father in an effort to keep her safe. To be safe, he knows he has to get her out of one world and into another. Apparently orphaned, Tess, with her pet tarantula for company, grows up in Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings where she is encouraged to use her brain to do difficult scientific research and is very much loved by all. But her life changes suddenly when a stranger, claiming to be family, arrives at Ackerbee’s Home, and takes her away with him to Roedeer Lodge. Mr Cleat is not family and Tess needs all her intelligence and persistence to keep safe and, above all, to find out why he is interested in her and what his terrible plan for the future might be. The plot hurtles along and Tess remains a resourceful and delightful character throughout.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Other Info

Julia Eccleshare's Picks for February 2019:

Lark by Anthony McGowan

Two Sides by Polly Ho-Hen

The Star-spun Web by Sinead O'Hart

Boom! Bang! Royal Meringue! by Sally Doran

Along Came A Different by Tom McLaughlin

The Cook and the King by Julia Donaldson


Find out more about the UKLA Book Awards here

The Star-spun Web Synopsis

With her passion for scientific experimentation and her pet tarantula Violet, Tess de Sousa is no ordinary orphan. When a stranger shows up at Ackerbee's Home for Lost and Foundlings, claiming to be a distant relative come to adopt her, Tess hopes to find some answers to her mysterious origins. But as she adjusts to her new life at Roedeer Lodge, it becomes clear that Norton F. Cleat knows more about Tess - and the strange device left with her when she was abandoned as a baby - than he's letting on. And when Tess discovers that the Starspinner is the gateway between her world and a parallel world in which war rages, she realizes she may be the key to a terrible plan. A plan she must stop at all costs... 

Sinéad O’Hart’s critically acclaimed debut, The Eye of the North, was featured in early 2018’s hugely popular Primary School Book Club, leading to a surge in sales and winning her legions of fans. This much anticipated second novel is another slice of atmospheric fantasy adventure. With its science-loving heroine, her loveable pet tarantula and a striking cast of supporting characters, The Star-spun Web confirms O’Hart as a bright new voice in children’s fiction, with a sharp sense of humour and a limitless imagination.

The Star-spun Web Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

A Star of a book! I've never given much thought to having a pet tarantula, but I think I would like a Violet. Full review

Charlotte Walker

This book was really awesome! It was different to most of the books I have read but I really, really enjoyed it! I hope it will be part of a series and I can’t wait for the next one. Full review

Lily O’Dwyer (Age 10)

I found this book enjoyable because it was interesting and the story kept me intrigued. Full review

Josh Parcell (Age 11)

I want a sequel to this book, I need to read more about the characters and what will happen. Full review

William Pasturel (Age 13)

In this exciting story, Tess can use a star-spinner to travel to a parallel world where she meets herself as a boy! But can she keep the star-spinner safe???? Full review

Lucas Blake (Age 8)

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction and believes in the possibility of there being other realities. I give this book a 5 star rating! Full review

Logan Taylor (Age 9)

The Star-spun Web Press Reviews

“Tess is an excellent main character, full of bravery, curiosity and a special ability. She questions her world constantly and is not afraid of finding the answers, good or bad.” – Erin Foote, Librarian

“Sinéad hits it out of the park with her second novel” – Aoife, Barker & Jones Bookshop.

Praise for The Eye of the North:

"A charming, thrilling tale of adventure" - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

"O'Hart's writing crackles with imagination"  - Jennifer Bell

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788950220
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Publisher: Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788950220
Publication date: 7th February 2019
Author: Sinead O'Hart
Publisher: Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 384 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Julia Eccleshare's Picks, Reviewed by Children

About Sinead O'Hart

Hart was raised in a small house full of books in the south-east of Ireland. She has a degree in Medieval English and has had many careers (including butcher, bookseller and university lecturer). She now lives in County Meath, near Dublin, with her husband, their daughter and an ever-expanding book collection.

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