The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a delightful read for middle graders.
Last year I finally got to see the film adaptation and I was blown away! I had so much fun with the legendary tale that was packed full of colour and imagination. Naturally, I wanted to give the book a go to see where the adaptation came from. Lucky my found this book on accident, and ever since I’ve been staring at it on my shelf. I finally picked the book up, and it was a nice, little binge read for me!
This book is fantastical. It is littered with magic, wizards, witches and friendship, giving it just enough ‘umph’ to keep the reader glued and enchanted. Lewis is a kid we can all relate to. He does have a tragic back story with the loss of his parents, but he just wants to be friendly and fit in. Lewis isn’t amazing at sports, but he tries! He’s kind of awkward, but he’s super curious. This young boy wants to learn magic and have fun with his family. He works hard to impress others to gain their friendship, but it turns out when he’s just being himself and meets the right people, everything falls into place.
Uncle Johnathan and Mrs. Zimmerman are kooky, spooky and filled with fun. They bring an Addams Family friendly vibe to a spooky middle grade tale. Uncle Johnathan is a wizard. He’s not the most powerful, but he’s fun and eccentric in all the best ways! He’s a caring figure who does his best to help Lewis. He’s not mean, but he can be strict. Uncle Johnathan never comes off as cruel, instead he seems like the guardian Lewis needs after such an incredibly sudden loss. Mrs. Zimmerman is Uncle Johnathan’s friend, and she’s a mighty great witch. She’s not scary either. Instead, she’s wickedly smart and always down for a great ride or game. The two together make for a fabulous set of guardians to help Lewis grow and learn. You don’t see that too often in middle grade and young adult books, so extra applause here please.
Lewis gets himself into a little trouble when he starts investigating the death of the former owner of Uncle Johnathan’s house. This house is mighty special, like the title suggests. There seems to be a clock in it’s walls! But why? Lewis goes on investigating, and starts more trouble than you could ever imagine… But don’t worry, with Lewis, Uncle Johnathan and Mrs. Zimmerman, there will definitely be a way to sort out the mischief! They make one great team.
This book isn’t scary in the sense of flesh, gore or blood. It’s mighty friendly! It’s spooky due to the mysteries, twists and turns that the book does and can take. You don’t know for sure what is happening until you start unravelling the mystery.
I applaud John Bellairs. This book was mighty fun and not scary. Middle graders deserve spooky and fun books! I highly recommend this book for a introduction to the land of spooky, creepy, crawly and kooky!
Four out of five stars.
Find out more about the author, John Bellairs, on his website:
Looking for more fun middle grade reads? Here are some of my other faves that I have featured on my blog:
Juana and the Dragonnewt’s Seven Kingdoms by Kiyohisa Tanaka
Up the Creek by Kevin Miller
Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen by Jim C. Hines
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