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The House With a Clock in Its Walls

by John Bellairs

Illustrated by Edward Gorey


Before Harry arrived on the magic scene, there was Lewis Barnavelt! Unassuming and newly transplanted to New Zebedee, Michigan, Lewis discovers that his new home, as well as his Uncle and purple-haired neighbor, are filled with mystery and magic!

Well, there's nothing we love more than a movie that comes out based on a kid's book! We're always super excited to both read the book and see the movie. It's an absolute bonus that Cate Blanchet and Jack Black put their stamp of approval on it by being in the middle of it all on the big screen!


The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs is the first in a twelve book series that features new-to-the-magic scene Lewis Barnavelt. After coming to live with his Uncle Johnathan, Lewis finds that there is more than just old architecture and a quirky relative that is in residence on High Street.

Like any new kid in town, Lewis longs to be accepted and find friendship all while dealing with the recent loss of his parents. To his surprise, the very popular and athletic Toby takes to spending time with Lewis while he is recovering from an injury. The friendship suffers a setback, however, once Toby's arm heals and is back with his sports team buddies.

In an attempt to impress and win back the attention of his fair-weather friend, Lewis unwittingly releases an evil and sets in motion a curse with potentially devastating and far reaching consequences!


This is one instance where I definitely enjoyed the movie as much as the book!  Great effects that are a feast for the eyes, terrific performances and surprising twists along with a fabulous reworked ending will leave you with an, "Oh, I'm so glad I saw that!" feeling. I was super glad we were able to enjoy it on the big screen and am definitely going to look up the remaining books in the series!

If you like books with a magical spin, then this should definitely be on your "To Read" list! A fun ride with some spine-tingling moments, The House With a Clock in Its Walls is a quick page turner that packs a good amount of story in its pages.

Fun Stuff!

1. Draw a House! The House with a Clock in Its Walls features fabulous illustrations by Edward Gorey! Love to draw or want to learn?  This book is great for learning line drawing; everything from drawing houses and other architecture to wildlife to retro signage! Take a look:

2. Learn a Magic Trick! Even the least magical of us will have fun trying out a little slight of hand.

3. Make a Clock! Clocks are so interesting and seeing inside one is a really fun exploration. One option is to make a clock with just a CD and basic clockworks.  Or, if you want to get a little more involved and like to build, check out this clock kit:

4.Hide a "Ticking" Clock! Now most of us don't have really loud clocks at home, but you can do this with a cordless or cell phone. You will need two phones for this. One person hides the phone (make sure the volume is on!). The hider then calls it (dials it) while the seeker tries to find the hidden 'clock!'

5. Make some Chocolate Chip Cookies and Watch the Movie! Mrs. Zimmerman serves them up more than once in the book! Here's a recipe I really like:


Hello and Welcome!

We're April and Cenzia, the mom and daughter duo behind My Kidz Bookshelf! Thanks for  stopping by! We love to read, review, and do fun stuff too!

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