Friday, June 27, 2008

On children's books: John Bellairs

When I was younger, I absolutely loved John Bellairs' books, which were about a boy named Lewis whose parents died in a car crash (they always kill the parents), and who goes to live with his eccentric uncle in a big old house. The only bit I remember now besides this is that their neighbour was a woman who loved purple so much she had purple toilet paper, and that they were witches, and that Lewis had a friend who was a girl who always wore a beanie with pins from cereal boxes and such like on it. For ages now, I've been remembering these books, and remembering that I loved them, but without any idea of who the author was or what they were called.

So I went to the library today, and on a tour through the children's book section, I found them. The first one is called The House with a Clock in Its Walls. So, I'm reading it. And compared to some children's books I've later revisited, it is still really very good. I mean, it's obviously a kid's book, and the dialogue is a bit iffy, but the story is great and the writing is quirky enough for this not to matter too much. In some of the amusing phrasing, it reminds me a lot of Harry Potter.

I suppose I'll post again once I've finished it.

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