The Curse of the Blue Figurine (Johnny Dixon #1)
John Bellairs, the name in Gothic mysteries for middle graders, wrote terrifying tales full of adventure, attitude, and alarm. For years, young readers have crept, crawled, and gone bump in the night with the unlikely heroes of these Gothic novels: Lewis Barnavelt, Johnny Dixon, and Anthony Monday. Now, the ten top-selling titles feature an updated cover look. Loyal fans a...more
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This is the creepiest and best of the Johnny Dixon mysteries, which introduces Johnny and Professor Childermass, Gramma and Grandpa and the horrible ghost of a Catholic priest. I was startled at how much practice of religion lurks in the book (pre-Vatican II, too!) and how much religion i...more
However, I came around to it because here's the thing: This is totally going to be the sort of book which will get some kids enjoying reading. And it is a fun book; it's a really good book. It's an old-school ghost story. The sort I couldn't abide as a kid because I was easily terrified. There came a point where I thought it...more
Thoughts: I loved Bellairs' books as a kid and have been re-reading a spate of them lately. Out of the three series of books in this vein, I have to say that ones with Johnny Dixon and the professor are my favourites. Bellairs creates a very believable 1950s-era Massachusetts town for the characters to run around in, and fills it with weird and wonderful characters. Professor Childermass is a fou...more
Some of the John Bellairs stories are kinda entertaining young kiddo "horror," but I didn't like this one.
I read the copy with Edward Gorey's perfect illustrations. Really, he's the perfect choice.
Length? – Most of a day’s read.
Characters? – Memorable, several characters.
Setting? – Real world, 1951.
Written approximately? – 1983.
Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Ready to read more.
Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? No.
Short storyline: Johnny Dixon is in a new place and fighting new battles. When he discovers help from an unseen force, he trusts them, even though they tell him to keep a secre...more