Books, Bellairs and Me
Sometimes I wish I was a kid again. I miss it. Some days, I really miss it. But, I am an adult. I have an adult job. I read adult books on serious subjects like modern China and ancient Rome. Recently, I decided to try and recapture that childhood magic with a trip downstairs to the Children’s Room at the Main Library. I settled on one of my absolute favorite authors when I was nine or ten years old: John Bellairs.
Bellairs wrote several series of books from the late seventies to the early nineties. They are geared towards kids between the ages of ten and thirteen. When I was young I read every one of his books that I could get my hands on. Ordinary kids get involved in extraordinary circumstances. There are mysterious puzzles, ghosts, curses and all those spooky, fun things that boys (and girls) love. And, even though you should never judge a book by its cover, the original editions have incredible art by Edward Gorey.
I’m amazed at how quickly just holding a book, looking at its cover and reading the words can take you back in time. All of the sudden, instead of sitting next to my wife on the couch, I'm ten years old again. It’s long past bedtime. The comforter over my head, book propped on knees and flashlight illuminating the pages. It’s strange but these moments alone with books can still resonate even years later.
It is never too late to recapture that feeling. Or, you could help your child find the spark that will make them a reader for life. Just ask any Children’s Librarian. They’ll help, I promise.
- Bellairsia: the life and work of John Bellairs
Thorough collection of John Bellairs information