Monday, July 16, 2018

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt #1) by John Bellairs and GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to Middle-Grade Monday! So, my review today was actually brought about because I went to see a movie and during the trailers there was a new Jack Black film, The House with a Clock in its Walls and the narrator said it was based on the best selling children's book by John Bellairs. I thought, "What? A book I haven't heard of?" So I immediately ordered it to read and it turns out it is the first in a series, yeah! I am running a giveaway for a paper copy from Amazon, shipped to you. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form below. If you don't see it click, 'read more'. Please see terms and conditions.

The Story-
Lewis's parents have died and he has been sent to live with his eccentric uncle Jonathan. As soon as he gets to his new home, things are a bit weird. Pictures seem to move within their frames and his uncle goes about at night banging on the walls. When Lewis tries to find out what his Uncle is about, he is introduced to a new world, one of magic and of good versus evil. His Uncle is a warlock and when he bought the house years ago he noticed something strange, a clock that was ticking within the walls that he could not find.

Their next door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, is also a witch, and Lewis' Uncle and her have been trying to find out the location of the clock for many years. They know that is was built by an evil warlock and fear that when it finally stops ticking, something dreadful will happen.

Lewis, now introduced to magic, starts fiddling about, and on Halloween, while trying to impress a friend, he accidentally raises the spirit of the evil warlock's wife. Alive-ish again, she is determined to get to the clock and accomplish her husband's dastardly plan. Lewis, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmermann are all that stand in her way!

My Thoughts-

This book drew me in from just the title alone, A House with a Clock in its Walls. What? Constant ticking, impending doom, and they can't find the clock? So cool! I am a sucker for a good fantasy. Lewis is an interesting kid. He is a bit heavy and on the plain side. He is awkward and unable to play sports, so he is always picked last. His main motivation in the book is to keep a friend, which of course, leads to raising the evil witch from the dead. I totally understood his character. He is also scared of being sent to live somewhere else, so when he does raise the dead, he doesn't tell his Uncle about it, which makes perfect sense.

The magical world that the Uncle inhabits is actually downplayed, and the reader doesn't get much of a peek into what actually can or can not be done with magic. There's a strange eclipse and a magical fight between Mrs. Zimmerman and the evil spirit, but so much more is hinted at! I'm hoping this will develop in the follow-up books.

On a technical note, I was thrown off a few times when the author suddenly switched into Uncle Jonathan's point-of-view mid chapter and then back to Lewis. Other than that, it is well written and a great story. For younger readers, there is a high score on the creep-o-meter. This is not a funny, scary book, it is a good versus evil kind of story.

I can not wait to see what Hollywood makes of this book. The potential is HUGE and the fantasy and magic part might really blossom. Overall, I'm giving the book 4.5 stars!

The Giveaway-

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds great! I'm already curious about where the clock is. Thanks for the review!

  2. I love this kind of story. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be looking to read this one soon. Perfect title, too.

  3. This really sounds like a great story! I really got caught up in your review. Will try to get a copy.

  4. The title really caught my attention too. Thanks for telling me about it. I'm not much into fantasy, but my granddaughter would love it.

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    Are you a reader who loves children's and young adult books? This call is for you. We need some wonderful book bloggers who are interested in reading a lot of children's or young adult books, reviewing them, and choosing the best of the best for the 2018 Cybils Awards.

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