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Specter from the Magician's Museum Library Binding – Mar 2001


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Library Binding, Mar 2001
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Product Details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Topeka Bindery (March 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613360141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613360142
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 213 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-In this continuation of the saga, Strickland effectively follows John Bellairs's style of writing and preserves, and even improves upon, the deceased author's well-rounded and dynamic characters. Every year the students going into junior high put on a talent show for the grade school, and Lewis and Rose Rita decide on a magic act. While they are researching some tricks in a local magician's museum, Rose Rita cuts her finger on an enchanted scroll, and so begin their wild and terrifying adventures.. The plot is fast paced and the story line is captivating. Rose Rita and Lewis are growing up and are dealing with more than evil and the supernatural, and readers will relate to the feelings and pressures with which they must cope. Fans of the previous books will enjoy following these charismatic characters.
Krista Grosick, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 4^-6. The longest-running alternative to "Goosebumps" stays true to its successful formula in this story based on John Bellairs' mystery-adventure series. After Rose Rita Pottinger falls prey to a long-but-not-yet-permanently-dead adherent of an ancient Egyptian arachnid cult, nerdy Lewis Barnevelt enlists his sorcerous uncle Jonathan and similarly gifted neighbor Florence to rescue Rose Rita from the tomb in which she's imprisoned. Mission, of course, accomplished, after encounters with giant spiders and other deliciously ghastly experiences, for example, "The floor underfoot was unpleasantly soft and spongy, and things squelched under her feet, popping in a horrible liquid way." Yum. If Rose Rita's slow, inexorable ensnarement doesn't put readers on the edges of their seats, the climactic underground encounter certainly will. John Peters --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Lewis Barnavelt had been frightened before in his life, but this time he was terrified. Read the first page
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 19 2002
Format: Paperback
Initially, one would think that a truly talented author's quirky, unique style could not be very nearly duplicated. But Brad Strickland is doing a fine job with the characters that Bellairs created, and this is one of his best efforts.
Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger have to participate in a talent show whether they like it or not. When they hit on the idea of doing a magic show (fake, not real), they end up consulting a friend at a museum who allows them to borrow some books on stage magic. But when Rose Rita picks up an old parchment scroll, she inadvertantly lets a drop of blood fall on some magic dust -- and the dust turns into a living spider. The two of them flee, but Rose Rita brings the scroll, with intent to return it.
Except she then starts acting oddly. When the talent show results in a dismal failure, Rose Rita is left with a burning hatred and a wish for revenge. Then she starts dreaming of becoming a giant spider, and hearing the voice of the scroll's previous owner -- Belle Frisson, a sorceress who now wants to use Rose Rita to rise again and live forever.
This is labelled as a "Lewis Barnavelt" book, but at least half of it focuses on Rose Rita. While fans of Bellairs will be well acquainted with Lewis's insecurities, Strickland takes the opportunity to delve into a few of Rose Rita's. He also manages to give us a message about revenge and hatred and grudges without beating the reader over the head with it. The Message is simply there.
How much of a "Bellairs" book is this? Very much so, and not just in terms of having creepy beasties and a megalomaniac villain. The pacing and tone are very correct, as is the usage of maybe-it's-real-maybe-not ancient magics. I could have used a little more bickering between Mrs.
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By A Customer on July 30 1999
Format: Hardcover
I think that Brad Strickland Did a good job with this title. The story has some depth, and the character development is good, as well. I think this is the best Bellairs' novel that Strickland Has written so far, and would give it a full five stars!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Strickland Masters Bellairs' Style in Specter March 27 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
At first serving as a finisher for the late John Bellair's uncompleted DOOM OF THE HAUNTED OPERA, GHOST IN THE MIRROR, and VENGENCE OF THE WITCHFINDER, Strickland took those characters to new heights in the late 1990s by churning out books like THE HAND OF THE NECROMANCER, and THE BELL,THE BOOK,AND THE SPELLBINDER which mimicked Bellair's writing style down to the letter. In SPECTER, Strickland goes from mimicking the man to being the man. He captures the vocabulary and characterizations of Lewis Barnavelt and company flawlessly in a terrifying story darker than all of the other books combined. Please check out this book. I hope Strickland continues to write. He is hitting his stride now.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Good Read! July 30 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I think that Brad Strickland Did a good job with this title. The story has some depth, and the character development is good, as well. I think this is the best Bellairs' novel that Strickland Has written so far, and would give it a full five stars!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Come long-leggedy beastie... April 19 2002
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Initially, one would think that a truly talented author's quirky, unique style could not be very nearly duplicated. But Brad Strickland is doing a fine job with the characters that Bellairs created, and this is one of his best efforts.
Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger have to participate in a talent show whether they like it or not. When they hit on the idea of doing a magic show (fake, not real), they end up consulting a friend at a museum who allows them to borrow some books on stage magic. But when Rose Rita picks up an old parchment scroll, she inadvertantly lets a drop of blood fall on some magic dust -- and the dust turns into a living spider. The two of them flee, but Rose Rita brings the scroll, with intent to return it.
Except she then starts acting oddly. When the talent show results in a dismal failure, Rose Rita is left with a burning hatred and a wish for revenge. Then she starts dreaming of becoming a giant spider, and hearing the voice of the scroll's previous owner -- Belle Frisson, a sorceress who now wants to use Rose Rita to rise again and live forever.
This is labelled as a "Lewis Barnavelt" book, but at least half of it focuses on Rose Rita. While fans of Bellairs will be well acquainted with Lewis's insecurities, Strickland takes the opportunity to delve into a few of Rose Rita's. He also manages to give us a message about revenge and hatred and grudges without beating the reader over the head with it. The Message is simply there.
How much of a "Bellairs" book is this? Very much so, and not just in terms of having creepy beasties and a megalomaniac villain. The pacing and tone are very correct, as is the usage of maybe-it's-real-maybe-not ancient magics. I could have used a little more bickering between Mrs. Zimmerman and Uncle Jonathan, but the comforting scene between Rose Rita and Mrs. Zimmerman makes up for that.
Strickland does an excellent job with the evil sorceress Belle Frisson, and uses the ever-growing, evil-spirit spider very well also. The idea of a drop of blood turning powder into a malevolent spider is not just good spinechilling material, but it also is quite Bellairsesque.
This is an amazing spinechiller. I do warn you though: Arachnaphobics should definitely not read this book, or they'll never sleep again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mild Fun June 24 2011
By Pop Bop - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a "Bellairs-style" book, done quite nicely by Brad Strickland. What that means, though, is a very slow, very mild build-up to a rushed and unsurprising conclusion.
There is some convincing byplay between Lewis and Rose Rita, and a touching scene between Rose Rita and Mrs. Zimmerman. The main characters are much more fully realized than is usual for this type of book. There is also a lot, and I mean a lot, of exposition. I think that is actually helpful to a younger reader, who might want some help understanding the story and might appreciate having the tale move along at a speedy pace. However, all of that exposition means that for long stretches Lewis and Rose are just standing or sitting around having the story explained to them. If memory serves, that is, after all, part of the Bellairs style.
The upshot is that this is a well constructed, well written, entertaining, and very mildly thrilling gothic-light sort of tale, with a much higher than average attention to characters and their development. I would feel comfortable recommending this to a younger reader than the publisher and commentators suggest, and would not expect this to thrill an older and more experienced reader.
10 has loved the entire series June 26 2014
By Ryan S. Carrigan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
my son, 10 has loved the entire series, it has good action, nice and spooky but not scary and he cant seem to put them down!


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