Lewis Barnavelt

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Lewis Barnavelt is a fictional American boy featured in a series of twelve children's gothic horror novels. written by John Bellairs or his successor Brad Strickland. In each book, Lewis and his group of friends face and overcome evil forces usually bent on ending the world. Alternatively, Lewis Barnavelt is the book series ("Chubby Lewis Barnavelt" in ISFDB).[1]

In 1948, Lewis' parents are killed in a sudden car accident, and Lewis moves to the fictional town of New Zebedee, Michigan, to live at 100 High Street with his uncle, Jonathan Barnavelt. Lewis soon learns that his uncle is actually a hedge wizard and neighbor Florence Zimmermann is a kindly but very powerful witch. He also finds out that the house in which his uncle is now living once belonged to a warlock named Isaac Izard and his wife, an evil witch called Selenna. When Lewis unwittingly resurrects Selenna in an attempt to impress his friend Tarby—an act that drives the other boy away—he finds a clock Isaac hid within the wall of the house. He destroys the clock, permanently sending the evil witch back to the grave.[2] After Lewis makes friends with Rose Rita Pottinger, his adventures continue over the next several years.[3]

At the start of the series, Lewis is a shy and overweight ten-year-old boy who enjoys reading.[4] At one point in the series, Rose Rita describes him as a worrywart,[5] albeit one who displays true courage in genuinely dangerous situations. Despite often being targeted by bullies, Lewis stands up for himself at times, at first with the aid of outside forces such as Rose Rita or an amulet, and then later on his own. Lewis accidentally causes supernatural problems, but tends to be the one who helps set things right.

In the book The House With a Clock in Its Walls readers learn that when Lewis grows up, he becomes an astronomer working at Mount Palomar who will discover that a magic egg he received that first Christmas with his uncle is capable of showing him scenes on other planets.[6]

Novels in Lewis Barnavelt series[edit]

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973)[2][edit]

Dedication: "For Priscilla, who let me be myself."
A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday.

The Figure in the Shadows (1975)[3][edit]

Dedication: "For Don Wilcox, David Walters, and Jonathan Grandine. Friends who have been friends indeed."
A painfully overweight sixth-grade boy receives a magic amulet which brings him luck, but also terrifying side effects.

The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring (1976)[7][edit]

Dedication: "For my son, Frank."
A young girl takes a trip with a friend of the family only to get involved with a mysterious letter, a magic ring, and a powerful witch.

The Ghost in the Mirror (1993)[8][edit]

No dedication
Rose Rita Pottinger and Florence Zimmermann are transported back to 1828 to save the Weiss family from being destroyed by a wicked wizard.

The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder (1993)[9][edit]

Dedication: "To Richard Curtis, advisor and friend."
In 1951, while visiting a distant cousin in the English countryside, thirteen-year-old Lewis Barnavelt accidentally unleases demonic forces and summons the ghost of an evil wizard bent on killing the Barnavelt family.

The Doom of the Haunted Opera (1995)[10][edit]

Dedication: "Thanks to Jeanne Sharp, reader and advisor. For Ann and Tony Lapietra, who helped me explore the haunted opera!"
Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger are faced a dilemma when their discovery of an unpublished opera score unleases a wicked sorcerer who plans to rule the world by bringing back the dead.

The Specter From The Magician's Museum (1998)[11][edit]

Dedication: "For Bob and Elaine Lund, whose museum shows that the secret of magic is people."
When the evil sorceress Belle Frisson ensnares Rose Rita Pottinger in a magic web in order to steal her life force, Lewis Barnavelt must risk his own life to save his friend.

The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge (2000)[12][edit]

Dedication: "For Barbara, with all my love."
Lewis Barnavelt tries to avert disaster when the destruction of an old bridge threatens to release a diabolical force, the legacy of a long-dead evil magician.

The Tower at the End of the World (2001)[13][edit]

Dedication: "In memory of three, who will be forever missed. John Bellairs. Frank Bellairs. Edward Gorey."
Lewis and Rose Rita battle Ishmael Izard, the son of the magician who tried to destroy the world with the Doomsday Clock.

