Monday, June 25, 2007

The Figure In The Shadows by John Bellairs

The second book in John Bellairs trilogy, The Figure in the Shadows, delighted me as much as the first. This book follows our same characters as the first book: Lewis, his Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmerman, and adds Lewis' new best friend Rose Rita.

Lewis is still quite the unpopular kid at school as he was in the first book. He's still chunky, still no good at sports, and is still quite clumsy. He's getting picked on quite a bit at school. To try to cheer him up, his Uncle Jonathan goes through an old chest with Lewis and they root through all kinds of old treasures. Among them is an old "lucky coin." Mrs. Zimmerman declares that the coin has no magical value, but Lewis is not convinced and decides to wear the coin aware his neck. Things start to look better for Lewis, but with things looking better, a not so friendly side of Lewis appears (can we say "my precious"). A figure in the shadows also appears as do some haunting messages.

The illustrations by Mercer Mayer are great. I love Mayer's work and always have. His Little Critters books were some of my favorites when I was a little kid, so it was nice to see some of his work that was new to me.

The Figure in the Shadows is another delightfully creepy tale by John Bellairs and I'm so glad that chose to read this series! Next up is the Letter, The Witch, and the Ring...the final book in the trilogy. Just to remind everyone, you can get all 3 of these novels in one hardcover book called The Best of John Bellairs for $9.99. I'm reminding you because I think it's a great deal and I'm really enjoying them. Really quick reads and quite fun. Perfect for those looking for something for the R.I.P. challenge.

This is the last book on my list for the Banned Books Challenge. I think it's so silly that this book has been banned! My best guess for why it's been banned is for some minor cursing and religious reasons, and for witchcraft I'm sure. Whatever, I'll definitely be passing this book onto my kids one day way in the future. I would've loved these stories around 10 years old. They're great!


DesLily said...

reading a lot of YA books can also help give you insight to how some young kids really feel...and after all.. you are headed in that direction with your life's work!

Chris said...

Definitely...and I can relate all too well with Lewis! I was very much like Lewis as a kid, part of the reason why I'm heading in the direction of helping kids now.

Stephanie said...

Oh...I love Mercer Mayer!! Ok. My kids love Mercer Mayer. Yeah...that's it!!

I've never even HEARD of John Bellairs. Now, I'm going to have to buy these. I think my son will like them too!

Chris said...

Stephanie, yeah...your KIDS love Mercer Mayer....The books are really great. This is the first time I've heard of him too. Great books. Unfortunately, he's passed away now :( But what he wrote is great!

Doug said...

I had no idea this had been banned. Where? I read this book when I was about seven and it scared the crap out of me! It took me about six months before I could read it a second time. It was still scary. After rereading it last year it's hard to see what was so scary. My kids think that story is hilarious.