The Curse of the Blue Figurine by John Bellairs is the first in the Johnny Dixon series. I have never read it before – but finally, in 2013, now that I am old and haggard, I finally got a copy. I actually am working my way through as many John Bellairs novels as I can. Overall, these are excellent. I recently re-read The Mummy, The Will, and The Crypt, which was as awesome as I remember it being when I was a small person.
But this novel is even better. I was thoroughly impressed. I thought for sure that I was going to be somewhat disappointed – how could Bellairs do better than the other book I read? And yet! And YET! This one is excellent.
As I mentioned, this is the first book in the Johnny Dixon series. So here, I finally got a lot more background on Johnny’s grandparents and Professor Childermass. I learned more about how Johnny came to live in this town and about the school he attends. And the church that he attends.
First of all: yeah, parents in 2013 who are all stuffy and politically-correct and shelter their munchkins are never going to let them read these books. These books are all kinds of “inappropriate” – but not because of the usual reasons you might think. There’s alcohol and Church and the adults are realistic. Nothing sanitized, really, in here. But it isn’t bawdy, rowdy, or uncouth, don’t get me wrong. Secondly: Johnny is so full of guilt and low self-esteem that he probably isn’t the type of character one finds in current-day novels. But he’s really a great kid! In fact, he’s the best! I love Johnny!
I love all of the characters. And this story is creepy and eerie and has a lot of supernatural elements in it. And the supernatural elements are kept real and true – no one attempts to erase, explain, or devolve them. Awesome! I love the language and constructions that Bellairs uses. He’s really a charming author and he writes with such a fun style. I am subtly pressurizing my entire household to read this novel.