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The House With a Clock In Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt) Paperback – August 3, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Lewis Barnavelt
  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Lewis Barnavelt edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142402573
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion--his Uncle Jonathan's. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn't bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard--but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near--unless Lewis can stop the clock!

This is a deliciously chilling tale, with healthy doses of humor and compassion thrown in for good measure. Edward Gorey's unmistakable pen and ink style (as seen in many picture books, including The Shrinking of Treehorn and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats) perfectly complements John Bellairs's wry, touching story of a lonely boy, his quirky uncle, and the ghost of mansions past. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Is there no end to the suspense John Bellairs can create? (School Library Journal, starred review)

ThereÆs suspense and action aplenty. . . . Perfect for the pre-Stephen King set. (Booklist)

Brace yourself for a wild ride. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone who likes horror fantasies.
Dipti
To Lewis's relief, however, Uncle Jonathan is a wonderful fellow, as is his neighbor Mrs. Zimmermann.
E. R. Bird
I remember reading this book as a kid and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT!
Chloe Valentine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By enchantedmoons on April 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read "The House with a Clock in it's Walls" when I was ten years old. I immediately fell in love with it; reading and re-reading constantly. Now I'm thirty years old, and it is still my favorite. Last year I decided to collect all of his books and re-read them-it's been the most fun I've had in ages. Out of all of the John Bellairs books, this one, in my opinion, is the very best. It's scary and funny, the characters are warm, lovable and due to their magical history, fascinating. I fell in love all over again as I re-read this last week. God bless you, Mr. Bellairs. And thank-you for showing this "little girl" just what great writing is all about.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Book Woman on June 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Louis Barnavelt, recently orphaned, goes to live with his UncleJonathan, whom he's never met. When his arrives in New Zebedee, UncleJonathan picks him up at the airport and takes him to his home--a huge, spooky mansion with secret passages and mysterious rooms.
Uncle Jonathan's best friend, Mrs. Zimmerman, is in the house, and as Louis walks in, he finds her listening to the walls. To his astonishment and delight, Louis discovers that Uncle Jonathan is a wizard, Mrs. Zimmerman is a witch, and they both love poker and chocolate chip cookies.
Louis also discovers that Uncle Jonathan's house was once owned by an evil wizard--a Mr. Izzard who has hidden a magic clock somewhere in the walls of the house--a clock that will bring about the end of the world if it's not found and silenced.
To make matters worse, Louis tries to impress his new friend Tarby by stealing a spell from one of Uncle Jonathan's magic books. They perform the ceremony in the graveyard Halloween night, and succeed in resurrecting the truly evil Mrs. Izzard from the dead.
Can they stop the clock in time, or will Mrs. Izzard succeed in resurrecting her husband and bringing about the end of the world?
I was afraid to read this book as a child--the cover looks really scary, and I was a nightmare-prone child who avoided scary books like the plague. Most kids like scary books though, and this one is perfect for your 5th grade fright fan. Louis is a wonderful character, who goes from being a timid outcast, worried about impressing the kids at school, to a brave young man who summons up courage when he needs to act to save the people he loves. The friendship between Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman is funny, and they are both eccentric enough to be interesting, but not so eccentric as to become annoying.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I first became acquainted with "The House With a Clock in Its Walls" around the age of eight. It was made into a kids' TV show (an "After School Special", perhaps? I don't remember), and I immediately checked the book out from the library. Over the years I read several other of Bellairs' books, but my favorites were always the books linked with (and continuing the story of) "The House With A Clock In Its Walls". The stories were especially fascinating for me, as they all took place in Michigan, my home state (in fact, "The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring" - book three of the series - takes place in no small part near Petoskey, Michigan, which is only 25 miles from my hometown). When I was in college, I found that the college bookstore had some copies of T.H.W.A.C.I.I.W. for sale, so I bought one. I found the story was just as enjoyable then as it had been 16 years before. I'm now 27, and I STILL enjoy these books! These are truly stories for young and old alike.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lauren E. Pomerantz on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I, too, read this book when I was young and I still re-read the series from time to time. When I was young, the cover alone scared me. Even now, the final scene can thrill me if it's late and the room is dark. Brrr.
Horror for children has grown more popular lately, but most of it seems to be this formulaic stuff like Goosebumps. Have any of their stories actually had a happy ending? Bellairs books are frightening, but they do end happily, and they have a depth that Goosebumps books can't match. Full of references to recent history (the stories take place in the 1950s) and more remote history (Lewis is a literate boy) and religious symbolism, these are books that will draw you in.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read all of John Bellairs' books when I was growing up. *The House With a Clock in Its Walls* is one of the best of the series. It leaves you thoroughly entertained, scared (but not emotionally scarred!) and searching the shelves of your local library for for further information on the many interesting historical and magical references Bellairs interweaves into his stories. The Edward Gorey illustrations complement his narratives perfectly. Read this book and you'll want to read them all.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jens Alfke on April 26, 2000
Format: Library Binding
This is the first and by far the best of Bellairs' juvenile [in the best sense of the word!] fantasy novels. The tone strikes a perfect balance between humor and creepiness, and the magical items and happenings are quite original. This book is a must-read for any Harry Potter fan. Unfortunately the quality of the books declines pretty steeply after this one -- Bellairs fell into a formulaic rut. Equally good is his only(?) adult novel, "The Face In The Frost", which has sadly been out of print for ages.
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