"I think it would be better if you knew something about this clock business. I can't tell you all about it because I don't know all about it. In fact, there are times I think I don't know much about it at all. But I'll tell you what I know."
~ The House With a Clock in Its Walls
Lewis Barnavelt couldn't have prepared for life at 100 High Street in New Zebedee, Michigan. After losing his parents in a tragic car accident he was taken in by his eccentric Uncle Jonathan, whose mysterious three story stone mansion would be his home. Even though he's nervous, Lewis is excited to explore the interesting rooms and fancy parlors. But when strange occurrences start happening, he isn't sure what to think. Jonathan seems nice enough, but should Lewis worry about his uncle's odd behavior? When Lewis catches Jonathan going through rooms in the middle of the night stopping clocks, he needs answers. Jonathan and his friend, Mrs. Zimmermann, explain that the previous owner of the house was a dark wizard named Isaac Izard, and he concealed the clock inside the walls. It's been ticking towards something dreadful, but they don't know what or even where it is, only that the the wizard had plans to destroy the world. Lewis searches for clues, but once school begins, his thoughts turn to meeting kids. As usual, he isn't popular due to his abysmal baseball skills, and the fat jokes begin. After Lewis's only friend, Tarby, stops hanging around with him, Lewis plots to save their friendship by performing an impressive spell on Halloween night. Is it possible the magic will work? Will Lewis win Tarby back? Why is the clock ticking? Can one kind of magic beat another? Step into this twisty mystery to find out!
The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs and illustrated by the master of mystery, Edward Gorey, is a spine-chilling delight! I absolutely loved this book, and I can't wait to read more of Lewis's adventures at 100 High Street. The mansion Uncle Jonathan lives in reminds me of the Begonia House, with all its secret nooks and crannies. Edward Gorey's illustrations conjure up the perfect mood, capturing the eerie essence of the manor. Lewis is nice, and I wanted him to succeed. I felt happy when he made friends with Tarby, and after their friendship began to break up, I could understand Lewis's reasoning for trying to keep it together, even if his plan involved a big risk. Lewis shows that he can be brave in the face of chaos and uses his knowledge of stories to try to save the world from being destroyed by dark magic. I would recommend this book to readers ages eight and up or anyone who enjoys reading from the edge of their seat.
Has anyone else read The House With a Clock in Its Walls? Or have you read another book by John Bellairs? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
*Thanks to the Little Shop of Stories for recommending this book. :)