The Curse of the Blue Figurine

April 22, 2009 at 2:19 am (Children's lit, Gothic, Horror, Juvanalia) (, , )

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs

The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs
Originally published 1983
Bantam Skylark, 10th printing, 1986
200 pages
Genre: gothic, horror, children’s

Synopsis & Review: Johnny Dixon loves ghost stories and listening to radio mystery programs and reading Egyptology books, and the three seem to combine when he finds unearths a small Egyptian figuring and a scroll reading “Whoever removes these things from the church does so at his own peril… Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord . Remigius Baart.” in a church basement. Soon after he removes the figurine, however, Johnny begins suffering nightmares and small gray spiders infest the house. He meets a mysterious man who offers him a ring, and from there on, Johnny becomes more and more tightly enmeshed in a tangled web that seems to extend beyond the grave. Unable to confess his problems to his grandparents or his friend Dr Childermass, Johnny worries less about being bullied and more about whether he’ll live another week. click here for more on The Curse of the Blue Figurine

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The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring

April 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm (Children's lit, Gothic, Horror, Juvanalia) (, , )

The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs

The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs

The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs
Illustrated by Richard Egielski
Originally published 1976
Dell Yearling, 11th printing, 1977
188 pages
Genre: gothic, horror, children’s

Synopsis & Review: To cheer up Rose Rita Pottinger when Lewis Barnavelt goes off to Boy Scout summer camp, Mrs Zimmerman takes her along on an errand to tidy up her recently deceased Cousin Olney’s estate. On his deathbed, Olney wrote Mrs Zimmerman of a magic ring he’d found, but when she and Rose Rita arrive at his house, it has been broken into, and a ring very obviously taken. They continue on their exploration of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but soon a resentful figure from Mrs Zimmerman’s past makes itself known. Shadows walk, death spells are cast, and Mrs Zimmerman disappears in the night, leaving Rose Rita to find her and the ring before it’s too late. want to read more about The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring?

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The House with a Clock in Its Walls

April 17, 2009 at 9:48 pm (Children's lit, Gothic, Horror, Juvanalia) (, , )

The hOuse with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs
Illustrated by Edward Gorey
Originally published 1973
Dell Yearling, 20th printing, 1974
179 pages
Genre: gothic, horror, children’s

Synopsis & Review: Following the untimely death of his parents, Lewis Barnavelt goes to live with his heretofore unknown Uncle Jonathan in New Zebedee, Michigan. Uncle Jonathan is a very minor sort of warlock, and lives in a Victorian mansion filled with stained glass windows, fireplaces, mysterious nooks and crannies, and all manner of odd antiques. Unfortunately, the house is also filled with clocks, in order to drown out the ominous ticking of a clock hidden within the very walls of the house. When Lewis raises the very evil dead in an effort to impress his friend Tarby, he, Uncle Jonathan, and their witch neighbor Mrs Zimmerman must rally together with all their knowledge or the arcane and ridiculous in order to prevent Doomsday. click here for more about The House with a Clock in Its Walls

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