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Beast Under The Wizards Bridge [Paperback]

Brad Strickland
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 21 2002
What is it about the old Wilder Creek Bridge that makes Lewis Barnevelt so curious-and so afraid? When Lewis and his best friend Rose Rita Potttinger set out to explore the bridge and the deserted farm nearby, they discover shocking secrets-and a horrifying monster. Even Lewis's Uncle Jonathan and the magical Mrs. Zimmermann may not be able to vanquish this ferocious creature!

"[Strickland's] characters ring true in this entertaining page-turner that will captivate readers." (VOYA)

"A wonderful blend of mystery, adventure, ghosts, and friendship." (School Library Journal)

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From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Something about Wilder Creek Bridge troubles Lewis Barnavelt, and he enlists the help of his friend Rose Rita Pottinger in his quest to find the source of this menacing feeling. Lewis's guardian, Uncle Jonathan (a sorcerer), and their neighbor Mrs. Zimmermann ("an honest-to-goodness witch") also know that the bridge is evil. In overhearing a conversation between them, Lewis mistakenly concludes that Jonathan does not trust him or Rose Rita, bringing back his old fears of being sent away from the family and friends he has come to love. In fact, Uncle Jonathan distrusts Mephistopheles and Ermine Moote, who are attempting to help bring back The Great Old Ones. If they succeed, the earth will be their dominion and humans will cease to exist. In the end, Lewis and Rose Rita (with a little help from Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmermann) are able to stop the Mootes and save the world. Lewis learns that his fears of losing his home are unfounded, and his relationship with his uncle is strengthened. A wonderful blend of mystery, adventure, ghosts, and friendship.
Lana Miles, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-6. Why is Uncle Jonathan so upset about the old iron bridge being torn down and why is he attempting to keep his suspicions a secret from his nephew, Lewis? As Sherlock Holmes would say, "The game's afoot!" Strickland combines the conventions of mystery writing (an old will, a secret passage) with those of science fiction (a piece of a meteorite that glows with swirling colors), folklore (a soul hiding outside the body), fantasy (a magic spell), and horror (a hideous monster rising from the creek). Faithful readers, who have followed Lewis, Rose Rita, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmerman since their debut in John Bellairs' The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973), will find this mystery entirely up to standard with its familiar characters, twisting plot, and happy ending. Another fast-paced story in a long-running series. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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For many months Lewis Barnavelt had been worried. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghastly and gruesome Oct. 2 2002
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Upon the death of John Bellairs, Brad Strickland stepped into some very hard-to-fit shoes. The story of "Beast Under The Wizard's Bridge" is both exceptionally clever and somewhat awkward in places, as Strickland still was adjusting to the necessity of writing like another author.
The old iron bridge over Wilder Creek is being torn down by the county, to make way for a newer, more modern structure. Lewis Barnavelt's uncle Jonathan is nervous about this -- not only is the bridge a familiar landmark, but it was constructed by a wizard to keep a long-dead relative from returning. The dead relative was Jedediah Clabbernong, a man obsessed with his own aging, and determined to become one of the immortal alien Great Old Ones.
Now something is creeping from Wilder Creek. Under the sway of the equally determined Mr. and Mrs. Moote, a hideous squidlike humanoid is rising to the surface again -- and it can suck the life from any creature and reduce it to a disintegrating husk. Now as a comet returns -- the comet that claimed Clabbernong a century before -- Lewis, Rose Rita, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman must stop the Mootes before more hideous creatures are unleashed...
Brad Strickland sure knows how to send chills down a spine. In excellent imitation of Bellairs' style, he creates some outstandingly horrifying situations. Jonathan Barnavelt's description of the disintegrating woodchuck he encountered (and pounded to death) is only outdone by the encounter that Lewis and Rose Rita have with an incredibly old, hideous horse. What's wrong? While Bellairs was never the most subtle of writers, the twelve-foot-tall tentacled squid-headed Lovecraftian nightmare seems more than a little excessive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beastly Good Book Nov. 14 2001
Format:Hardcover
As a hardcore Bellairs/Strickland fan and fellow writer, it was with no small amount of pleasure that I found this one sitting on the library shelf and grabbed it, instantly knowing it would be a good read. Not many books can you do this with, few authors are talented enough that their books are given to be good before you read them.
This book is no exception. I was a very picky fan of John Bellairs, and when Brad Strickland began carrying on his work I was highly skeptical that he would be able to fill the shoes of an incredibly talented author. Not only has he done so with an uncanny ability to emulate Mr. Bellairs' style, he has also gone on to write some pretty memorable adventures involving the Bellairs characters.
I found this book to be one of the more inventive and memorable ones in the entire Bellairs/Strickland history since the Trolley to Yesterday. Strickland was not afraid to go to the same lengths that Bellairs himself did to give the reader a good scare, and I really enjoyed the added sci-fi element in this book.
Well done, Mr. Strickland!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've Got That Old Creepy Feeling... Jan. 1 2001
Format:Hardcover
Although Mr.Strickland has done a marvelous job of writing in the voice of John Bellairs and I've enjoyed all of his continuations, they haven't given me the creeps the way Mr. Bellairs' books used to. THE BEAST UNDER THE WIZARD'S BRIDGE has done just that. Mr. Strickland has taken a brief explanation that Mrs.Zimmermann gave Lewis in THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS and fleshed it out. Experienced Lovecraft Fans will recognize which story the author chose to pay tribute to in this adventure. (It's a story that frightened me terribly 30 years ago, when I was only 16.) They'll also recognize some familiar literary "friends" when the Capharnaum County Magicians Society meets to discuss the threat. Even if you're not a Lovecraft fan, you should feel at least a touch of fear when you discover what the late Mr. Gorey depicted on the front cover. The villains, starting with old Jebediah Clabbernong, are as evil as villains in a horror book should be. (What Jebediah did to ensure himself of living long enough to complete his work is a good clue as to how loathesome he was. I'm not a bit sorry about what Elihu did to him by having that bridge built.) There were several twists I didn't see coming in this one. Certainly Uncle Jonathan's backyard illusion was like no other. The implications in chapter 10 made me feel so grossed out that I barely took in the dreadful danger Lewis and Rita were in. Yes, the book is a little too short for the big battle at the end. I would think that the enormous popularity of the thick Harry Potter books would make publishers realize that children in this series' intended age group DON'T need to have books kept to 150 pages or so to maintain their interest. As a fat reader, I object to having fat Uncle Jonathan described as "heavyset". Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Beast Under the Wizard's Brridge" Dec 11 2000
By D. Bass
Format:Hardcover
Brad Stricland has always done an amazing job of copying the Bellairs "style" of writing mystery/horror books, and he certainly continues the tradition with the latest installment to the Lewis Barnavelt series "The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge". Compared to many other authors who have tred to emulate a famous author after his death (such as Christopher Tolkien or Brian Herbert), Brad Strickland does a phenomenal job. He was a perfect choice to take over the Bellairs legacy when the timeless author bit the dust in 1991. "The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge" is a good Stricland effort, although not my favorite by Strickland. The book unfortunately suffers from over editing, cutting the size down to a pitiful 150 pages (although not quite as pitiful as "The Secret of the Underground Room" which was only around 120!) The shortness of the book gives the ending a "hurried" feeling which detracts from what would otherwise have been a great ending. Otherwise, the book is definitely one for Bellairs fans to read.
Thanks, Mr. Strickland, and keep up the good work with next year's "The Tower at the End of the World"!
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