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Hardcover The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost Book

ISBN: 0803726228

ISBN13: 9780803726222

The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost

(Book #10 in the Lewis Barnavelt Series)

Lewis Barnavelt is back! And this time, our lovable underdog/hero has stumbled upon something more powerful than even his overactive imagination can dream up. A camping trip with his Scout troop leads Lewis straight to an old grave and a mysterious, magical whistle. When Lewis discovers that this whistle has the power to stop the boys who insist upon bullying him, he is left with a tough decision. Does he continue to use the whistle, which he suspects...


Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Exceptional chiller

After the death of kid-horror author John Bellairs, fan/author Brad Strickland took over the duty of finishing his manuscripts -- and then writing new novels based on the older books. Though his first few books were wobbly, "The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost" shows that Strickland has settled solidly into Bellairs' niche. Lewis Barnavelt, on a camping trip with his Scout troop, wanders away from the campfire. He soon finds a dirty silver whistle, and a strange grave with the inscription "Hic Iacet Lamia" (Here Lies Lamia). That night, something rips a hole in his tent. Uneasy about the whistle and grave, Lewis investigates further, and discovers that a lamia is an ancient female vampire. Rose Rita dismisses the idea, but Lewis is dubious -- especially when he has dreams about an eyeless creature sniffing him out.Mrs. Zimmerman and Uncle Jonathan investigate the woods, and don't find anything odd. But when Lewis is cornered by a couple of bullies, he finds the whistle in his pocket, and blows it. A snakelike creature appears and attacks the boys, who are hospitalized with a strange blood problem. And Lewis learns that there was something in that grave that wants not just his blood -- but his life. His friends seek out the help of the only person who can stop the lamia...It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between vintage Bellairs and the newer stuff by Strickland. Strickland has gained the knack for creepy dreams, horrific monsters with visceral shocks, and bits of old myth and legend. He's also incorporated the Roman Catholic elements that Bellairs did, in the priest Father Foley, who plays a key part. The pacing and descriptions are spot-on, and the creepy visions and gradual buildup of tension are well-done. Lewis's subtle changes as the lamia starts to take him over are especially well-done. The primary flaw is that the climactic battle is rather fragmented (it just isn't fair to end a chapter like Chapter Thirteen was). Lewis is well-written here, the bullied underdog with the occasional dark impulse; Rose Rita is the matter-of-fact counterpart whose duty it is to work out what is going wrong in her friend. Mrs. Zimmerman and Jonathan Barnavelt are their old lovable selves.With "The Whistle, the Grave and the Ghost," Strickland's steady footing on the Bellairs series is reestablished. Creepy, icky, and tightly written, this is among his best.

Brad, you?ve raised it to a whole new level!

I'm a huge fan of the Bellairs/Strickland books. The Whistle, the Grave and the Ghost has everything all of the best Bellairs books have. It also has more. Much more. In this book we dig deeper into almost every character. We learn more and more things about them. Lewis Barnavelt, for example, is just as he's always been; shy, a bit chubby, thoughtful and persistent. But, in The Whistle, the Grave and the Ghost, he's a few years older, and with those years comes just a little bit more wisdom. It's wonderful to read about how he deals with his trials through slightly, very slightly, more mature eyes. Jonathan Barnavelt is, as always, caring and jolly. We get a broader sense of his magical abilities, and for how much he truly cares for his nephew. Rose Rita Pottinger has also grown. It's a young woman (with that same heart and spirit of steel) that helps save the day. Mrs. Zimmermann, Jonathan's neighbor and bona fide good witch is, perhaps, the character that changes least. And that's as it should be. She was already just about perfect. The most profound difference, and welcomed improvement, between The Whistle, the Grave and the Ghost and most, if not all, of the previous Bellairs and Strickland books, is the antagonist. There's no campy explanation of world conquest a la Scooby Doo in this book: "Well, since you're going to die anyway, why not tell you my brilliant plan! Ha! Ha! Haaaa!" This villain doesn't care for such things. There's no husband/wife or master/servant team of adversaries. This villain is alone. There's no bumbling magician trying to conjure an enormous and lethal spell he can barely control. This villain is very capably deadly. This villain is pure evil. Plain and simple. This is the most primordially terrifying villain of all the Bellairs and Strickland books. We get inside this villain's head, too. We learn not only what she does, but why she wants to do it. In the end, there are no loose ends. Every loop has closure. Everything works and makes sense. Finally, this book, in all the right moments, is very funny. My compliments, again, to you, Brad Strickland, for bringing us the rare gift of a fabulous story. Not just that. A well-written fabulous story. Please keep it up. To the reader, the Bellairs/Strickland veteran and beginner alike, pick up this book
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