some of the runners-up and one that caught my eye was The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs. It received two #1 votes and had an awesome title so when I saw a cheap copy, I grabbed it. This is the first in a series of stories that features young Lewis Barnavelt and was written in 1973.
Ten year old Lewis is a recent orphan who goes to the town of New Zebedee to live with his uncle John. To Lewis' surprise, his uncle appears to be a magician, as does his neighbor and best friend, Mrs. Zimmermann. Lewis thinks it's all fun and games until he unwittingly lets lose a terrifying villain who threatens to destroy the world.
This was a really fun book though I'm not sure it's a favorite. Lewis grew a lot during the book and I enjoyed his eccentric uncle and the crotchety Mrs. Zimmermann. However, there is quite a bit of childhood bullying that goes on in the story which made me sad -- especially seeing the way it affected Lewis. One of the main reasons I would choose to continue the series would be to see if Lewis manages to fight back at any point. And, of course, I would love to see if he gains powers of his own. I'll keep this one on the shelf in case Z wants to pick it up in a few years and if I see any others, I'll probably pick them up.
Have any of you heard of John Bellairs or read this series?
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