The Whistle, The Grave, and The Ghost (2003)[14][edit]

Dedication: "This one is for the fans I've met at compleatbellairs. Keep the faith, all!"
In the woods near his home in Michigan, thirteen-year-old Lewis Barnavelt stumbles upon an ancient grave and silver whistle that draw him, his best friend Rose Rita Pottinger, his uncle Jonathan, and their friend Florence Zimmermann into a battle with an ancient evil.

The House Where Nobody Lived (2006)[15][edit]

Dedication: "For Amy, my daughter, who always sees the magic."
Twelve-year-old Lewis and his best friend Rose Rita investigate a strange old house in their home town and discover that they may be dealing with powerful ancient Hawaiian spirits.

The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer (2008)[16][edit]

Dedication: "To Jonathan, my juggling son."
In Michigan in the mid-1950s, Lewis Barnavelt is convinced that the series of accidents he and his uncle are experiencing are the result of a curse by a mysterious, hooded figure that may be part of his uncle's past.

Series bibliography[edit]

# Title Month Year Chapters Pages Writer Illustrator
01 The House with a Clock in its Walls Jun 1973 11 179 John Bellairs Edward Gorey
02 The Figure in the Shadows   1975 13 155 John Bellairs Mercer Mayer
03 The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring Jan 1976 13 188 John Bellairs Richard Egielski
04 The Ghost in the Mirror Apr 1993 13 169 coauthorsdagger Edward Gorey
05 The Vengeance of the Witch-finder Sep 1993 15 153 coauthors Edward Gorey
06 The Doom of the Haunted Opera Sep 1995 16 153 coauthors Edward Gorey
07 The Specter from the Magician's Museum Mar 1998 16 149 Brad Strickland Edward Gorey
08 The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge   2000 15 151 Brad Strickland Edward Gorey
09 The Tower at the End of the World Sep 2001 15 146 Brad Strickland S. D. Schindler
10 The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost Aug 2003 14 152 Brad Strickland S. D. Schindler
11 The House Where Nobody Lived Oct 2006 18 173 Brad Strickland Bart Goldman
12 The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer Oct 2008 13 168 Brad Strickland Bart Goldman
dagger Three Lewis Barnavelt books outlined by Bellairs were completed by Brad Strickland.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chubby Lewis Barnavelt series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2015-08-17. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. ^ a b Bellairs, John. The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Dial Press, 1973. ISBN 014036336X
  3. ^ a b Bellairs, John. The Figure in the Shadows. Dial Press, 1975. ISBN 0140363378
  4. ^ Bellairs, John. The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Dial Press, 1973, pp. 19 and 43.
  5. ^ Bellairs, John. The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring. Dial Press, 1976, p. 132.
  6. ^ Bellairs, John. The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Dial Press, 1973, p. 120.
  7. ^ Bellairs, John. The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring. Dial Press, 1976. ISBN 0803747403
  8. ^ Bellairs, John. Completed by Brad Strickland. The Ghost in the Mirror. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1993. ISBN 0803713703
  9. ^ Bellairs, John. Completed by Brad Strickland. The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1993. ISBN 0803714505
  10. ^ Bellairs, John. Completed by Brad Strickland. The Doom of the Haunted Opera. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995. ISBN 0803714645
  11. ^ Strickland, Brad. The Specter From The Magician's Museum. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1998. ISBN 0803722028
  12. ^ Strickland, Brad. The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2000. ISBN 0803722206
  13. ^ Strickland, Brad. The Tower at the End of the World. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2001. ISBN 0803726201
  14. ^ Strickland, Brad. The Whistle, The Grave, and The Ghost. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2003. ISBN 0803726228
  15. ^ Strickland, Brad. The House Where Nobody Lived. Sleuth/Dial, 2006. ISBN 0803731485
  16. ^ Strickland, Brad. The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2008. ISBN 9780803731516

External links[edit]