ByChase Ricks, writer at
Rper before gamer always. Fantasy writer before fictional. Moviepilot University Graduate and Alumni. Author interviewer.
Chase Ricks

Decades ago, a series of young adult books taking place in America and other countries were created. These talked about magic and sorcery long before Harry Potter ever became an international bestselling name.

The Lewis Barnavelt Adventures, The Anthony Monday Adventures, and The Johnny Dixon Adventures. Each one was a different series by Mr. Bellairs and each deserves at least one movie .

Now then, from my research, I found out that Mr. Bellairs wanted to write about characters like Gandalf from The Lord of The Rings. What kind of wizard was he when he was not off traveling or fighting evil? Was his life, if ever at his own residence, ever thought about?

Based upon these ideas, he created several different mystery book series involving horror and the supernatural. These would be based in the World between 1880 and 1960 and featured characters who were unusual in their abilities, but when they banded with others into groups to fight great evil, their abilities would become so great and as a group they would always prevail.

It is my thoughts that movies based on his books would do wonderful. To do so first I introduce the characters.

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. After Lewis makes friends with Rose Rita Pottinger, his adventures continue over the next several years.

At the start of the series, Lewis is a shy and overweight ten-year-old boy who enjoys reading. At one point in the series, Rose Rita describes him as a worrywart, 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.

In this series good magic vs evil magic usually with the end of the world or souls at stake.

The series is set in the early 1950's. Johnny lives with his paternal grandparents in Duston Heights, Massachusetts; his mother died of cancer some time prior to the beginning of the series, and his father is a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Johnny's best friend, history professor Roderick Childermass, lives across the street. In "The Mummy, the Will and the Crypt", Johnny meets a boy his own age, Byron Q. "Fergie" Ferguson, at a Boy Scout camp. Thenceforth, Johnny, Fergie, and Professor Childermass (who is typically referred to as simply "the professor") are the three principal characters of the series. In this series evil magic and dark science are what these three friends must face with again the common theme of the world ending or losing their lives if they fail.

Anthony and his friends generally overcome evil forces bent on ending the world. In this series the adult mentor is a very wise and worldly small town librarian named Mrs. Ells.

In closing I feel these three series would do well to help illustrate a time in American history not often shown this way in movies, especially when magic or science is involved and not by Disney.


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